My name is Keith Strimple and I live on upper Lake Placid in Guadalupe County, Texas. Having started my engineering career with the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) right out of college, I have a historical perspective that, I believe, is unique — working for GBRA from 1984-1998, having lived on Lake Placid for over 40 years, and being a licensed professional engineer with the State of Texas.
I am sure that you are inundated with responses from the public about GBRA’s decision to drain the hydroelectric lakes, so I won’t take much of your time.
My perspective on this issue is the same as others, but what I find most interesting is that GBRA, over 20 years ago, subordinated the senior water rights that the hydroelectric dams owned and gave that water to GBRA’s water supply division (Canyon Lake). Simply put, GBRA gave the hydroelectric dams’, valuable, senior water rights to Canyon Lake, thereby reducing the amount of electricity the lakes could make (reduced revenue). Fast forward 20 plus years, GBRA has basically bankrupted the hydroelectric lakes in order to generate revenues from water supply.
I remember the previous General Manager telling GBRA’s management team, “Our future is no longer in hydroelectric generation, but rather it is in water supply.” That prediction has come true — the hydroelectric lakes are broke and therefore can’t fix their infrastructure, and the water supply division is prosperous.
My hope is that we, the private citizens, can take care of this matter rather than waiting on the governmental bureaucracies to grind through their process(es). So now, the financial burden is falling on the private sector because GBRA bankrupted the financial condition of these lakes and their “fix” is to drain them. I say, get out of the way then, and let the private sector do what the private sector does well — get things done!
Keith Strimple, Seguin