Waterbridge agreement approved


The City Council has approved an agreement between the City and
WaterBridge Resources, LLC during their budget meeting on July 18.
In April of this year, the City Council signed a letter of agreement
with WaterBridge Resources allowing them to create an agreement to
review. WaterBridge has now come back with the agreement they were
proposing, and it has been approved.
Steve Cole of Five Point Capital Partners, a private equity company
working with WaterBridge, explained the premise, stating “Our focus is
on midstream infrastructure. It’s pipelines.”
“And processing plants, and terminals, and things of that nature,”
Cole continued. “Whether you’re moving crude through a pipeline, or
natural gas, or water, we’re putting tens of millions, or hundreds of
millions of dollars in infrastructure.”
Cole concluded, thanking the council and saying, “We are pleased to be
working with the WaterBridge team in this effort to move high volume
water from your property to commercial users throughout this region of
City Water Attorney Mark Harral followed Cole, saying “We are really
looking at the wells in Reeves County, drilling rustler wells. That
entire area is brackish.”
“They aren’t just looking at transporting water; they are also looking
at recycling,” Harral explained. “I really look at them more as a
recycling company. WaterBridge is willing to build a pipeline
connecting all the City’s water property, including Belding, Stockton,
Riley, and BlueRidge Farms.”
Harral said that this would allow the City to utilize the water and
other well fields that they’d never been able to access for municipal
“They will pay for all of it,” Harral stated. “They will also be
drilling new wells into brackish aquifers. That’s what we really want
them doing; that way we can preserve our rights to these brackish
WaterBridge will pay for all work they do; at the end of a 35-year
long contract period, all infrastructure built by WaterBridge will
revert back to the City.
Following Harral’s discussion, Mayor Chris Alexander asked, “A lot of
these wells in our area – BlueRidge, Riley Farms, and Stockton Farms –
those wells haven’t been used in quite a while, right?”
Harral responded, “The ones in BlueRidge are in use. I want to make
that very clear. We have a farmer using some, and an industrial
customer out there currently. Those wells do not meet TCEQ standards.”
Stockton Farms is also currently in use by a farmer.
“All of their agreements allow the City to supply water from there,
should we have a customer that wants to locate there.”
Harral went on to explain, “WaterBridge will be using a lot of water.
The numbers we were talking about were around 18,000 acre-feet in any
given year. It’s a significant amount of water we are talking about.”
“The point I want to make very clear is that this water is not going
to Odessa,” Harral stressed. “This has nothing to do with Williams or
that project.”
Harral stated the City could possibly do away with part of the Capital
Improvement Fund and lower water rates for residents as a result of
the new revenue the agreement would bring.
“The more you increase the water rate, the less water people are going
to use,” Harral said. “Really, the only solution is not to increase
water rates; it is to sell additional water.”