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Opposition grows to proposed private dam on Llano River

South Llano River

Llano county and city officials as well as river conservation advocates are gearing up to oppose the permitting of a private dam across the Llano River. A public meeting is Aug. 10 in Rocksprings, over two hours away from the city of Llano, where the impacts of the dam could be most strongly felt. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Write Gov. Greg Abbott about a private dam proposed for the South Llano River, said lifelong river advocate Patty Pfister of Llano, part of a growing quest to stop the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality from granting a permit. Abbott appointed all three TCEQ commissioners

“If (the dam is) permitted, TCEQ will be setting a precedent for an unlimited number of dams to be built along the length of the Llano River,” Pfister told “What grounds could the TCEQ deny future dams if this one is permitted?”

Comments can be sent to the governor online. 

Resistance to a permit application for a private recreational dam across the South Llano River in Edwards County is growing from Llano county and city officials as well as river conservation advocates in anticipation of a public meeting on the matter. The meeting is at 6 p.m. Aug. 10 in the Rockspring ISD auditorium, 201 U.S. 377 in Rocksprings. 

“I haven’t talked to a single person here in Llano that thinks (the dam) is a viable idea,” Llano Mayor Marion Bishop told “It’s going to capture a great deal of water that we all need downstream.”

Waterstone Creek LLC is applying for a permit to build a private dam across the river in Edwards County for recreational use. The dam would impound 12.02 acre-feet of water and create a private lake for the landowner.

Llano-area officials concerned about the impact the upriver dam will have on their water supply say the meeting is being held too far away from those it will most affect. The meeting is more than two hours from the city and is being held on a Thursday night. The Llano River is the sole water source for the city’s utilities. Bishop will be a part of a city delegation that is heading to the Rocksprings meeting, despite its remote location.

“The idea that they’re having this meeting in an isolated location so far away from the people that will be impacted by, it just seems wrong,” Bishop continued.

State Rep. Andrew Murr (R-Junction) submitted a letter to the TCEQ requesting a second meeting be held closer to the impacted communities. The request was unanswered at the time of this story’s publication.

Llano County Precinct 4 Commissioner Jerry Don Moss noted that the Llano River contributes a large amount of water not only to the city of Llano, but downstream to Lake LBJ and Lake Travis, which supplies Austin with its drinking water.

“Anyone around the Highland Lakes, they need to pay attention to this,” he told “If you let someone build a dam across that river, then why wouldn’t the next person do it?”

Moss and a Llano County delegation will be at the Rocksprings meeting on Aug. 10. Those who can’t go can still make their voices heard on the matter.

Comments can be submitted up until the meeting. Send comments electronically on the TCEQ website at this link. Enter the following in the search field to find the specific permit: WRPERM 13524. Comments can be submitted by mail to the Office of the Chief Clerk, TCEQ, Mail Code MC-105, P.O. Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087.

1 thought on “Opposition grows to proposed private dam on Llano River

  1. Everyone needs to send a comment to TCEQ, through the link in the article. If they allow one person to dam up the river for leisure purposes, what’s to stop further requests from being approved. This kind of thing can impact every town/city and river–not just Llano.

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