(Jimmy Emerson via Flickr CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Almost a decade after filing its first application, the family of oilman Clayton Williams has been granted a permit to pump millions of gallons of water out of Pecos County. The permit was granted by the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District.
Jeff Williams, Clayton Williams’ grandson, who manages his family’s ranch, is glad to see the court battles end. “Quite frankly, it’s a big relief. Time to quit fighting in court,” he says.
Williams’ Farms sit atop a portion of the Edwards-Trinity Aquifer. The permit grants his family’s company, Fort Stockton Holdings, the right to export about 25 million gallons of water a day. Engineering plans for the water’s transport are still being finalized, but will require roughly $250 million worth of new infrastructure including a 95-mile pipeline.
The plan is to export water to the City of Odessa, which has been in search of a more stable and high-quality water source, though no contract has been signed. Besides Odessa, Williams believes there could be opportunities to export water to municipalities including Coyanosa, Imperial, and Gardendale. “It will be a truly regional water supply,” he says.
Williams estimates that it will be up to three years before the pipeline is constructed.