Last week, Governor Rick Perry issued a proclamation certifying that certain counties in Texas are currently threatened by exceptional drought conditions and an extreme fire hazard due to a continuing disaster in several counties in Texas, including Jones and Haskell Counties, which the small town of Stamford straddles.
Located 40 miles north of Abilene with a population just over 3,000, Stamford’s city council voted today to sell water to the proposed Tenaska coal-fired plant. It is expected that Stamford would provide about 780,000 gallons (or roughly three-quarters of the minimum amount of water needed by the plant) daily from Lake Stamford, a reservoir formed by Stamford Dam with a storage capacity of 51,573 acre·ft. The average depth of Lake Stamford is only 11 feet. The 2011 Brazos G Water Plan (Vol. 1, p. 4A-7) projects Stamford will have a deficit of nearly 3,000 acre-feet a year by 2030 without the Tenaska contract.
There was no public hearing before the City Council voted, and there were some people present who disagreed with the decision.
Last night, Tenaska hosted an open house. Over a hundred people showed up, the majority of whom were opposed to the water contract, and while some members of the city council and the mayor were present, they still chose to approve the water contract.