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Tom 030810 Setawwa


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Tom 030810 Setawwa

  1. 1. Challenges Facing  Challenges Facing The North Harris  County Regional  County Regional Water Authority Presented to  Southeast Chapter of Texas AWWA  March 8, 2010
  2. 2. What is the NHCRWA? (the  Authority )               (the “Authority”) • Created in 1999 by HB 2965 to manage the conversion to surface manage the conversion to surface water for 160 utility districts with 450+ regulated groundwater wells  450+ regulated groundwater wells • 350 square miles, approximately 350 square miles, approximately 475,000 residents
  4. 4. Challenges facing NHCRWA? (the  Authority )               (the “Authority”) • Secure a Source of Surface Water Secure a Source of Surface Water • Develop a Groundwater Reduction   Plan ( GRP ) Plan (“GRP”) • Groundwater Transfer Program • Provide the Infrastructure Provide the Infrastructure • Implementation • Pay for the System Pay for the System • Communication • 2020 System 2020 System 
  5. 5. What WATER supply options did the  Authority consider ? y Remote Groundwater Remote Groundwater River Authorities & Water Rights Resources City of Houston Cost Effective & Fair
  6. 6. Secure a Source of  Challenges facing NHCRWA? Surface Water Surface Water (the  Authority )               (the “Authority”) • In December 2003 entered into a In December 2003 entered into a  long term contract  with the City    of Houston to provide treated    of Houston to provide treated surface water • Purchased 31 MGD of treatment Purchased 31 MGD of treatment  plant and transmission line  capacity  capacity • Pay proportionate share of raw  water facilities remaining debt water facilities remaining debt
  7. 7. Secure a Source of  Challenges facing NHCRWA? Surface Water Surface Water (the  Authority )               (the “Authority”) • Pay portion of O&M for treatment    facilities, raw water facilities and   facilities raw water facilities and transmission line  • Provides mechanism for Provides mechanism for  purchasing additional capacity  • In January 2009 effectively In January 2009 effectively  exercised that option by entering    into a supplement to the original into a supplement to the original contract to construct the Luce Bayou Interbasin Transfer Project Bayou Interbasin Transfer Project
  8. 8. Secure a Source of  Challenges facing NHCRWA? Surface Water Surface Water (the  Authority )               (the “Authority”) • Anticipate further supplements to  the original contract to provide for   additional treatment capacity and  transmission line capacity
  9. 9. Develop GRP • Detailed how the Authority          would meet the Houston‐ Galveston Subsidence District  (“HGSD”) conversion mandates ‐ 30% conversion in 2010 ‐ 70% conversion in 2020 ‐ 80% conversion in 2030 •CCompliance philosophy li hil h ‐ Impractical to deliver surface water to all districts water to all districts ‐ Address known areas of water quality and quantity issues
  10. 10. Develop GRP • Compliance philosophy (cont.) ‐ Serve a core compact area Serve a core, compact area,    some 48 districts, in 2010 ‐ Phase in additional districts in 2020 and 2030 2020 d 2030 ‐ Build a technically sound, practical and economical  practical and economical system to meet HGSD  requirements ‐ I l Implement a fair pricing policy   f i i i li to pay for the system • Authority’s GRP certified by Authority s GRP certified by HGSD – 6/11/03
  11. 11. Authority’s GRP called for its  system to be built in phases  and would  consist of: • Approximately 38 miles  of transmission line • Approximately 126 miles  of distribution line • 3 Pump Stations • 4 Regional Water Plants • 32 Regional Wells • Estimated $1 billion program
  12. 12. Groundwater Transfer  Program • In developing the GRP it became  p g clear that some districts had water  quality/quantity problems,  declining water levels in their  declining water levels in their well(s), aging infrastructure and/or  g growth issues which had to be  addressed before 2010 THE SOLUTION… THE SOLUTION The Groundwater Transfer Plan The “GTP” Th “GTP”
