FRASER ANNOUNCES ABILENE WATER AGREEMENT
Abilene -- State Senator Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) announced on Thursday that the City of Abilene, the West Central Texas Municipal Water District and the Brazos River Authority have entered into an agreement that enhances the current water rights and preserves future water supply options for the City of Abilene and the District.
"This is a historic announcement for the citizens of Abilene and the Big Country," Fraser said. "Everyone in West Texas understands that the one common thread that holds communities together is an adequate and reliable water source. We believe this agreement ensures the future water supply for Abilene and nearby cities for the next 50 years."
Under the agreement, the City of Abilene will receive an additional 20,000 acre-feet of water annually at no additional cost to the city or district from the Brazos River Authority. Additionally, BRA agrees to support the city's pursuit of a new reservoir as well as other additional water projects.
"I am extremely pleased to join in this announcement today," said Abilene Mayor Norm Archibald. "Senator Fraser brought all the parties together to work out the best deal for this area and we are thankful for the Senator's leadership on this issue. This is a huge victory for the people living in the City of Abilene and the Big Country."
The City and District both became concerned about reserving future water rights for the upper end of the basin as BRA expanded the amount of water they can permit. In November of 2004, Fraser hosted a meeting with all the parties to iron out differences so that everyone's water needs could be adequately addressed. "Abilene asked for assurances to protect future water supplies and that is what this agreement does," Fraser said.
Key points of the agreement include:
- All parties have agreed to a plan for distribution of existing surface water supplies and how they will interact during drought.
- The parties have agreed on a water strategy for several new supply projects that compliment each other instead of competing with each other. These key projects include permits for an additional diversion of water from the Clear Fork of the Brazos, a permit to reuse treated effluent from the City, a possible permit in the future for the Cedar Ridge Reservoir project, and the Authority's pending System Management Permit.
- The agreement allows each entity sufficient time to secure the necessary permits for these projects. While permits are being secured, the agreement reserves water from the BRA System, insuring water for the West Texas region.
"The potential of having a new reservoir as well as the ability to pursue other additional water projects will ensure water for Abilene for future generations," Fraser said. "I know Abilene is committed to making more water available so that they may continue to meet the needs of a growing population."
The agreement represents the best efforts of the City of Abilene, the District and the Brazos River Authority, working cooperatively, to honor water rights while meeting the future water needs of their citizens and customers in the most reliable, cost-efficient manner possible.
About Brazos River Authority
The Brazos River Authority's 42,000 square-mile territory includes all or part of 70 counties; extending from the Texas-New Mexico border west of Lubbock to the Gulf of Mexico near Freeport. The Authority built, owns, and operates four reservoirs (Lakes Possum Kingdom, Granbury, Limestone and Alan Henry).
About West Central Texas Municipal Water District
The West Central Texas Municipal Water District currently provides water to four cities including Abilene, Albany, Anson and Breckenridge. The District relies on water resources from the Hubbard Creek Reservoir, Lake Fort Phantom Hill, the Ivie Reservoir and several smaller reservoir projects.