Existing Surface Water Supplies
Existing Ground Water Supplies
Comparison of Existing Supply and Projected Demand
Additional Supply from Water Conservation
Potential Surface Water Projects
Potential Ground Water Resources
Water and Wastewater Treatment Needs
Water Quality & Environmental Issues
Other Water Related Issues
Information Management and Public Participation
Water Supply Development Recommendations
13.2 Environmental Recommendations
13.3Information Management, Economic Development, and Public Participation
13.4 Water and Wastewater Treatment Recommendations
Water Supply Development Recommendations
Evaluations of the water supply resources within the Sabine
Basin indicate the need to develop additional supplies in the Upper Basin
for future growth. Presently, there is only a very small amount of supply
available in the Upper Basin from existing permits, other than the supply
in Panola County (Lake Murvaul). Utilizing the portion of the water contracted
to Dallas that must remain in the Sabine Basin, existing supplies can
most likely meet the future needs of the Upper Basin until the year 2010.
After 2010, a significant increase in water requirements is projected
due to manufacturing, mining and power development.
These three industries play an important role in the economy
of the Basin. However, it is uncertain whether the growth and water demands
will increase at the projected rates. The largest manufacturing industry
in the Basin, Eastman Chemical, has indicated that they have no plans
for large expansions in the near future. Also, they are currently using
less water than the supply they have available through their contracts
and water rights. Steam electric power stations are the primary users
of water associated with power in the Upper Basin. With deregulation,
there is some uncertainty regarding the direction of power development
in the Basin. There is, however, a new steam electric facility planned
in the Upper Basin in the near future. Tenaska has plans to build a power
generating facility in Rusk County. Tenaska has already signed a contract
with SRA to purchase Toledo Bend water for use at this facility. SRA,
is currently building a pipeline to transport water to this facility in
Rusk County. Another uncertainty in water use projections area is the
fact that electric companies are currently pursuing options that utilize
less water per kilowatt generated (e.g., combined cycle generation). The
growth in mining is generally dependent on the local economy and building
industries. Lignite mining in the Basin is associated with operating steam
electric power stations. If alternate power sources are used, water use
for lignite mining will not increase as predicted. Based on this uncertainty
in the projected future water requirements in the Upper Basin, it is recommended
that additional water supply be developed in stages. A staged plan will
allow for adjustments to changing needs and avoid unnecessary commitments
of financial resources to a single project.
The potential sources for future water supply include new
surface water reservoirs, diversions from the Sabine River, a transmission
pipeline from Toledo Bend Reservoir, importation from outside the Basin,
and some limited new ground water resources. Additional importation from
the Cypress Basin is currently not a viable option since the supply available
from Lake O’ the Pines Reservoir will most likely be retained for in-Basin
use. If new reservoirs are developed in the adjacent Basins, then importation
may become more feasible.
Ground water currently provides approximately three percent
of the Basin’s total water supply. Water availability analyses indicates
there is approximately an additional 16,000 acre-feet per year of ground
water supply in the Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer and smaller amounts in the
other aquifers that could be used for Upper Basin demands. It is unlikely
that much of this amount will be developed due to the limitations of the
aquifer and the location, amount and concentrations of the future demands.
The aquifer is unable to support the large, concentrated future demands
of manufacturing, mining and steam electric water uses. Also, based on
the experiences of a number of entities in the Upper Basin, future plans
should include alternatives to provide water supply if and when well fields
The most viable surface water project is a staged development
of Prairie Creek Reservoir. This reservoir site was selected based on
its location, cost analysis and assessment of developmental concerns.
Prairie Creek is centrally located in the Upper Basin, and its firm yield
should provide approximately enough supply to meet projected 2023 demands.
When the yield of Prairie Creek Reservoir is fully used, there are two
options for further supply. One option is diverting water from the Sabine
River near Prairie Creek to supplement the yield of Prairie Creek Reservoir.
This option would only increase the yield about 50 percent to about 30,000
AF/Y. This option would only be used if it was fairly certain the large
future demands would not develop. The other option would be to build a
pipeline from Toledo Bend Reservoir to Prairie Creek Reservoir. As needs
increase and larger demands develop, approaching the limit of the Prairie
Creek supply, this pipeline should be constructed. This pipeline/reservoir
system would be able to provide for all the projected additional demands
in the Upper Basin through 2050 as shown on Figure 13.1. This option has
become particularly attractive in recent months since SRA is now building
a pipeline along the approximate route of this pipeline about half way
to Prairie Creek Reservoir, to serve an industrial customer. This represents
a substantial cost savings to SRA for a future extension of this pipeline
route to Prairie Creek Reservoir. It would decrease the cost of this option
even below the amount presented in this report.
13.1: Recommended Water Resource Development
Based on the considerations discussed above, a summary of
the recommended water resource development program is presented below.
SRA should continue to pursue negotiations with the
City of Dallas to allow for selling the water in Dallas’s contract
that must remain in the Sabine Basin.
SRA should begin the process of permitting Prairie
Creek Reservoir. A new reservoir typically takes 10 to 15 years to
permit and construct. Therefore, if Prairie Creek Reservoir is planned
to meet the needs in the Upper Basin by 2010, the permitting process
should be started by year 2000. SRA should try to get Prairie Creek
added into the Texas Water Plan though the Senate Bill 1 regional
planning process. Should significant obstacles arise to the development
of Prairie Creek Reservoir, SRA should pursue the development of the
State Highway 322 Stage II reservoir. SRA should talk to TXU Electric
regarding their plans for the mining operations at the reservoir site.
