In Need of Water to Grow, North Texas Looks to Controversial Reservoir

The Dallas-Fort Worth region is seeking to boost its water supply by building a new reservoir that opponents claim would destroy thousands of farms, homes, and jobs.

November 12, 2021, 11:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

drinking water fountain

Darwin Bell / Flickr

With a regional population projected to grow to almost 15 million people by 2070 and worsening drought brought on by climate change, water planners in North Texas are proposing conservation and mitigation measures that include a controversial reservoir, reports Bret Jaspers.

The proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir would flood 66,103 acres and provide additional water to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. 

The Marvin Nichols Reservoir is sponsored by three water wholesalers, including the North Texas Municipal Water District, Tarrant Regional Water District, and the Upper Trinity Regional Water District. Those agencies sell to utilities all across the metroplex. The water from Marvin Nichols Reservoir would serve people from Anna to Benbrook, Kaufman to Chico.

Many local residents oppose the project, arguing that other conservation measures could enhance the region's water supply without the environmental and financial damage the reservoir would bring. But cities in the area have failed to enforce watering restrictions or encourage less water-intensive landscaping, while water costs remain low. As Jaspers notes, "R.J. Muraski, an assistant deputy with the North Texas Municipal Water District, said 'water’s very, very reasonable right now in the Metroplex.'"

With the future of the reservoir still uncertain, residents wait to find out whether they will be forced to relocate. 

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