A bad economy means good news for Lubbock's water supply - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock


A bad economy means good news for Lubbock's water supply

By Brittany Pieper - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - After months of worrying about Lubbock's water supply, city officials can now take a sigh of relief. "It's really been touch and go for the last several years," said Lubbock Mayor Tom Martin. 

With Lake Meredith's water levels dropping, city officials worried about where Lubbock would get its water supply over the next few years. They feared the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority or CRMWA would cut Lubbock's water supply in 2010, but at Wednesday's Board of Director's meeting CRMWA decided to allocate 80,000 acre feet which is the same amount of water as 2009.

"We're in good shape with respect to water today and for the next couple of years," said Lubbock's Director of Water Utilities, Aubrey Spear. 

The reason CRMWA can allocate so much water is an increase in the amount of well water pumped from the Roberts County Well Field. "The Robert's County Well Field is a pleasant surprise because of the bidding climate," said Spear. CRMWA originally planned to build six new wells, but the poor economy drove bids low enough to build 15, greatly increasing the water supply.  City leaders say the low bids show the up side of a down economy.

"At the end of 2010 it will carry the load of about 92 percent of all CRMWA allocation. What it means for us is it gives more security," said Spear. 

CRMWA should complete the well field expansion, including building a pipeline to help bring the water hundreds of miles to Lubbock, by the end of next summer.

The water should last until the completion of the Lake Alan Henry pipeline project. "The Lake Alan Henry project, still very important to stay on track and get that project completed by 2012, but we're in better shape today than we were even last year," said Spear. 

The city estimates once the Lake Alan Henry project is complete, Lubbock will have water for the next 20 to 40 years.

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CRMWA meets Wednesday in Pampa

On Wednesday, Lubbock and 10 other West Texas cities expect to learn their water allocation for the next year.

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