Athens Review, Athens, Texas

November 16, 2013

Integrated Pipeline Project

Expert tells the future of partnership between water organizations to help areas

Kathi Nailling
The Athens Review

Athens — The Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce hosted 99 people at its November monthly luncheon. The majority of those who were in attendance to hear about the Integrated Pipeline Project. A partnership between Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) and Dallas Water Utilities (DWU) to operate a pipeline that will link Lake Palestine, Richland-Chamber Reservoir and Cedar Creek Lake Reservoir.

Kathy Barek, ITL Program Business Director with TRWD Integrated Pipeline (IPL) program, was on-hand to  address the demand for additional water supplies.  TRWD and DWU have partnered to design, build and operate a raw-water infrastructure to tap into existing sources.

Barek said, “By sharing resources, the Integrated Pipeline Project (IPL) will save an estimated $500 million in capital expenses, and potentially $1 billion in energy savings over the life of the project.”

The pipeline will be jointly-operated by TRWD and DWU.

The project is estimated to cost $1.6 billion. The pipeline will  transport raw water to source lakes for both utility companies. The project is expected to provide flexibility in transporting water from the reservoirs to major urban areas.

The pipeline is estimated to be 150 miles from Lake Palestine to Lake Benbrook. The intent is to have six pump stations with three located at Lake Palestine, Cedar Creek Reservoir and Richland-Chambers Reservoir.

Barek said the mission TRWD has for the pipeline is to provide raw water supply to levee and flood control, recreation and economic development. When completed, the pipeline will service TRWD customers located in Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield and the Trinity River Authority, which includes the Cedar Creek Lake area. TRWD provides water for 70 cities in 11 counties.

According to the information Barek provided, DWU expects to provide 25 cities with superior water and wastewater treatment. DWU has a 699 square-mile service area.

Barek said TRWD is currently permitted to supply 523 million gallons of water per day.  They are projecting that by 2060, that number will be as high as 879 millions gallons of water per day. The population in Texas is expected to increase from 24 million in 2011 to 46 million by 2060. Dallas/Fort Worth expects to increase population from 6.6 million in 2011 to 13.1 million in 2060. Barek said this is the need for additional water sharing. TRWD and DWU have participated in water-conservation programs over the last decade. TRWD said it has saved 70 billion gallons of water, while DWU has saved 200 billion gallons.

The two utility companies have been in the planning and design phases  of the pipeline for the past three years. The project is expected to take 20 years to complete. The first pump station will be open at Cedar Creek Lake between 2017-2018.

According to Barek, expectation of additional droughts and the drought of the 1950s helped drive the decision for the IPL.

Robert Mace, Texas Water Development Board Executive Administrator, said, “Losses from 1950 to 1957 were estimated at $22 billion in 2011 dollars. The pipeline is expected to provide drought protection for 5 million people and accommodate growth of up to 1.6 million customers.