Water is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges Texas faces in the future. One of the biggest challenges Milam County faces in the future is surviving Texas’s unquenchable thirst for water. I know you have seen the old westerns where the cattle have been on the drive for several days without water and the cowboys try not to let them smell the water, but the cattle do and the stampede is on. Well folks the stampede is on and looks like Milam County could get trampled.
The latest development in Texas’s water plan for the future is the Gause Off-Channel Reservoir. The planned reservoir would cover over 4,300 acres of Milam County. Within the planned footprint of the reservoir is Pin Oak Cemetery, the historic El Camino Real de los Tejas trail, many Native American campsites and possible burial grounds and several hundred acres of agricultural land that have been in the same family for over 100 years.
What we see happening is the few being sacrificed for the many. Basically rural Texas is being sacrificed for the voracity of the urban areas of the state. Of course it is all in the name of progress and great for the economic development of the state. Not Milam County’s economic development because our water, and looks like maybe our land, will be controlled by Austin, Houston, San Antonio and other large cities across the state.
Recent reports in the local media have indicated that the reservoir might be voted down in an upcoming Brazos River Authority meeting. While that is the hope for all of us in Milam County the reality is that the state needs water and the rural counties that have water will be sacrificed for the numbers because that is where the votes are.
I truly feel sorry for our state representatives. Both our State Representative and Senator have their majority of voters outside the Milam County line. I have blogged before about rural versus urban issues, and it is not necessarily about what is right but rather where the votes are. Politics is politics and it's all about the votes and where the voters are. With just under 15,000 registered voters in Milam County we do not stand a chance.
There is a Texas music band The McKay Brothers that have a song out titled "The Disappearing Texas." For those of us that have been around for the last fifty years or so the lyrics ring so true. "There's a disappearing Texas, vanishing but not completely gone, yeah there's a disappearing, so let's leave what there is left of it alone…" Just a matter of time and what we knew and know as Texas will vanish never to return, and all in the name of progress.