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Water Resources

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General water information

• Population: 100,215
• Water connections: 35,321
• Water demand by customer category: 
    Residential - 70% 
    Commercial - 15% 
    Industrial - 4% 
    Institutional - 11%

Water demand

Annual daily average: 12.5 million gallons
Summer peak: 24 million gallons per day
Winter daily average: 10 million gallons per day
Average annual usage: 13,441 acre-feet. An acre-foot equals 325,851 gallons. 

Water supplies 

Current water supplies are surface water (reservoirs and lakes) and the required minimum daily groundwater production from the Hickory Aquifer (approximately 1.5 million gallons per day). As of July 1, San Angelo had 68 months of water supply. That is a worst-case scenario that assumes no rainfall and no runoff into reservoirs over that span.

Primary sources

O.H. Ivie Reservoir 
• Owned and operated by the Colorado River Municipal Water District
• Purpose: Water supply
• Supplies: Odessa, Big Spring, Snyder, Midland, Abilene, San Angelo, Ballinger and Millersview-Doole 
• Storage capacity: 554,339 acre-feet. An acre-foot equals 325,851 gallons. 
• Capacity filled: 69% July 1, 2020 
 
Twin Buttes Reservoir

• Owned by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Managed under contract by the City of San Angelo.     
• Purpose: Water supply, irrigation and flood control
• Supplies: City of San Angelo, Tom Green County and Water Control Improvement District No. 1
• Storage capacity: 186,244 acre-feet. An acre-foot equals 325,851 gallons. 
• Capacity filled: 65% as of July 1, 2020
 
Lake Nasworthy 
• Owned and operated by the City of San Angelo
• Purpose: Water supply
• Supplies: City of San Angelo
• Storage capacity: 12,500 acre-feet. An acre-foot equals 325,851 gallons. 
• Capacity filled: 87% as of July 1, 2020

O.C. Fisher Reservoir
• Owned and operated by the Upper Colorado River Authority
• Purpose: Water supply and flood control
• Supplies: City of San Angelo and UCRA
• Storage capacity: 119,000 acre-feet. An acre-foot equals 325,851 gallons. 
• Capacity filled: 8% as of July 1, 2020
 
Lake Spence  
• Owned and operated by the Colorado River Municipal Water District
• Purpose: Water supply
• Supplies: Odessa, Big Spring, Snyder, Midland and San Angelo
• Storage Capacity: 488,000 acre-feet. An acre-foot equals 325,851 gallons. 
• Capacity filled: 25% as of July 1, 2020

Newer and future water supplies 

Drought levels

Stages are based on available supply from all surface water sources:
• Standard conservation: more than 2 years supply 
• Drought Level 1: less than 2 years supply 
• Drought Level 2: 18 months or less 
• Drought Level 3: 12 months or less

With approximately 68 months of supply as of July 1, the City is in standard conservation, which restricts outside watering to twice every seven days at no more than 1 inch per week. Watering is prohibited between noon and 6 P.M, and runoff of more than 150 feet down any street, gutter, alley or ditch is also prohibited.

Report watering violations by clicking on this link or calling 325-657-4409. For more information, go to cosatx.us/water. Do your part; be water smart! 

City IDs, pursues next water supply

The City of San Angelo has identified the leading option for its next water supply and taken the first step toward its development.

The Concho River Water Project is a move to extend San Angelo’s sources beyond its lakes and the Hickory Aquifer. It will do so by adding a reliable and sustainable source that will help meet water needs for decades to come.

The project involves releasing highly treated water from the City’s wastewater treatment plant into the Concho River. After it has flowed down that “natural pipeline,” the water will be recouped farther downstream. From there, it will be piped to the water treatment plant, where it will be treated to drinking standards.

“This is water San Angelo already has,” said attorney Jason Hill, the City’s special counsel for water. “We’re just able to make better use of it. It’s a win-win for the community.”

On Sept. 18, the City Council unanimously agreed to pursue state permits that will ensure the water is treated to adequately high standards before its release into the river.

