The history of American water resources is marked by the construction of monumental structures like Hoover Dam, Grand Coulee Dam, the Colorado River Aqueduct, and the Central Arizona Project. But such construction is not limited to the past. Around the country today, large-scale reservoir and pipeline projects as well as important municipal projects continue to be planned and executed.
Perhaps one of the most impressive projects now being planned is the proposed 1.5-million-acre-foot Sites Reservoir, which will capture storm water flows from the Sacramento River for storage and release in dry years for environmental, residential, and agricultural uses. We interview Jerry Brown, the executive director of the Sites Project Authority, about the project, which is projected to be complete in 2030.
Meanwhile, Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD), which provides water to Fort Worth, Texas, is making progress on its enormous Integrated Pipeline (IPL), which will supply Fort Worth and Dallas with 350 million gallons per day of raw water supplies from East Texas reservoirs. IPL Program Manager Eddie Weaver and IPL Resident Engineer Shelly Hattan update us on the progress being made on the pipeline and its booster stations.
General Manager Zach Renstrom tells us how southwestern Utah’s Washington Country Water Conservation District is actively planning for the construction of a pipeline to Lake Powell, which will allow it to draw from Utah’s significant untapped rights to Colorado River water.
The Chicagoland town of Homewood, Illinois, has chosen to switch its municipal water source in the interest of greater rate stability. Stephen Boden and Stephen Crede of engineering firm Burns & McDonnell tell us about the interconnect they are constructing for the town and the corrosion control study they are carrying out in preparation for the changeover.
Finally, we speak with National Water Resources Association President Christine Arbogast about the Water Resources Development Act, passed in December 2020, and its likely effects on western water providers.
With projects like the Sites Reservoir and the IPL, today’s water agencies are taking their place alongside the legends of the early 20th century. For evidence that this is still a country that can successfully undertake infrastructure projects on a monumental scale, look no further than the water agencies featured in this issue of Municipal Water Leader.
Kris Polly is the editor-in-chief of Municipal Water Leader magazine and the president and CEO of Water Strategies LLC, a government relations firm he began in February 2009 for the purpose of representing and guiding water, power, and agricultural entities in their dealings with Congress, the Bureau of Reclamation, and other federal government agencies. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.