Colorado River Municipal Water District How the Drought Has Affected Business

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Colorado River Municipal Water District
John W. Grant, General Manager
TWCA Annual Meeting
March 8, 2012
How the Drought Has Affected Business

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Colorado River Municipal Water District How the Drought Has Affected Business

  1. 1. Colorado River Municipal Water District John W. Grant, General Manager TWCA Annual Meeting March 8, 2012 How the Drought Has Affected BusinessCRMWD is a Special Law District created in 1949 to supply wholesale raw water in thewest Texas region. Originally we delivered raw water to our member cities which areOdessa, Big Spring and Snyder.Our system has grown over the years and today we have 12 municipal customers, 14major industrial customers and over 300 rural users in the Permian Basin, ConchoValley and Big County areas of the State. We also sell some water, on a limited basis,to the oil and gas industry.In the early 1950s our total service area population was less that 50,000, today wesupply all or part of the raw water needs of almost 500,000 people.We began to see the beginnings of the current drought in the fall of 2008 with fewer andless intense rainfall events and reduced inflow or runoff to our lakes.Our primary source of water supply is surface water which typically supplies 100percent of our needs. We have three lakes we can take water from. Today Lake J.B.Thomas is 1.2 percent full, we are still pumping from Thomas to the City of Snyder; theE.V. Spence Reservoir is 0.4 percent full, we stopped pumping from Spence inSeptember of 2011; and the O.H. Ivie Reservoir is 17.8 percent full.With low lake levels and no inflow to blend with the water remaining in the reservoirs itdoes have an impact on water quality. We are seeing higher levels of suspended solidsand dissolved solids such as chlorides.In 2011, because of higher than normal temperatures and high winds, evaporation ofwater from the lakes was well above normal. Page 1 of 6F:CRMWD FilesGADistrict AdministrationEducation & Public InformationCharts, Graphs, PresentationsPresentationsTWCA Annual Meeting - 3.8.12.docx
  2. 2. Over the last few years we have spent well over $3.0 million to construct dams, floatingbarges, canals, channels and pipelines within the lake basins to move water around sowe can pump as much water out of the lakes as possible.The District has several different types of water supply contracts; for our member citieswe supply 100 percent of their needs; we have other contracts where we deliver acertain quantity of water to a customer at a certain flow rate and we even have othercontracts where the customer will take water directly from the lake and build their ownfacilities to transport the water. Generally customers with a fixed contract quantity ofwater have other sources of water that they can use.We operate two separate water systems, our raw water system that supplies water formunicipal and industrial use and our diverted or brackish water system which suppliesmining and industrial water mostly to oil companies.All of our contracts have one thing in common, when you are in a drought like we aretoday its “share and share alike” when you have limited water supplies or limitedpumping capacity.Because of the different types of contracts we have customers may be rationed basedon the capacity of our pipeline system, on the quantity of water remaining in the lake orboth.In 2011, for the first time in the District’s history, we rationed water to our municipalcustomers who take water from our raw water pipeline system. This rationing was donebecause of system capacity issues. Deliveries were limited to 80% of what theynormally use during the summer. Ironically our total deliveries for 2011 were just aboutwhat they have been for the last 5 years, this is because when the cities set limits ontimes when people could water, everyone watered during those times.Beginning April 1st of 2012 we are limiting deliveries to all customers to just above whatthey use in the winter. This rationing is to make the quantity of surface water we haveavailable last as long as we can. Page 2 of 6F:CRMWD FilesGADistrict AdministrationEducation & Public InformationCharts, Graphs, PresentationsPresentationsTWCA Annual Meeting - 3.8.12.docx
  3. 3. If we ration water to our customers and limit it to the quantity of water that they typicallyuse during the months of December, January and February we may be able to extendour surface water supplies an additional 90 to 120 days or three to four months.If we don’t ration water to wintertime use our projections show that that we will run out ofsurface water in January of 2013. This is just 10 months from now.Now you ask the question, what have we been doing and what are we doing todayto ensure a water supply for our customers.1) We began meeting with our municipal customers in February of 2010 and even madea trip to Austin in March of 2010 to inform elected officials of the drought in our area andour water situation. We were preparing to ration water in 2010 however we got justenough inflow to our lakes that we did not have too.2) Since October of 2010 we have been having monthly meetings with our municipalcustomers to continue to inform them of the water situation and what activities theDistrict is undertaking regarding water supply.3) Beginning February 1st 2011 the District limited deliveries to 90 percent of what wenormally deliver in the summer. This gave the cities a few months to prepare for thisreduction before the peak summer water use season.4) Because we did not get any inflow to the lakes during the spring of 2011 deliverieswere further reduced to 80 percent of summertime usage beginning July 1st 2011.5) Beginning the 1st of April 2012 water deliveries to our customers will be limited to justabove their historic wintertime water usage.All of our municipal customers implemented and in most cases have modified theprovisions in their Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plans to meet thelimits we set. Page 3 of 6F:CRMWD FilesGADistrict AdministrationEducation & Public InformationCharts, Graphs, PresentationsPresentationsTWCA Annual Meeting - 3.8.12.docx
