The North Texas economy has weathered the COVID-19 storm better than most, and it highlights how the services provided by the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) are more critical than ever.
The region continues to attract businesses and residents drawn to a diverse economy, business-friendly atmosphere and relatively affordable living. Due to COVID-19, many residents are also choosing to migrate from more dense urban areas in Texas and the country to the suburbs of the cities we serve.
Among our member cities, Frisco is the fastest growing city in the U.S., with McKinney ranked just behind as fourth fastest, and water demand is rising along with the population. As a result, NTMWD is delivering more water to communities across North Texas. Regional water use has increased over the past year, from 92.7 billion gallons delivered in 2018-19 to 106.2 billion gallons in 2019-2020 (from the August to July timeframe).
In addition to an expanding economy, Texas is also getting hotter and drier. A Texas A&M research team predicts conditions in the latter half of the 21st century could be drier than any of the previous “megadroughts.” These trends point to the need and importance of planning ahead and making ongoing investments in water sources and delivery. We must plan now to meet our region’s long-term needs.
NTMWD uses a comprehensive strategy to ensure the 80 communities it serves have enough water to meet their needs. Water conservation and reuse will provide for nearly one-quarter of our region’s future supplies. NTMWD has been a leader in Texas and across the nation with its water conservation education and outreach programs. To maximize water reuse, NTMWD built the largest manmade wetland in the country for water supplies as a critical part of our region’s water resources.
To expand the system and increase available supplies, NTMWD is also building the first major reservoir in the state in 30 years. When completed in 2022, the Bois d’Arc Lake located in Fannin County will deliver 108 million gallons of water per day to the cities we serve.
We’re also making other critical investments to our water treatment facilities, pipelines and wastewater infrastructure. We constantly explore innovations that improve our systems while minimizing costs.
The availability of water, the treatment of wastewater and the disposal of solid waste is critical to sustaining our economy and continuing to attract employers the area. North Texas has benefitted greatly from the planning of previous generations to provide the services we use today. Future generations will depend on us to plan wisely as well. We must continue these essential investments to keep our system reliable, support the growing economy and our quality of life.