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North Texas Prepares To Meet Water Demands Ahead Of Population Growth

The population served by the North Texas Municipal Water District is expected to double by 2050
Bois d’Arc Lake’s FM 897 Boat Ramp. Photo: Bois d’Arc Lake | Website

According to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, 2022 was the 11th driest year in the past 128 years, with a drought that started as early as mid-April in some areas in North Texas and lasted until late August. 

While the situation wasn’t as dire as the drought of 2000, when the Dallas-Fort Worth area went without rain for 84 days straight, or the seven-year drought of the 1950s, conditions were severe enough to leave some communities running out of water. On top of that, North Texas’ increasing population growth has experts worried the water supply system might not be sufficient as it is. 

According to the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD), the system serves 2 million people throughout 80 communities in 10 counties, but the region’s population is expected to double in size by 2050.

"As they say, no one is bringing water with them, so our efforts are in conservation and reuse and trying to stretch our existing supplies as much as possible," assistant deputy of water resources at NTMWD Galen Roberts told WFAA.

While not the only source of water, Lavon Lake, located in Collin County near Wylie, is the oldest reservoir constructed to serve NTMWD and the largest water source for the area today. But with the flow of newcomers that could change in the near future. 

That’s the reason construction for Bois D’Arc Lake, the state’s first major reservoir in 30 years, began in Fannin County in 2018. 

The new reservoir was completed in October 2022 and is comprised of 16,000 surface acres of water stretching for 15 miles, according to WFAA. “Bois D'Arc Lake is about 77% full as of today. Leonard water treatment is online and treating water from Bois D'Arc Lake and putting it into the system," said Roberts. 

The lake was built to serve as a water source for communities primarily in Collin, Kaufman, Hunt and Dallas counties, and the NTMWD expects it will eventually provide 120,000 acre-feet of water per year to residents in North Texas.

The NTMWD is not the only agency worried about meeting water demand in North Texas. In Tarrant County, one of the areas that suffered last year’s drought the most, The Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD), has plans to create a new wetland area at Cedar Creek.

As reported by Community Impact, the Cedar Creek Wetland is a multi-million-dollar, 3,000-acre project that will start construction in 2025 and is expected to produce 80 million gallons of water a day, enough to serve an additional 560,000 people by 2032.