Mesa buys water rights from Quixx for Roberts County, Texas

Mesa Water Inc. announced that it has purchased 65,000 acres of water rights in Roberts County, Texas, from Quixx Corp. for an undisclosed purchase price, bringing its ownership of permitted water rights to 90,000 acres.

Sep 15th, 2003


DALLAS, Sept. 15, 2003 -- Mesa Water Inc. announced that it has purchased 65,000 acres of water rights in Roberts County, Texas, from Quixx Corp. for an undisclosed purchase price, bringing its ownership of permitted water rights to 90,000 acres.

"This is the latest milestone in our efforts to supply water to North Central Texas, San Antonio or elsewhere," said Boone Pickens, a long-time Roberts County rancher and the founder of Mesa Water.

"With this acquisition we've reached the critical mass to deliver at least 150,000 acre-feet of water per year for more than 100 years anywhere in the state of Texas. We are firmly committed to this project and are making solid progress at both the production and delivery end.

"This purchase is also great news for other Roberts County and area landowners who want to sell their groundwater. It sets a competitive price for their water and it reassures potential buyers that this supply source is for real," he said.

A group of about 170 Roberts and Hemphill county landowners, representing approximately 190,000 additional acres of water rights, have either filed for permits, or are preparing to file for permits, to produce water from beneath their land in Roberts and Hemphill counties. They want the same rights from their Groundwater Districts that the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority (CRMWA), the City of Amarillo, Mesa Water and other permitees already have. There are approximately 400,000 total acres supporting the Mesa plan.

Since December 2001, CRMWA has been supplying groundwater from 43,000 acres of water rights that it owns to 11 member cities as far downstate as Lamesa via a 323-mile-long pipeline completed in 1968. CRMWA recently has made it known that it would like to purchase even more water rights, perhaps 100,000 acres, for use along that system for 300 to 500 years. Any such purchases by CRMWA will have no impact on Mesa's plans.

Mesa Water has offered to deliver water to CRMWA and Amarillo as a small, local part of a larger downstate project. CRMWA has minimum additional capacity in its pipeline, only about 20,000 acre feet. CRMWA and Amarillo have rejected those Mesa offers.

The Panhandle District last year granted pumping permits authorizing Mesa Water and Quixx to remove up to one acre-foot of water per year per surface acre from the Ogallala Aquifer beneath land in Roberts County. The water can be delivered to any political subdivision or water authority in the State of Texas.

Mesa Water was formed three years ago to produce and export groundwater to downstate areas that face long-term water shortages -- as far away as North Central Texas, San Antonio or El Paso -- as well as to towns and cities along the way.

Earlier this year Mesa Water was officially cited as a potential water source in Region A (Amarillo) and Region C (North Central Texas) Water Plans. Mesa has the backing to finance and build a water production and delivery project in time to provide water to any of the three regions in five to seven years.

"That means we could build a 328-mile-long pipeline from the Panhandle to the Dallas-Fort Worth area and have it in operation by January 2009, if we could get started this year," said Pickens. "No other plan that I am aware of can come close to this capability or timing."

Mesa Water has previously cited reports from experts showing that its water can be delivered anywhere in the state at costs competitive with existing or proposed regional water plans.

Pickens has also said that the Mesa Water project can be completed "without having to flood any land, or destroy any wildlife habitat."

He added that exporting Mesa's water to a region that truly needs it is in the best interests of Texas, "because it is a drought-proof, secure source of water that will last well into the future. Unlike surface water," he said, "our water is not subject to evaporation loss or to passive or intentional contamination. A pipeline to sell our water will be very meaningful to Roberts County and other area landowners."

Quixx Corporation, headquartered in Amarillo, Texas, is a domestic provider in industrial based co-generation.

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