WF Working on Long Range Water Source Solutions

- Wichita Falls will soon have a better idea of what the next major water project could be, as city officials make sure every drop counts. The city has been chasing down many water source options for a few years, but they are now trying to get them all laid out in a strategic plan so they know what project should be the priority.

Wichita Falls is working with Freese & Nichols to map out a long-term plan for additional water supplies.

“We've been getting bombarded with a lot of other ideas about other supplies, whether it be additional surface water from outside our region or developing groundwater from outside our region. We just need to get all that, and we've got some data on that, we just need to get all those ideas and compile them into one finished report,” says WF's Public Works Director Russell Schreiber.

Potential new sources of water ideas include Lake Texoma, the Wichita River, Holliday Creek, or other sources of groundwater in the region. During the process of researching other sources, the process of research into building the new Lake Ringgold reservoirs will continue.

“Do we budget money to go ahead and start the permitting process for Ringgold, should we or should we not or would we be better off not permitting Ringgold and try to develop water from another source,” says Schreiber.

The Ringgold project is still in the early stages, with the Tarrant Regional Water District studying whether to become a partner.

“They're obviously assessing the project as a reliable source for them, this new drought could say you know what? There's not enough water there for us to invests that kind of money. They're doing that assessment now,” says Schreiber.

In four months, when the long term study is wrapped up, the city and the Tarrant County Water District will have a better idea of whether to continue with Lake Ringgold, or move to other options.

The city hopes to have a decision by October when they start budgeting for water projects next year.

The long term study will also take the emergency and permanent water reuse projects into account. The second round of test results for the emergency project are set to be mailed to the TCEQ Wednesday night for final review.

If approved, Wichita Falls water users could be drinking reuse water in early July.

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