History of TRWD

The History Of The Tarrant Regional Water District - TRWD

April 24, 1922 Torrential rains in Fort Worth dump 11 inches of water in two days. Seventeen breaches in Trinity River levees result in a massive flood killing at least 10 people and more than $1 million in damages. Calls begin immediately for a countywide effort to prevent further flooding of the Trinity and provide adequate water supply

September 2, 1924 In response to a petition signed by 600 residents, Tarrant County commissioners set an October 7, election date to create the Tarrant County Water Improvement District No. 1, to allow taxation and to elect five directors.

October 7, 1924 Tarrant County voters approve the propositions, but are defeated in Arlington and a few unincorporated portions of the county. Communities that did not approve the propositions are not part of the Water District's voting membership.

January 12, 1926 Voters approve a 1925 recommendation by the Board of Directors to become a water control and improvement district.

October 8, 1927 Voters approve a $6.5 million general obligation bond issue to fund construction of Eagle Mountain and Bridgeport lakes.

October 22, 1929 Joe B. Hogsett joins the Board of Directors in 1929 and serves 42 years, including 29 years as president. During his tenure Lakes Bridgeport, Eagle Mountain and Cedar Creek are constructed and the 72-inch Cedar Creek Reservoir raw water pipeline is nearly completed. Mr. Hogsett also presides over the completion of the levees’ and channels’ improvements which comprise the Fort Worth Trinity River Floodway system.

December 15, 1931 Construction of the Lake Bridgeport dam is complete. It takes 10 years for the lake to fill.

October 24, 1932 Eagle Mountain Lake dam is complete and takes only six years to fill.

May 1949 The flood many consider to be the worst in Fort Worth’s history sends water from the Clear Fork of the Trinity River into homes and businesses in north and west portions of the city. The Water District, in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is asked to assume responsibility for extensive improvement of the levee system.

July 18, 1950 Construction begins on levee improvements.

October 27, 1950 Voters approve a $7 million general obligation bond issue funding levee improvements in Fort Worth and the construction of Marine Creek Lake and Cement Creek Lake for flood control.

December 12, 1954 Ben F. Hickey is appointed general manager of the Water District. Mr. Hickey will oversee the construction of the Fort Worth Floodway, Cedar Creek Reservoir and Pipeline and most of the construction of the Richland-Chambers Reservoir and pipeline project.

1956-1957 After what was almost a seven-year drought, a long-range water supply plan to meet the growing community needs is completed by the Water District and Freese & Nichols engineering firm. The plan calls for the construction of Cedar Creek and Richland-Chambers Reservoirs southeast of Dallas.

Spring 1957 Record-breaking rains fill several new area lakes to almost full capacity in weeks. Flooding in new neighborhoods established to accommodate the post-WWII housing and population boom in Fort Worth prove additional Trinity levee improvements are necessary.

September 14, 1959 Upper basin protests against applications for construction of Lake Livingston and Wallisville Reservoirs culminate in the City of Houston's agreement that the reservoirs would be "subordinate to the present and future use and reuse of any return flows" from various reservoirs. These include the Water District's Eagle Mountain Lake, Lake Bridgeport, Cedar Creek and Richland-Chambers Reservoirs as well as lakes for which the Water District holds water rights or has operating agreements on, including Lakes Benbrook, Worth and Arlington, “notwithstanding the reentry of such return flows into a public stream. ” This subordination language is incorporated into the permits that are eventually issued to the City of Houston and the Trinity River Authority for their downstream reservoirs.

December 2, 1959 Voters approve $55 million in combination revenue and general obligation bonds to fund construction of Cedar Creek Reservoir.

November 12, 1965 Voters approve $16.59 million in general obligation bonds to fund Fort Worth floodway improvements, construct an improved spillway at Eagle Mountain Lake and improve the dam and spillway at Lake Bridgeport.

December 23, 1967 After its completion in 1964, Cedar Creek Reservoir fills to conservation level for the first time.

May 1968 Levee and channel improvements to the Trinity River are complete, bringing the Fort Worth floodway to its current configuration.

November 19, 1970 Construction begins on the 6-foot diameter Cedar Creek pipeline.

July 13, 1971 The Water District signs a contract with the City of Arlington to provide raw water to the city.

November 5, 1973 The Cedar Creek pipeline is complete and operational.

January 1, 1975 The Water District begins supplying raw water to the Trinity River Authority.

March 1, 1979 Revenue bonds totaling $7.75 million are issued to add booster pumping capacity in Waxahachie, a booster pump station in Ennis and a second balancing reservoir in Kennedale.

October 1, 1979 The Water District issues $342.75 million in revenue bonds for construction of the Richland-Chambers Reservoir.

October 1, 1982 Litigation over the district’s method of setting raw water rates concludes with the execution of a settlement agreement followed by an amendatory contract setting the basis for a master contract between the Water District and its four initial contracting parties: Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield and the Trinity River Authority. The agreement establishes a method to equitably renew contracts of existing customers, provide for the addition of new customers into the district’s system and creates an advisory committee comprised of the four initial contracting parties to review the district’s budget, water contracts, policies for service and future projects. The amendatory contract remains in place to date.

October 7, 1982 Construction begins on the Richland-Chambers Reservoir.

July 1987 The dam closes on Richland-Chambers Reservoir and fills by May 1989.

November 2, 1987 The Texas Water Commission grants a permit giving the Water District rights to the full yield of Benbrook Lake and oversight of the sale of water to Weatherford, Fort Worth and the Benbrook Water and Sewer Authority. The permit also allows the district to use the lake as terminal storage for water from its East Texas reservoirs.

