Wichita Falls in Process of Building Lake Ringgold Development Plan

Despite the chances of frozen precipitation coming our way, Lake Kemp and Lake Arrowhead would need a lot more liquid precipitation to get back to normal levels.

Lake levels are now a little under 30 percent.

And to avoid this situation in the future Wichita Fall's City officials are looking into adding an extra reservoir, so if another drought cycles through, Wichita Falls' water customers will be in better shape.

Wichita Falls Public Works Director Russell Schreiber says the city is wanting to move forward with building the extra lake but they're still in the process of figuring out how to develop it.

After decades of study, Schreiber says building Lake Ringgold is now a feasible option for becoming a third reservoir to pull our potable water supply from, but more research is needed on the actual land.

“We don't know what's out there, there is always a slight possibility that you run across something that you can't mitigate for and there for you can't impound the water,” says Schreiber.

Not knowing what's out there means many agencies will need to further investigate the land before the state will issue a building permit.

“Extensive environmental mitigation work, extensive archeological investigation, extensive coordination with the cor of engineers, the historical commission, Texas parks and wildlife all of those agencies require review and approval,” says Schreiber.

And in addition to those studies Wichita Falls needs to find a partner to go in on a joint use agreement.

To help carry the cost, they are currently working with the Tarrant Regional Water District, trying to work out a 80/ 20 deal...Meaning Wichita Falls would own 20% of the water.

The city of Wichita Falls owns about 65 hundreds acres of land northeast of Henrietta but to build Lake Ringgold they need about 18 thousand more acres.

Acquiring that much land is expected to cost around 50 million dollars, a price tag Schreiber says is worth it if Lake Ringgold can get Wichita Falls and it's water users through another drought.

“If we get another 2011 ten years from now, having an additional reservoir obviously helps us through the next drought,” says Schreiber.

Building Lake Ringgold is expected to take 15-20 years and cost a little over 300 million dollars.

At this point it is unclear when the city could move forward, they are waiting to start the permitting process till they secure a partnership for the project. 



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