WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Wichita Falls looks to sell 20,000 acre-feet of appropriated water to a future Oklaunion Hydrogen Power Plant. While almost everyone on the water resources commission agrees with the selling of water, Steven Smith feels the city is making an error, and hosted the town hall to talk about why.

Oklaunion Powerplant is attempting to contract the use of 20,000 acre-feet of the 40,000 acre-feet of the appropriated water to produce hydrogen-based energy.

Many areas of Texoma are in a stage one drought, and citizens are concerned about water usage.

Steve Smith, former co-owner of Smith’s Gardentown, is leading the charge against the pending contract because, from experience, he knows the risk of selling our precious water.

Per his press release, he states the safeguards are not adequate and invites others to recount the previous drought.
“I’m sure everyone that was here during that time remembers the shape that we were in,” said Smith.

Smith hoped hosting a town hall would further educate citizens on the council’s decision and encourage opposition to the bill. Mayor Stephen Santellana attended the town hall to educate citizens about the city not being able to use the water that is appropriated for industrial use.
“That water (Lake Kemp water) stays in the lake and doesn’t do anything,” said Santellana. “We don’t use it to drink. So it’s basically recreational use. That’s what we’re trying to explain to people.”

The town hall meeting sparked continuous back and forth between concerned citizens and candidates. Some questions could not be answered, but the Oklaunion Powerplant is attending the city council meeting on the 19th to hear additional concerns.