  4. 4. The biggest issue everyone has faced with rationing water is “CULTURE SHOCK”because the District and the majority of our customers have never had to ration waterbefore.There are still people in our area that are in denial that we are in a drought and we arerunning out of surface water, and because of the economic boom we are experiencingwith oil and gas we also have those that say “I don’t care how much the water cost, orhow many fines I get, I have the money so I want the water!”6) CRMWD served as the facilitator for our municipal customers to develop a regionalwater awareness program that uses TV, radio, newspapers, billboards, a web site andsocial medial to get the word out about the drought and what people can do to conservewater.7) The District is in the process of trying to reactivate 5 emergency wells in the City ofSnyder which will produce about half of the city’s wintertime water needs.8) In July of 2011 our Board approved the construction of a 4-1/2 mile 18-inch diameterpipeline across the lake basin at Thomas to be able to supply water to the City ofSnyder from the Spence or Ivie Reservoirs or from our groundwater well fields in WardCounty. This pipeline was completed 2 weeks ago.9) In 2000 the District began looking at alternate sources of water supply for our areawith no thought of the current drought in mind. For our area all of the better quality orfresh water supplies have been developed so we started looking at desalination ofbrackish water and the reuse of water.After 10 years of study, planning and design the District started construction in July of2011 on a 2.0 MGD Raw Water Production Facility in Big Spring. This facility has thecapability to be expanded to about 5.0 MGD. This facility is nothing more than amembrane water treatment plant with desalination and UV disinfection permitted by theTCEQ to produce raw water for municipal and industrial use. The produced raw waterwill then be blended into our raw water pipeline system and delivered to the watertreatment plants of our municipal customers for treatment again. Page 4 of 6F:CRMWD FilesGADistrict AdministrationEducation & Public InformationCharts, Graphs, PresentationsPresentationsTWCA Annual Meeting - 3.8.12.docx
  5. 5. Did I mention that the 1st source of water for this plant is the treated wastewater effluentfrom the City of Big Spring’s Wastewater Treatment Plant?What we have with our raw water production facility is an inland desalination plant thatreuses treated wastewater effluent water to produce raw water for municipal andindustrial use. This facility is scheduled for completion and start-up in December of2012.10) In June of 2010 we completed the purchased a groundwater well field fromLuminant Generation in Ward County. Since the 1950s this well field had been used tosupply water to the Permian Basin Steam Electric Power Plant just outside ofMonahans. We were able to acquire this well field because Luminant is taking thispower plant off line.Our plan was to add a few wells and connect this well field to our raw water pipelinesystem. It would be a small source of water if we ever needed it and the groundwaterwould increase our long-term water reserves.11) Now it’s a different story! We are moving forward with a $135 million project tomore fully develop this field and build a 42-mile long pipeline that can deliver 30 milliongallons of groundwater a day. This project will also reverse the flow of water in our rawwater transmission system; instead of pumping surface water from east to west we willbe pumping groundwater from west to east.This project, combined with an existing well field we have and a pipeline that can deliver15 million gallons of water per day will give us access to 45 million gallons ofgroundwater per day.Why is 45 million gallons of water significant to us? 45 million gallons of water per daywill meet the wintertime needs of Odessa, Big Spring, Snyder, Midland and Stanton orabout 250,000 people. Page 5 of 6F:CRMWD FilesGADistrict AdministrationEducation & Public InformationCharts, Graphs, PresentationsPresentationsTWCA Annual Meeting - 3.8.12.docx
  6. 6. What we are doing is developing an emergency water supply system to meet wintertimedemands from groundwater, a 180 degree change in direction from a system thattypically gets 100 percent of its supply from surface water.This well field and pipeline project will be completed and in operation by December2012, one month before our projections show we will run out of surface water if we donot do additional rationing in 2012.To give you a time line for this project our Board approved moving forward with theWard County System Expansion Project in May 2011, approved professional servicesagreements in June 2011 and the issuance of Water System Revenue Bonds in July2011. Today we are in the process of drilling 21 new water wells, building 4 new pumpstations, staring to lay 42 miles of 48 and 42 inch diameter pipeline and will soon startconstruction on approximately 20 miles of well field collection pipeline.I know as if it sounds like we are cutting it close, running out of surface water andhaving new sources of supply available at the same time and we are.I’m also sure that if the District had said in June 2010, when we purchased the well field,let’s build a $135 million dollar project just in case we needed it someday that we wouldhave been run out of town!11) AND if all this is not enough our silt survey in November 2011 of the intake channelto the Ivie Pump Station showed we have about 9 feet of silt in the channel and evenmore around the intake tower, so much in fact that we cannot use the bottom gate onthe tower until we remove the silt. We issued a notice to proceed to a dredgingcontractor this week and substantial completion for this project is scheduled for the endof May 2012.That’s “How the drought has affected our business”. Page 6 of 6F:CRMWD FilesGADistrict AdministrationEducation & Public InformationCharts, Graphs, PresentationsPresentationsTWCA Annual Meeting - 3.8.12.docx

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