Litigants in the Guadalupe Lake litigation have reached a settlement with the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) involving a temporary injunction that prevents the lakes from being dewatered for 12 months while creating additional assurances to prioritize the safety of those on and around the lakes.
As part of the settlement, a panel of three experts will be appointed to decide what, if any, areas of each lake would be safe for activity given the nature of the dams. GBRA and the plaintiffs will each appoint an expert to the panel – those two experts will then select a third-party expert to assist with the effort, creating the panel of three.
The panel will be appointed and have 30 days to determine what zones, if any, are safe for activity. The panel will have the opportunity to extend this window by an additional 30 days
In addition, all the lakes will be closed to all activity effective beginning Thursday, Sept. 19, until the panel has reached a decision on what areas, if any, are safe for activity. Professional law enforcement, acting as lake patrol, will be added to enforce the restrictions on each lake. GBRA will partner with law enforcement officials to ensure the enforcement of the lake restrictions.
“We are going to continue working with the county to possibly take over the park and dam like we have been trying to do in recent months,” said Joe Solansky, the president of the Friends of Lake Wood Association. “But we will have to let the dust settle on this injunction and see what it really means and how it impacts our possible future dam in the future. There are a lot of moving parts to this litigation that we are still trying to figure out but if part of the long-term solution is to repair our dam and restore our lake then we will want to be a part of that possibly.”
The following is a statement from the GBRA:
“The dams forming the Guadalupe Valley Lakes remain in dire need of replacement, having surpassed their useful life at more than 90 years old. The settlement in the Guadalupe Valley Lakes litigation helps the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority achieve its immediate priority of ensuring the safety of those on and around the lakes while simultaneously continuing to work collaboratively with key stakeholders to preserve their long-term sustainability. This temporary injunction will allow all parties to continue to work together to identify a solution and funding for the necessary replacement of the dams. While GBRA will work closely with law enforcement officials to enforce activity restrictions, is of the utmost importance that the community adhere to the limitations and continue to respect all restrictions until a long-term solution can be reached.”