Prior to recommending the Concho River project, engineers and City staff studied 24 possible water supplies. Those included surface water, groundwater and direct reuse. The experts and City officials concluded the Concho River Water Project is a reliable and cost-effective source, will produce water with an improved taste, can be developed relatively quickly, and utilizes proven science. Cities have long released their treated wastewater downstream into streams, rivers and lakes. Treated wastewater from Ballinger, Robert Lee and Winters, for instance, flows into San Angelo’s primary water source, Ivie Reservoir.

“We are releasing it into the Concho so we have what we call an environmental buffer,” said Scott Hibbs, principal water resource engineer with eHT, an Abilene engineering firm. “So we’re letting Mother Nature take care of some of the treatment aspects.”

Securing state permits could take as little as two to three years. Completing the entire project could take about five years and will cost about $120 million dollars. That includes upgrades to the water and wastewater treatment plants. Those improvements would be needed regardless of which new water source was chosen.

When completed, the Concho River Water Project will produce about 7.5 million gallons per day. By comparison, the Hickory Aquifer is currently capable of producing 8 million gallons per day, although that is being expanded to 12 million gallons. San Angelo averages about 12 million gallons of daily usage.

Work continues by the West Texas Water Partnership to develop a long-term source that can serve San Angelo, Abilene and Midland. The Concho River Water Project will help meet local water demands for about the next 50 years.

“This takes San Angelo a long ways down the road of water security,” Hill said. “And when I say a long ways, I’m talking generationally … 2060, 2070.”

The project will also diversify San Angelo’s portfolio of water sources. Because the City will not be dependent upon any one source of water, San Angelo will be better able to weather times of drought.

May 12, 2020 - West Texas Water Partnership secures long-term source

 

What began a decade ago as a collaborative effort by the cities of Abilene, Midland and San Angelo to address long-term water needs culminated today with the signing of a multi-generational groundwater supply contract. 

The cities negotiated a 50-year agreement with Fort Stockton Holdings, the owner of substantial groundwater rights in far West Texas, for groundwater pumped from the Edwards-Trinity aquifer.

The aquifer is recognized as one of the most prolific sources of groundwater in Texas, giving the cities access to a supply that is capable of withstanding substantial droughts.

When the three cities started the West Texas Water Partnership (WTWP), there were high hopes that great things could come from the alliance. The charge from the beginning was to turn every stone, take every call and listen to every idea presented to the group that could bridge each city’s individual water supply deficits and provide multi-generational water security for the West Texas region.

"This is a historic and proud day for Abilene, Texas,” Abilene Mayor Anthony Williams said. “Water security has always been a priority for us, as seen with former Mayor Norm Archibald's effort to partner with our neighbors of Midland and San Angelo in the West Texas Water Partnership. Today we have the opportunity to see years of work come to fruition in an agreement that will provide water security for West Texas for generations to come. I am proud to be part of a team that has worked together to provide for our communities in this monumental way."  

“As a city council and mayor, we are excited to be able to invest in this partnership for the long term, critical water needs of our city,” Midland Mayor Patrick Payton said. “The future of our great city is even more promising because of the ability to secure water for growth and opportunity. We are thankful for the hard work, critical and effective negotiations and ultimate conclusion of this stage in the process of water security.”

“In the 1970s, our City leaders worked to secure additional water supply from the Hickory aquifer for the next generations,” San Angelo Mayor Brenda Gunter said. “That’s exactly what we’re doing now with this additional source of water. We are ensuring that there will be a reliable water supply for generations to come.”

The WTWP has considered many options over the past decade and, as a result of the group’s hard work, diligence and patience, they have found in Fort Stockton Holdings a supply of water that meets the fundamental criteria: affordability, quantity, quality, sustainability and reliability.

The Fort Stockton Holdings supply is for 28,400 acre-foot per year. This amount is permitted for export in the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District. The annual volume is being split in a manner that addresses each city’s needs:

  • Midland: 15,000 acre-foot per year
  • Abilene: 8,400 acre-foot per year
  • San Angelo: 5,000 acre-foot per year

 

For more information visit cosatx.us/WTWP.