Environmental Protection

Group: Guadalupe Can't Sustain Exelon Power Plant

With the Guadalupe River reaching critical levels, members of Texans for a Sound Energy Policy Alliance (TSEPA) recently questioned how the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) and Exelon continue to believe that there is enough water for the proposed Exelon nuclear power plant near Victoria.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that much of the Guadalupe River was running at less than 10 percent of its normal flow. On June 22, the Victoria Advocate reported that a city official confirmed the Guadalupe River dropped so low over the weekend that the city of Victoria had to stop pumping water for a few hours.

"The Guadalupe River Basin is looking head-on at a serious water shortage -- even without the proposed Exelon nuclear power plant," explains Jim Blackburn, an environmental attorney for TSEPA. "The Guadalupe is proving to us right now that Mother Nature overrides state-issued water rights."

In December 2007, GBRA made an arrangement with Exelon that reserves more than 75,000-acre feet (24 billion gallons) of water from the Guadalupe River each year for the proposed nuclear power plant.

"By acting as a water merchant and not a conservation authority, Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority is mismanaging this precious resource and failing as a steward of our precious water," says Blackburn. "There is scarcely enough water throughout the Guadalupe River Basin to meet the current needs, especially during a drought."

The Guadalupe River, which runs from Kerrville down to the coast, not only supplies Victoria County with water; it also creates the freshwater inflows that the endangered whooping crane relies on for survival during its wintering season at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in San Antonio Bay.

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