By Tom Kula, NTMWD Executive Director
As we start a new year, the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) remains focused on providing vital services to the growing communities in our service area. To do that, we must continue making investments to maintain and expand our facilities and operations to provide safe drinking water, treat wastewater, and operate facilities for solid waste disposal. The costs of these services are shared by the communities that use them. Sharing the costs of these regional systems is a way to cost-effectively meet each community’s essential needs.
Today, NTMWD provides drinking water for about 1.8 million people in nearly 80 communities across 10 North Texas counties. That’s up from 1.5 million residents served in 2010. If projected growth patterns continue, our population is expected to double by 2050 to about 3.5 million. We are planning for that growth while responsibly upgrading and maintaining aging systems that have served our region since 1956. This has required investing $2.9 billion in the regional water system over the last 10 years alone.
To prepare for growth and provide resiliency during times of drought, significant investments have been required to secure new water sources. In May 2018, NTMWD began construction on the first major Texas reservoir in 30 years. Bois d’Arc Lake is being built in Fannin County near Bonham and is expected to begin delivering water in the spring of 2022. The new reservoir, 60 miles of pipeline, and treatment plant represent a nearly $1.6-billion investment. Another major investment is $120 million for the recently completed Main Stem pipeline and pump station along the Trinity River to expand the use of river water naturally filtered by our wetland project near Crandall before being piped to Lavon Lake. Over $580 million was needed to combat zebra mussels in Lake Texoma, improve water quality with ozone treatment technology and expand water treatment facilities in Wylie.
NTMWD has secured nearly $1.5 billion in low-interest financing for the new lake and related projects under the State Water Implementation Fund of Texas (SWIFT) program. This is expected to save over $230 million in interest for communities served by the District. NTMWD will continue to leverage programs like this one to help manage infrastructure costs.
These critical investments have required increases in NTMWD wholesale water rates. From 2010 to 2020, wholesale water rates for member cities increased by $1.74 per 1,000 gallons to the current rate of $2.99 per 1,000 gallons. The wholesale (regional) rate combined with city (local) rates make up the total bill received by water customers. Treated water delivered to your home or business still costs only about 1 penny per gallon in the communities served by NTMWD.
You’re monthly water bill pays for much more than the water flowing from the tap. You’re also paying for the planning, infrastructure, technology, quality assurance, and expertise needed to get it to you safely and reliably every day – now and for decades to come. Visit NTMWD.com/Water-Rates to learn more about how water rates pay for #MoreThanWater.