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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition


Tarrant Strategies for Future Water Scarcity Issues

The Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) mission is to deliver a reliable, resilient supply of water to the public at the lowest cost and highest quality possible. From a system of lakes through huge pipelines, raw water is provided to more than 30 wholesale customers across 11 North Texas counties. This water is treated to drinking water standards and delivered to almost 2.5 million residents, schools and businesses. According to state water planning, TRWD’s population served is expected to almost double by the year 2070. Their long-range 50-year water supply plan mixes current strategies with innovative, forward-thinking methods to meet the needs of rapid growth impacted by potential water scarcity issues. 

North Texas has a semi-arid climate and is prone to drought conditions. Relying on surface water lakes exposes supplies to unpreventable water loss through evaporation that can be significant during periods of extended hot temperatures coupled with a lack of rainfall. TRWD’s George W. Shannon Wetlands Water Reuse Project reliably supplies water during dry periods. Near Richland-Chambers Reservoir, the wetlands comprise an indirect water reuse supply strategy to help extend current resources by filtering up to 95 million gallons of water a day from the Trinity River. Plans are underway to add another wetlands facility at nearby Cedar Creek Reservoir over the next 10 years that will provide an additional 28 billion gallons of water per year when fully operational.

TRWD is also looking into the feasibility of an aquifer storage and recovery project that can potentially store millions of gallons of water underground. In years with additional supply, water could be pumped underground and used later during drought and times of summer peak demands. A pilot project is planned in Tarrant County that if successful, could be the start of multiple well sites throughout the regional water supply system.

TRWD is also working with regional partners to advance the first option of new supply: water conservation. Using water we have today more efficiently helps extend our existing supplies, delays expensive new projects, reduces peak demands and is the least expensive water supply strategy available overall. Collaboration with other wholesale water providers city of Dallas Water Utilities and North Texas Municipal Water District has expanded the reach of the regional public education awareness campaign, “Water is Awesome. Use it. Enjoy it. Just don’t waste it.” At, there is an opportunity to sign up for free weekly watering advice. do-it-yourself brochures and videos related to water-efficient landscaping, easy sprinkler system fixes and building a rain barrel. TRWD supports local conservation efforts at with online videos, virtual classes, free sprinkler checks and more.

Over the last 15 years, water conservation has had a tremendous impact on reducing water use and water waste. But because of significant population growth expected over the next 50 years and the potential for water scarcity issues, planning for additional water supply projects must occur now for the water to be available when needed. TRWD will continue to help meet the growing water demands of the region through a combination of collaboration, water conservation, traditional strategies and innovative projects.

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