West Texas Water Partnership Water Management Strategies

CLIENT: West Texas Water Partnership
LOCATION: Abilene, Midland and San Angelo, TX

The cities of Abilene, Midland and San Angelo formed the West Texas Water Partnership (WTWP) in 2010 to evaluate cooperative water management strategies to address future water supply needs. eHT serves as the lead engineering consultant for the WTWP.

eHT staff worked with the City water utility directors and identified 12 candidate strategies to meet long-term water supply needs. Strategies included cooperative use of existing water supplies; cooperative use of identified future water supplies; development of future water supply sources that result in the availability of other (existing and future) supplies for cooperative use; and future water supplies not included in current regional planning efforts.

Initial screening of candidate strategies focused on identifying ‘fatal flaws” that would prohibit the candidate strategy from further consideration. For each identified candidate strategy passing the “fatal flaw” screening, eHT provided estimates of water volumes that could be developed under the strategy; evaluated the opportunities to reciprocate water deliveries between the cities under varying demand conditions; developed general engineering concepts required to implement the strategy; provided a reconnaissance-level development cost estimate; and provided an estimated range of the cost to users in dollars per thousand gallons.

From the initial screening, eHT conducted a planning level analysis for selected strategies to provide a description of required facilities to implement the strategy. The technical evaluation included interregional coordination, potential infrastructure needs including preliminary pipeline routes, and planning level development cost estimates, including estimated costs to users in dollars per thousand gallons. General engineering details were also provided for each evaluated strategy as a basis for future detailed engineering studies. Each strategy was also reviewed for potential limiting factors (eg. Interbasin water transfer, subordination, groundwater conservation districts, water quality, non-renewable source, reliability, environmental and water rights permitting, etc.). Potential limiting factors, along with possible mitigation measures, were addressed for each strategy.

Efforts of the WTWP resulted in signing of a groundwater supply contract in May 2020, for up to 28,400 acre-feet per year. Groundwater from Pecos County will provide the Partnership cities with an additional water supply to meet demands of each city through 2070 and beyond.  eHT is now leading the preliminary design efforts for developing and implementing the Pecos groundwater supply.  Current work efforts include the development of transmission pipeline routes including acquisition of rights-of-way, and planning for the coordinated use of this groundwater supply with surface water from OH Ivie reservoir, a strategic water resource for all three cities.  It is anticipated that the Pecos groundwater system will be operational in the late 2020’s.