Prior to year 2010, SRA should re-evaluate the water
use demand projections (the Senate Bill One projections that are accepted
) to assess changes in growth and future needs.
SRA should review the results of the Water Availability
Model (WAM) of the Sabine River when completed by TNRCC
. This model
will indicate if there is additional supply available from the Sabine
River for future diversions or insufficient water for existing contracts.
Based on the results of the re-evaluated demand projections
and the WAM, SRA should evaluate the need, timing, and sizing of a
transmission pipeline from Toledo Bend Reservoir with terminal storage
at Prairie Creek. SRA should pursue the design, permitting and construction
of the pipeline several years prior to the expected shortage.
SRA should pursue discussions with various customers
regarding reducing their contracted amount if they are not intending
to use that water for future use. If a portion of the entity's water
contract is released, it could be used for water supply needs elsewhere
in the Basin.
SRA should initiate discussions with Wood County regarding
the possibility of converting the Wood County Lakes to water supply.
There is a potential 20,000 acre-feet per year of firm yield from
these four lakes. However, this would impact the current recreational
value of these reservoirs.
SRA should encourage the Cities of Kilgore and Canton
to work with the TWDB
regarding the possibility of implementing ASR
at their existing well fields to better utilize the surface water
supplies during drought and high demand periods.
SRA should review its current contracting procedures
to determine if modifications would result in more accurate allocations
of firm yield to its customers. Currently, there are a number of large
water contracts in the Upper Basin that are not being fully utilized.
SRA should conduct volumetric surveys of their existing
reservoirs to verify sedimentation rates. If the sedimentation rates
are significantly different from those used in this plan, SRA should
re-evaluate the firm yields of the affected reservoirs. The projected
firm yield of Lake Tawakoni and Lake Fork in the year 2050 is approximately
18,100 acre-feet per year less than the current contracted amounts.
This amount is not reflected in the total 93,000 acre-feet per year
of projected water needs in the Upper Basin.
Other recommendations from this comprehensive report include
SRA should continue evaluating potential environmental
mitigation areas for future water development projects. This will
enable SRA to pursue surface water projects that require mitigation
Due to the uncertainty surrounding the current Bottomland
Hardwoods status in the Sabine Basin and their importance to reservoir
development, we recommend that an updated statewide study of Bottomland
Hardwoods be conducted. In addition, new studies on flood plain and
wildlife within the Sabine Basin should be conducted. SRA should request
that the TWDB
, and/or the Texas Park and Wildlife Department
conduct such studies.
SRA should continue their current water quality monitoring
program to assess water quality in the Basin. We recommend that SRA
expand the special studies program to include more high flow or storm
sampling studies for non-point source documentation, and SRA should
pursue working with the TNRCC
to develop regional tolerance values
for bioassessment data.
Train entities within the Sabine Basin that collect
water quality data in approved data collection and analysis methods
so that this information can be used in the Clean Rivers Program and
SRA’s Information System and GIS database.
Use GIS and other data analysis methods to continue
monitoring for water quality problems that may be related to wastewater
treatment effluent and septic systems, non-point sources, oil and
brine spills, construction activities, and specific anthropogenic
Management, Economic Development, and Public Participation Recommendations
Specific details on how to improve Sabine River Authority’s
Information Management System, Economic Development Program and Public
Participation Program have been provided to the SRA in separate technical
memoranda. The general guidelines are below.
Continue to evaluate more efficient means of handling
data. This should incorporate software that permits data filtering
Improve the information system for collection, storage,
retrieval and analysis of watershed planning and environmental data
for SRA use, compliance with regulations and dissemination to the
Develop a standardized and accessible record control
system for SRA documents; expediting document location, preventing
storage of multiple document versions, and facilitating migration
to an electronic document management system.
Improve the communications process between SRA divisions,
and tie these locations into the SRA data system.
Create automated tools to analyze Sabine River watershed
data for watershed operations and planning.
Maintain its Internet World Wide Web site to communicate
with federal, state, and local agencies, institutions, and SRA field
offices and to inform and educate the public.
SRA should implement an economic development program
for traditional economic development utilizing local, regional, and
state resources throughout the Sabine Basin. Further, this effort
should be expanded to include eco-tourism to fully take advantage
of the wealth of natural resources in the Basin. Define goals that
focus on specific issues of importance to the Sabine Basin.
Implement a "Partners in Water Resource Management"
program. This program identifies specific water quality or water supply
conditions and client or interest groups that impact or are impacted
by these conditions. It then enlists these entities in working with
SRA to find and implement responses.
Continue existing public information and education
Develop policies and internal communications with
regard to public notice via the SRA website and/or newsletter. These
policies should establish guidelines for types of information that
can be made available to the public, who is authorized to release
information and how to notify the webmaster or newsletter editor
of this information.
and Wastewater Treatment Recommendations
Recommendations regarding the assessment of water
and wastewater treatment needs throughout the Basin are below.
- SRA should provide a technical assistance program to support water
and wastewater providers in the Basin with information such as EPA
and TNRCC regulations. Provide recommendations on treatment options
to help small water supply entities comply with regulations. Host
and/or facilitate any available TWDB and TNRCC seminars or workshops
regarding water or wastewater treatment. Facilitate the TNRCC plant
optimization program within the Basin. If necessary, hire local consultants
on an as needed basis to help with this technical assistance program.
- SRA should host and/or facilitate TWDB drought management and contingency
planning seminars to assist all of the water suppliers in the region
with their plans.
- SRA should further study the opportunity of implementing regional
water and wastewater treatment facilities particularly in the Lower