  13. 13. Q: What is the Groundwater Transfer Program • Districts with excess capacity sold  water to Authority water to Authority • Districts that needed water  bought water from Authority bought water from Authority • Authority made up supply deficits using its wells using its wells • System to convey the water  consisted of components of  the  consisted of components of the Authority’s proposed 2010  Distribution System Distribution System
  14. 14. Benefits of the GTP • Addressed immediate and short‐term  needs • Maximized investment in existing  district infrastructure • Minimized investment in new   district infrastructure which would  have less than optimal usage • Minimized number of new wells • Primary system components  consistent with ultimate Authority  system
  15. 15. GTP in Operation… • GTP began operating in January 2006 J 2006 • Three separate GTP systems • 25 di i 25 districts participated in the  i i di h GTP  • D li Delivered an average of  d f approximately 4.35 MGD to Buyer districts during 2009 B di i d i 2009
  16. 16. Provide the Infrastructure • Line Alignment  • Design Criteria D i C it i • Real Estate Acquisition • Constituent Friendly Design C tit t F i dl D i • Schedule • Regulatory Agency Issues R l t A I • Mid Course Adjustment
  17. 17. Line Alignment • Traditional approach unacceptable  • Alignment preference
  18. 18. Alignment Preference • Authority purchased easement • HCFCD easement HCFCD • Neighborhood streets • Thoroughfare street ROW  Th hf ROW behind curb • Th Thoroughfare street ROW  hf ROW in median • Th Thoroughfare street ROW under hf ROW d pavement
  19. 19. Line Alignment • Traditional approach unacceptable  • Alignment preference • Alignment alternatives
  20. 20. Alignment Alternatives • Street ROW potential use must  p be approved in advance • Minimum of two alternatives  if street ROW use proposed • At least one alternative must not be in street ROW
  21. 21. Line Alignment • Traditional approach unacceptable  • Alignment preference Ali f • Alignment alternatives • Non‐traditional alternatives  N di i l l i utilized
  22. 22. Non‐ Non‐traditional Alternatives Utilized • Pi li Pipeline corridors id • CenterPoint corridors • HCFCD HCFCD corridors id
  23. 23. Line Alignment • Traditional approach unacceptable  • Alignment preference Ali f • Alignment alternatives • Non‐traditional alternatives  N di i l l i utilized • S l Selected alignments d li
  24. 24. Selected Alignments • Used preferred and   non‐traditional corridors • Mix of corridor types varied from project to project
  25. 25. Design Criteria • Harris County’s standard design  y g criteria didn’t address large  diameter water lines • In cooperation with Harris County  Public Infrastructure staff and  West Harris County Regional  y Water Authority’s consultant,  , developed design criteria for large  diameter water lines in County  y ROW and easements
  26. 26. Real Estate Acquisition • System installed in a rapidly  y p y changing area g • Used non‐standard “integrated  approach” due to the tight time  / g p schedule/alignment preferences • Utilized team consisting of very  p experienced land “men”,  , appraisers and attorneys
  27. 27. Real Estate Acquisition • Team worked in close consort  with design engineers – new for  g p both groups • Integrated real estate  g considerations into design  • Used condemnation only where  y necessary and as a last resort
  28. 28. Constituent‐ Constituent‐Friendly Design • Reroute if necessary where  practical • Tunnel to save large specimen  trees • Locate above ground structures  to minimize inconvenience to  to minimize inconvenience to development • Schedule construction to minimize Schedule construction to minimize  impact on schools, use of private  yards, wildlife and livestock  yards wildlife and livestock management, etc.
