The Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District got caught red-handed recently for approving an illegal permit ten years ago, and even one of the district’s own board members now admits the application documents used to approve the permit were forged.

This shows just how long-standing corruption and overstepping of authority has been practiced by the district. It’s an organization that has proven time and time again that it puts cronyism and deceit ahead of the legitimate property rights and water needs of the people it represents.

Over 100 applications were approved in a single day in 2007, when the illegal permit was approved. The error happened because no one apparently read the applications. The board simply rubber-stamped them.

But one application in particular is concerning. Firstly, the permit owner is currently a member of the district’s board. Secondly, although the well owner says it’s within the district, documents from the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission say it isn’t.

This looks like a very cynical attempt to obtain a permit now that may be valuable down the road. The people have a right to be skeptical in any case, but when the applicant is a board member, the standards – and oversight – should be even higher.

The issue would never have come to light had the Brazos Valley Groundwater Rights Association not been watching them like a hawk. After we brought the case to light, the board agreed to conduct a survey to verify the location of the wells and suspend the permits if they are not within the proper boundaries.

The Brazos Valley Groundwater Rights Association is a non-profit corporation committed to protecting the groundwater rights of Texas landowners, farmers and ranchers.