Cooper ISD is making plans to dig for more water. It's an issue people across the South Plains can relate to securing water for the future, but Cooper is ready to take the next step.
For the last two years the Cooper School Board has been in water talks. The reason? They currently have quantity and quality concerns. The wells they use now for water are depleting and the district continues to grow, so they can't keep up. On Thursday night the Board plans to make decisions that will move them forward.
"Everyone is in agreement, this is something we've been talking about for a long time. The water table is always a concern, the quality of water you know our water is high in fluoride and it has been for years. What we've basically decided is that we are going to hold ourselves accountable not just for the students of today but for years to come," says Shawn Sampley, Cooper ISD Board President.
Sampley says the plan is to vote Thursday night on whether to move forward with negotiations of purchasing water from Slaton and approving the funds to build a pipeline.
"The Canadian River has approved this and we are negotiating with the City of Slaton for the purchase of the water, and if and when they approve the purchase we're good to go," says Deputy Superintendent Thom Vines.
Vines says the District will continue to use their wells for irrigation and for back up, but in the future all drinking water and kitchen water will come from the Canadian River. "This is very important to the future of this District and we have worked very hard at it and we're excited about it," Vines said.
Vines says building the pipeline is estimated to take about five months, and cost the District about $500,000. How they will do it, Vines says is simple. "We're coming down 146th street which is a dirt road primarily so we won't have to dig up any asphalt roads and so forth and then we'll go down the bar ditch on the west side of 87 to tap into the facility," says Vines.
Board members have researched every possible water source and means to make it work, they say building this pipeline is the smartest and most cost effective choice. If all is approved word of approval from Slaton should come by mid September, and the Board hopes digging of the pipeline will start this fall.
We are only talking about the campuses in Woodrow, the north campus is in the city limits and on city water. As for how they will pay for it, Vines says they will probably pay it out as a budgetary item, which means they wouldn't need to raise taxes or hold any kind of bond election.