Brown County Water Board members could soon vote on a measure that would send up to 20 million gallons of water a day to Abilene. The measure, if approved, would supply Abilene with much needed water and would bring in about $400 a year in water sales to Brown County, money the county desperately needs to be able to purchase new coolers for the lake patrol boats. City leaders anticipate that Abilene will successfully drain O.H. Ivie Reservoir, Lake Fort Phantom Hill, and Hubbard Creek Reservoir soon.
Abilene Christian sophomore Drake Roddard was on the water search committee that was formed to ink a deal with Brown County. “This grass doesn’t stay green without water,” Roddard stated while standing on the ACU campus. “What you have here is a town of 120,000 that only gets rainfall for about 30,000 so we have to take some from others to keep our university grass pretty and green.”
Roddard explained that the deal originally seemed dead in the water (pun intended) due to funding to lay the infrastructure. “The pipeline was going to cost several million, plus pumps, and other structures….money that we just didn’t have after agreeing to pay Brown County $400.” That’s when land surveyors noted an abandoned oil pipeline that ran from Brownwood to Abilene. “This pipeline transported oil from the well fields in Brownwood to the refineries on Lake Abilene back in the 30s and 40s, it’ll be perfect.”
Several Abilene residents are wary of drinking water transported in an old oil pipeline, citing possible contaminants as a point of concern. On the other hand, some residents were in favor of the pipeline and mentioned that since Abilene’s water is already unpalatable, the taste of crude could be a welcome change.
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