Ft. Stockton Approves Agreement With Odessa To Drill Water Monitor Well, First Step To Selling Water To Odessa 4/12/13
CBS 7 News
FT. STOCKTON-The Ft. Stockton City Council approved the plan unanimously as well as an agreement with a contractor to move forward on drilling of the monitor well.
Tapping into the Capitan Reef in Ft. Stockton could be the answer to Odessa's water woes--pumping as much as 50 million gallons of water each day. But until a $600,000 monitor well is drilled, there's no way of telling just how good the water is.
"This is a deep well and we don't know much about it, we're not sure how deep it is," said Ft. Stockton Council Member Darren Hodges, noting that it is not the same aquifer used for Ft. Stockton drinking water.
Tonight's agreement between the two cities means Odessa will pay for the monitor well--but only if the water turns out to be good enough quality to build a test well and pipeline. If not, Ft. Stockton says the two cities will split the cost.
"If it turns out the water is bad, the city pays $300,000 and Odessa pays $300,000," said Hodges. "I don't see it as a gamble. I'm confident that water is going to be good."
But Odessa is not the only entity that's offered to finance the project -- the Ft. Stockton City Council heard from STW resources. It's a private company out of Midland who has offered to finance the pipeline, in exchange for control of some of the land.
"When you have a commodity like water, there are people that want to capitalize on it," Hodges said.
Hodges says even if Odessa pays $600,000 for the monitor well - tonight's agreement doesn't guarantee that Odessa would finance or control later phases of the project. So the pipeline to Odessa could eventually be controlled by a private company like STW.
"That's who we are dealing with first, the city of Odessa," said Hodges, referring to the City of Odessa as a partner in the project. "Each step of the way we will be looking at different options."
The City of Odessa did not comment on questions about STW resources' offer to Ft. Stockton--and STW Resources did not return a call for comment.
Drilling could begin as early as Monday, April 22.
UPDATE: 8:40 PM
The City Manager of Ft. Stockton said the exact cost of the monitoring well is now estimated at $817,584--up from $600,000.