On the agenda of last Thursday ‘s Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District (BVGCD)
meeting was the discussion and action regarding two wells owned by Limestone Coves Water
which is owned by BVGCD board member Kent Watson. The location of those two wells is
what is in question.
Kent Watson made this an issue by insisting on having his Limestone Coves wells permitted in
the water district even though state maps and well drillers logs show the wells to be outside the
district – in Limestone County. In fact, Kent Watson, himself, and three state entities have all
identified the wells as being in Limestone County.
It makes no sense. Watson says he wants to “follow the law” by erroneously permitting his wells
as Robertson County wells. The problem can be easily resolved by having the BVGCD Board
properly declare that the wells are out of the district (as Watson has said before) and thus, outside
of district control. The result would be that Limestone Coves can now pump all the water they
need without restriction and Watson does not have to write checks or report pumping to the
This issue has nothing to do with Robertson County property tax roles, and anyone who would
argue that it does just does not understand the facts. In reality, any decision made by the BVGCD
board has no bearing whatsoever on Robertson County or Limestone County taxes. The BVGCD
can’t decide where the county line is. It is the State of Texas that decides where the line is, and
Texas says Watson’s wells are in Limestone County.
In an effort to help resolve this issue the Brazos Valley Groundwater Rights Association
(BVGRA) hired Thornhill Group Inc. (TGI) to go out and map the well locations. Their report,
in part, stated:
TGI plotted each well coordinate in ArcGIS (map attached herewith) with all objects
(GPS well coordinates, county boundaries, and imagery) assigned to the same coordinate
system so as to ensure accuracy and precision. The county boundaries and imagery were
obtained from the Texas Natural Resources Information System (TNRIS), Round Prairie
Quadrangle. Based on all of the reported coordinates mapped along with the county
boundaries, it is apparent these existing well sites are located within Limestone County
and not Robertson County (e.g.,not within the boundaries of BVGCD).
City of Bryan Representative Tom McDonald, aided by College Station Representative Bill
Harris, helped Limestone Coves/Watson argue their absurd position. Those three are dead set on
the belief that if Watson has an erroneous deed that says his property is in Robertson County,
then the deed decides the location – never mind the fact that the BVGCD rules state that the
wells must be inside the boundaries of the county lines, as decided by the State Legislature.
There were other problems with these wells that came up in the discussion. The “permits”
themselves may be invalid due to two signature irregularities (forgery and wrong name), and it
was revealed that two Limestone Coves permits inexplicably had less restrictive language than
other permits issued at the same time. Also, Watson, as a board member, had his Limestone
Coves permits hand delivered to him apparently ahead of other permit applicants.
Why do Watson’s permits have so many irregularities – out of the district, forged signature,
different language, hand delivered before others got theirs, and now this ridiculous, unnecessary
and costly argument for self-restriction? Why?
As a Board member, Watson has been treated very favorably by the BVGCD in the past. In this
meeting, however, the board brought out these facts and is working hard to resolve this issue.
After some discussion, Watson’s attorney was asked if Watson would agree to pay for a survey to
determine the location of the wells. Watson was reluctant. Then his attorney was asked if Watson
would pay up to $2,000.00 for the survey, with the district paying the balance. He was still
reluctant. So, to the board’s surprise and in the interest of moving this issue toward a definitive
conclusion, BVGRA offered to pay $2,000.00 toward the cost of the survey, and the BVGCD
BVGRA’s only interest in this matter is making sure property rights are protected. In this case,
we want to make sure the district is not overstepping its boundaries and property owners in the
district are not being short changed by improper out of district permits.
Brazos Valley Groundwater Rights Association