U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announcement Affects State Water Supplies
An announcement by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will affect water supplies through much of the state.
The USFWS announced their decision to name the Sharpnose Shiner and Smalleye Shiner minnows as endangered species. Portions of the Upper Brazos River basin from Garza County south near Possum Kingdom Reservoir have also been named as a critical habitat for the species.
None of the listed areas affect the City of Lubbock’s current water supplies but some potential surface water supply strategies outlined in the City’s 2013 Strategic Water Supply Plan will be impacted.
According to City of Lubbock Officials, in 2013, the City participated in the USFWS public hearing and public comment process to address the City’s interests and commitment to responsible planning to minimize federal interference with local activities. The City remains actively engaged in assessing the proposed listing through a science-based approach.
The City’s official stance is that measures have already been implemented to the Brazos River Basin that protect the habitat of the now endangered minnows.
The final rule from the USFWS will be formally published in the Federal Register on August 4, 2014, and will become effective 30 days after publication. The Endangered Species Act defines an endangered species as any species that is at risk of extinction.