  29. 29. Schedule • Design began in mid 2003 • C Construction had to be initiated  i h d b i ii d by end of 2003 • H d Had to place Groundwater  l G d Transfer Program systems in  service in January 2006 i i J 2006 • Had to have Authority’s system  ready to provide surface water by  d id f b the last quarter of 2009 – less  than six years th i
  30. 30. Provide the Infrastructure • Line alignment  • Design Criteria • Real Estate Acquisition • Constituent friendly design • Schedule • Regulatory agency issues • Mid course adjustment
  31. 31. Provide the Infrastructure • Line alignment  Line alignment • Design Criteria • Real Estate Acquisition q • Constituent friendly design • Schedule • Regulatory agency issues Regulatory agency issues • Mid course adjustment
  32. 32. Mid Course Adjustment • In 2007 the Authority received  y updated population and water  p j demand projections  which  indicated a 21% increase in water  use in 2010  • In response to the projected  , increase in water use, the 2010  surface water conversion goal  increased from 23.9 to 29 million  gallons per day
  33. 33. Mid Course Adjustment • New demand projections for surface  water increased the number of  t i d th b f districts to be served from 48 to 60 • Increased size of the distribution Increased size of the distribution  system by approximately 24%  • Method of delivery to districts Method of delivery to districts  changed from direct connect to  delivery at the ground storage tank  delivery at the ground storage tank using an air gap 
  34. 34. 34
  35. 35. The 2010 system will enable the use of surface water by 60 f f b 60 public water systems,  and  consists of: • Approximately 72 miles of various Approximately 72 miles of various  type and size water line ranging in  size from 12 inch to 60 inch in diameter size from 12‐inch to 60‐inch in diameter • 1 Regional Pump Station • 1 Regional Water Plant • 3 Regional Wells
  36. 36. Implementation • The Authority advised converting The Authority advised converting  districts ‐ 60 in number ‐ that the   phase in of surface water delivery   phase‐in of surface water delivery would begin in the last quarter of  2009 • Districts had to convert to use of    chloramines disinfection in order to   use the surface water the Authority  would provide 
  37. 37. Implementation • Districts have had varying levels of  success in timely negotiating the  i ti l ti ti th regulatory requirements to use  chloramines disinfection, building  chloramines disinfection building their chloramination systems and  placing them in service placing them in service To Our Customers... We’re Changing Our Water Disinfection Method
  38. 38. Implementation • The delayed ability of districts to use  y y surface water, the physical location  and size of those districts that are  ready, and the need to provide  groundwater to GTP participants that  aren’t ready to receive surface water  has delayed  the conversion to  surface water  f
  39. 39. Implementation • The conversion has become more  challenging than originally envisioned  and ‐‐ despite the delay and resultant  complexity  of the conversion ‐‐ th l it f th i the  Authority remains optimistic and  committed to meeting the 30%  committed to meeting the 30% conversion goal set by the HGSD
  40. 40. Paying for the System • NHCRWA has no taxing authority • R i Raises funds through pumpage  f d h h fees and the sale of water • C Constituents urged Authority to i dA h i keep pumpage fees as low as possible…as long as possible ibl l ibl • Board of Directors commitment to equitable fee system i bl f
  41. 41. Paying for the System • Pumpage fee was initially set at  $0.12 in 2000, has increased seven  $0 12 in 2000 has increased seven times and as of January 1, 2010         fees are   ‐ $1 /1 000 ll $1.75/1,000 gallons for  f groundwater  ‐ $2.20/1 000 gallons for $2.20/1,000 gallons for  surface water • $457 million in revenue bonds  have been sold   h b ld
  42. 42. Communication • Given the scope of the program,  effective communication with     ff i i i ih both districts and residents was  imperative i i • Difficult to get people’s attention on a topic that wasn’t on their i h ’ h i ‘radar’
  43. 43. Communication • The Authority used a multifaceted  outreach program featuring: p g g ‐ Direct communication with districts ‐ Active web page with separate construction page  ‐ Periodic newsletters to residents ‐ Town hall/neighborhood meetings Town hall/neighborhood  meetings ‐ Neighborhood specific flyers on pending construction pending construction ‐ Extremely active public education program ‐ Speakers bureau ‐ Water Users Advisory Group
  44. 44. 2020 System • Timely and effectively construct the  2020 system, which is almost twice  2020 t hi h i l tt i the size of the 2010 system • Continue to search out ways to build Continue to search out ways to build  the 2020 system as cost effectively  as possible…and thereby keep the  as possible and thereby keep the cost of water as low as practical • Apply lessons learned during Apply lessons learned during  development and implementation of  y y the 2010 system to the 2020 system
  45. 45. Questions? Q ti ?
  46. 46. 3648 FM 1960 West 3648 FM 1960 West Suite 110 Houston, TX 77068 281‐440‐ 281‐440‐3924 St Th D