Writing editorials such as “Diversity is best water option” when not conversant with the facts is a risky business.
1. Diversity of water supply is wise only if one’s supply is at risk. Surface water in Texas is at risk. Fluctuating aquifers with snail darters are at risk. Jasper aquifer water in Bee County has near zero risk. Not even the BDA challenges its volume. A Bee County reverse osmosis (“RO”) plant properly equipped would have near zero risk. The Evangeline aquifer offers more risk than the Jasper. It has much lower volume, exponentially more users, and its water quality varies from location to location. I believe the city should carefully focus on these risks.
2. Retaining our surface water source which is about 20% more expensive (and could soon become about 40% more expensive) on a current payment basis than tapping and filtering Jasper water (including the amortized cost of new capital expenditures), is even less wise.
3. You imply that the costs of a water supply well will be similar to the cost of the irrigation well ($20,600). The experts who recommended Evangeline wells around Chase estimated them to cost over $550,000 apiece.
4. We have so much invested at the lake that we should send good money after bad?
5. Jasper water tastes bad? RO filtered water is more pure than bottled water. One needs to mix source water with filtered water for taste and corrosion avoidance reasons.
However, if acceptable quality Evangeline water is available in the city, go for it. But be aware that a 12/2012 tests of City Well # 4 (the only well in the city that I am aware of which is similar in depth to the new irrigation well) found its water to exceed relevant standards for total dissolved solids, chloride and iron by significant amounts. The questions raised by these results beg loudly for expert analysis.