• TexasConservationAlliance

Help Stop Marvin Nichols Reservoir

Updated: Jun 19

Join Texas Conservation Alliance in submitting written comments on the Region C Initially Prepared Plan – tell Region C we don’t need or want the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir.


Sulphur River

For 20 years, Texas Conservation Alliance and a coalition of ranchers, timber interests, and community leaders in northeast Texas have told the Region C Water Planning Group that there are cheaper, less destructive ways to get water than building Nichols Reservoir. Now you have the opportunity to tell them, too.


The Region C Water Planning Group will be accepting comments on its draft plan until July 27. Tell Region C NOT to build Marvin Nichols! Details below of why the reservoir is a bad idea.


Submit written comments by email to regioncwpg@trinityra.org or by mail to:


J. Kevin Ward, Chair, Region C Water Planning Group,

c/o Trinity River Authority of Texas, P.O. Box 60, Arlington, TX 76004, Phone: (817) 467-4343



The proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir would inundate twenty miles of the Sulphur River and countless miles of feeder streams. It would force thousands of Texans off their land – land that provides their livelihoods, for some land that has been in the family for generations. The negative impact on the timber and agriculture-based economy of rural northeast Texas would be dramatic. The impact on the natural environment would be enormous.


In 2016 the Region C Water Planning Group was recommending the Marvin Nichols project for the year 2070. Now Region C is moving the reservoir forward and proponents are saying they may begin seeking a permit in the next few years.


Marvin Nichols Reservoir would cost $4.4 billion and inundate 66,000 acres of beautiful forests and productive ranch land vital for wildlife habitat in the Sulphur River basin in Northeast Texas.

Region C should be recommending cost-effective, low-impact options for water supply such as increased municipal water recycling, harnessing urban runoff, and storing surface water in underground aquifers. Water conservation efforts should be focused on reducing lawn watering, including promoting use of native plants, or plants with water needs that can be supplied by the local rainfall.


Below are additional talking point for your comments:


  • There are options for water supply for DFW that are much less expensive and do much less harm than building the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir. Examples include municipal water recycling and capturing urban run-off.


  • Marvin Nichols Reservoir and its pipelines would cost $4.4 billion dollars. It is much more sensible to develop smaller, more local and more sustainable projects such a municipal water recycling. DFW already has very successful recycling. North Texas Municipal Water District and the Tarrant Regional Water District have wonderful wetland filtration areas. And NTMWD also filters wastewater at its Wilson Creek plant sufficiently to go back into Lake Lavon. We need more of this.


  • Another kind of municipal water recycling - direct recycling - would also be good for DFW. This would involve filtering wastewater using high-tech filters such as are used in reserve osmosis and adding ultraviolet light or other disinfection. Water given this kind of advanced treatment is purer than what comes out of our taps today.


  • Municipal water recycling can meet all the region's needs for household water use. Current water supplies can meet the demand for water to water lawns. Lawn watering for future expansion can be met by capturing run-off in neighborhoods.


  • The Clean Water Act requires that anyone applying for a federal permit choose the Least Environmentally Damaging Practicable Alternative (LEDPA). There are less damaging ways to meet DFW’s water demands – such as municipal water recycling, capturing urban run-off, or bringing water from the already-existing Toledo Bend Reservoir. Bringing water from Toledo Bend may cost more, but it avoids destroying 66,000 acres of prime farmland, timberland, and wildlife habitat. The other options are much less expensive.


  • The amount of land that will be taken out of production to build Marvin Nichols Reservoir and mitigate its impacts will devastate the economy of a fifteen-county region of Texas - the counties in the northeast corner of the state.


  • Marvin Nichols would destroy the Sulphur River bottoms and force thousands of people off their land primarily so that people in the DFW area can have water to water their lawns. It's not fair to force East Texans to sell their farm and ranch land and sometimes their homes so that people in DFW can water their lawns.


  • Using native plants, or plants that require the amount of water that falls naturally, can vastly reduce DFW's demand for water and help avoid building Marvin Nichols Reservoir.


Last updated 5/27/2020

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