1988 The Richland-Chambers pipeline is complete and operational.

October 29, 1991 The Water District executes a contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers allowing the use of Lake Benbrook for planned terminal storage of water pumped from Cedar Creek and Richland-Chambers Reservoirs.

December 10, 1991 The Water District executes a contract to serve Ellis County entities through the Trinity River Authority.

January 1, 1992 The Water District issues $430,660,000 in water revenue refunding and improvement bonds in series 1992 and 1992-A. Outstanding Richland-Chambers debt is refinanced at lower interest rates and $50,000,000 in financing for the construction of the Benbrook pipeline connecting the district’s existing pipelines to Lake Benbrook is obtained.

June 11, 1992 A contract is executed between the Water District, its four primary water customers, the City of Weatherford and Benbrook Water and Sewer Authority facilitating the sale of water from Lake Benbrook.

July 8, 1992 The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (now known as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) issues the district a term permit for a pilot project allowing water to be diverted from the Trinity River to a seven-acre system of artificial wetlands adjacent to Richland-Chambers Reservoir. The project is developed to investigate the feasibility of large-scale water reuse.

January 1, 1995 The bond issue that funded the construction of the Fort Worth Floodway, Bridgeport dam and spillway improvements and Eagle Mountain spillway improvements is retired. For the first time since the 1920s, the district has no outstanding tax-supported debt.

January 1996 Construction on a $62 million pipeline to connect Benbrook Lake with the district's East Texas lakes begins.

February 1996 The Water District enters into a memorandum of understanding with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for development of the district's wetlands treatment project, which will allow the reuse of up to 220,000 acre-feet of water. This memorandum provides for the creation of more than 3,000 acres of wetlands treatment facilities.

October 1, 1996 Upon state approval, the name is changed to Tarrant Regional Water District.

July 22, 1997 TRWD and North Texas Municipal Water District agree to study possible reservoir sites in the Sulphur River Basin.

November 17, 1997 TRWD submits an application to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (now known as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) for an additional term permit to allow continued investigation of the feasibility of the constructed wetlands treatment system on a larger scale. The application is declared administratively complete one year later.

June 16, 1998 TRWD adopts a water conservation and emergency demand management plan.

August 1998 Drought-induced demands press the nearly complete Benbrook Pipeline into service ahead of its actual completion.

November 1998 TRWD files an application with the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (now known as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) for the right to divert flows from the Trinity River for the full-scale wetlands treatment project. The permit application requests Trinity River diversions and wetlands treatment to result in the augmentation of yields from the existing Richland-Chambers and Cedar Creek Reservoirs by 115,500 acre-feet, or 30 percent.

November 12, 1998 The Benbrook Pipeline is complete and the first delivery of East Texas water occurs.

May 15, 1999 TRWD issues $22.725 million in refunding and improvement bonds to refinance debt and initiate the first phase of the wetlands project.

June 22, 1999 TRWD adopts a water management plan indicating customers will require additional water supplies by the year 2009. The plan recommends additional supplies be derived from the initial wetlands treatment project constructed at Richland-Chambers Reservoir and be available by the year 2006.

September 2002 Water begins flowing in the field-scale phase of the TRWD's Trinity River proposal to reuse Trinity River Water. Water filters through 250 acres of the wetland’s native water plants before returning to the river. The final phase of the proposal creates 2,000 acres of wetland to feed Trinity River water into Richland-Chambers Reservoir and 1,800 acres to supply Cedar Creek Reservoir.

2005 Following successful pilot and field-scale wetland projects, a permit is granted to TRWD for construction of the full-scale project and use of approximately 2,000 acres adjacent to the Richland-Chambers Reservoir.

December 2006 Cedar Creek and Richland-Chambers Reservoirs reach record lows. Cedar Creek’s lake level is recorded at 314.67 feet above sea level December 27, and Richland-Chambers’ drops to 303.67 feet above sea level December 28.

November 8, 2007 TRWD holds its first Regional Water Conservation Symposium for customers. More than 120 people hear experts from across the country address water conservation issues.

April 2008 With the help of government and private donors, TRWD purchases nearly 400 acres of land and builds the Eagle Mountain Park on the northeast side of the lake.

Fall 2008 TRWD partners with area water suppliers and chambers of commerce to organize the region’s first water-related legislative summit for local and state officials.

May 2009 TRWD begins transferring water from Richland-Chambers and Cedar Creek Reservoirs to Eagle Mountain Lake through a new 20-mile pipeline on the western edge of Tarrant County.

June 2009 TRWD formally dedicates its wetland facility at Richland-Chambers Reservoir in honor of former board president George W. Shannon.

June 2009 TRWD completes construction of a new annex building that houses the engineering and information services departments. It is equipped with several environmentally friendly features and the largest solar array in the state of Texas at the time.

January 2011 TRWD enters into an agreement with Dallas Water Utilities to build the Integrated Pipeline Project. 

August 2011 TRWD initiates Stage 1 of its drought contingency plan for the first time after the district's overall system capacity reaches 75 percent.

May 2013  TRWD re-opens revamped Twin Points Park at Eagle Mountain Lake.

September 2013 TRWD completes further expansion of the George W. Shannon Wetlands Water Recycling Facility at Richland-Chambers Reservoir. The facility now encompasses some 3,000 acres and increases the annual yield of the reservoir by 30 percent.