The Lower Brazos River Coalition filed an amicus brief on Dec. 2, 2019, in support of the Brazos River Authority’s legal move to require the City of Houston to proceed with the sale of its share of the proposed Allens Creek Reservoir to the River Authority.
The Coalition’s brief asked the District Court Judge in Austin to reject Houston’s challenge to a bill passed in the 2019 Legislative Session requiring the City to sell its 70 percent share of the project for no more than $23 million.
On July 22, 2019, Houston sued the Brazos River Authority and the State of Texas to halt implementation of the bill, arguing it is unconstitutional. After the bill was signed on June 2, the River Authority sent a contract to the City offering to buy its water rights for $23 million.
The River Authority owns the remaining 30 percent of the water rights and argues it has immediate need for the water, while Houston does not.
The Lower Brazos River Coalition supports construction of the proposed Allens Creek Reservoir at the earliest opportunity because downstream industries urgently need the water that would be supplied by the off-channel reservoir.
The oil, gas and petrochemical industries – which contribute $29 billion to the Texas economy – are poised to invest billions of dollars more, if sufficient water is available. These industries are customers of the Gulf Coast Water Authority, which alone could use more than 2/3 of the firm water yielded by the Allens Creek Reservoir.
Allens Creek is a proposed off-channel reservoir that would be built south of Sealy, just west of the main channel of the Brazos River. It is currently slated to supply 100,000 acre-feet of firm water a year to users in the basin.