MORE STORAGE, MORE SUPPLIES: LUBBOCK AND LAKE TEXOMA SUCCESS STORIES
The State Water Plan — a document the Texas Water Development Board updates every five years — is based on recommendations by the state's 16 regional planning groups to address the needs of water users across Texas. State Water Plan-recommended projects involving Lake Alan Henry in Lubbock and Lake Texoma near the Dallas metroplex are just two of the many success stories that reflect regional water planning in action.
When water supplies allocated by the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority started to diminish, the City of Lubbock looked to other sources to supplement its water. Using more than $83 million in TWDB financing, the city was able to tap into Lake Alan Henry and build 60 miles of raw water lines, pumping stations and a treatment plant.
The project was completed in 2007 and filled Lubbock’s requirements: a program with less red tape and better interest rates.
"The size and scope of this project would be our largest ever, so we were concerned about how to finance it and keep costs down," says Aubrey Spear, Lubbock's Director of Water Resources. "TWDB had just introduced the Water Infrastructure Fund, which was a streamlined program that allowed us to save $15 million in interest rates."
The Lake Alan Henry project now serves 230,000 Lubbock residents, users in smaller nearby communities, Reese Technology Center, Texas Tech University and cotton-related industries.
"Over the long term, Lake Alan Henry should help us with sustainable growth over the next 100 years," Spear reports.
Just 50 miles north of the Dallas–Fort Worth metro area, Cooke, Fannin, Grayson and northern Collin counties are experiencing substantial growth. In response, the Greater Texoma Utility Authority (GTUA) purchased additional water storage capacity in Lake Texoma from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This purchase was made possible with $21 million in financial assistance from TWDB.
Without the favorable interest rates TWDB offered, it would have been much more difficult for us to achieve our objectives," says Jerry Chapman, GTUA General Manager.
GTUA is no stranger to taking advantage of the benefits of TWDB funds. The authority has secured funding on behalf of many communities for water treatment, pipeline and wastewater collection projects, to name a few. As a result, it's become TWDB's largest customer in terms of number of loans issued.
The additional water supply from Lake Texoma will go toward residential use, to cool a new power plant in Sherman and for other industries that need raw or treated water.
Chapman says, "With the new capacity, our long-term surface water supplies are more secure."
TWDB's weekly drought reports
Our state's ongoing drought tops the list of issues many communities face. With that in mind, there are several ways we provide drought updates each week. Our legislative drought report covers a variety of statistics and reservoir levels. Robert's Rules of Water, authored by Deputy Executive Administrator Dr. Robert Mace and posted on our Facebook page, provides a quick look at the national drought monitor report. Check these features weekly for current and predicted drought conditions that affect your part of Texas.