Lane City Reservoir Project, Texas, United States of America


The Lane City Reservoir will be located in Wharton County in Texas, USA. The off-channel reservoir is being built to ease water demands on the Highland Lakes, and will serve cities, homes, and businesses in Central Texas.

The project will be owned and maintained by Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), a public utility serving the people of Texas.

Construction on the project began with a ground breaking ceremony held in December 2014. The reservoir is scheduled to be completed by July 2017. Upon completion, the reservoir will have the capacity to hold approximately 40,000 acre-foot (13 billion gallon) of water to meet the water needs of the drought-prone Texas region.

Lane City reservoir project details


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Lane City reservoir is the first significant water project being built by LCRA after approximately a decade. In August 2012, the LCRA board authorised the Lane City Reservoir project in Wharton County to increase approximately 100,000 acre-feet of water supply in the region in five years.

Wharton County was preferred for building the reservoir as the customers could benefit from the firm water supply in the lower Colorado River basin. The new reservoir is also expected to reduce dependency on water released from Lakes Travis and Buchanan.

Lane City reservoir design

The Lane City Reservoir will be situated approximately 220 river miles downstream from the Highland Lakes, collecting water downstream of Austin. The 40,000 acre-feet of the reservoir's water capacity is more than that of lakes Marble Falls, Austin, and Lady Bird combined.

The reservoir will have the capacity to be refilled multiple times every year enabling LCRA to add up to 90,000 acre-feet of firm water to the region's supply, thereby increasing the supply by about 15%.

LCRA will employ more than 100 people at the project site during the course of construction of the project and about 60% to 70% of the workers involved in the project are expected to come from the Wharton County area.

Construction

The Lane City reservoir is being built off the main channel of the Colorado River located near Lane City.

The major work on the project includes the construction of a 40,000 acre-foot, off-channel reservoir covering 1,100 acres with an approximately 40ft-high earthen boundary.

Other associated infrastructure to be built as part of the project includes a pump station with a maximum capacity of 561ft3/second, which will pump water from the Colorado River to the reservoir and further to customers. Associated pipelines to convey water to and from the reservoir will also be constructed as part of the project.

"The off-channel reservoir is being built to ease water demands on the Highland Lakes."

LCRA has also received approval to conduct refurbishment and upgradation works on the Lane City Pump Station. It will also construct a new river return structure as part of the project.

The reservoir project is estimated to consume 70,000t of cement, 19,000 cubic yards of concrete, 485,000t of gravel and sand, and three million gallons of fuel.

Financing for the new reservoir in Texas

The LCRA board approved $18m as part of the Phase 1a funding to enable the purchase of property and conduct initial design, engineering, and permitting for the construction of the off-channel reservoir in January 2013.

Additionally, $17m was approved by the board in March 2014 to fund the final design of the project, and also move an electric transmission line off the site under Phase 1b.

Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) sanctioned LCRA a $250m loan to finance the planning, acquisition, design, and construction of the Lane City Reservoir in September 2014.

Contractors and suppliers

CH2M HILL was appointed as the designer for the first phase of the reservoir project in April 2013. Barnard, a construction company based in Bozeman, was selected as the construction manager at Risk (CMAR) in September 2013.