TRWD History

TRWD Today

For more than 90 years, the Tarrant Regional Water District has provided quality water to over 2.1 million people, implemented vital flood control measures and created recreational opportunities for the residents of 11 North Texas Counties. Today, TRWD is led by a publicly elected five-member board and owns/operates four major reservoirs, including Lake Bridgeport, Eagle Mountain Lake, Cedar Creek Lake and Richland-Chambers Lake. TRWD has also constructed more than 150 miles of water pipelines, 27 miles of floodway levees, more than 72 miles of Trinity River Trails and a 2,000 acre wetland water reuse project designed to increase future water supplies for the area.

April 22, 1922

Torrential rains in Fort Worth dumped 11 inches of water in two days. Seventeen breaches in Trinity River levees resulted 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.

October 7, 1924

In response to a petition signed by 600 residents, Tarrant County commissioners hold an election to create the Tarrant County Water Improvement District No. 1, to allow taxation and to elect five directors. Tarrant County voters approve the propositions, but are defeated in Arlington and a few unincorporated portions of the county.

December 15, 1931

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

Conduit Walls after pouring at BP

EM Dam 062331

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.

Lancaster 7th Street_ Montgomery Wardscaled

US Army Corps of Engineers 03061953scaled

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.

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.

Cedar Creek Pipeline Date Unknown (2)scaled

Cedar Creek Spillway 8-24-68

December 23, 1967

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

November 5, 1973

The Cedar Creek pipeline is complete and operational.

Cedar Creek Pipeline Date Unknown (1)

10-12-84 (2)scaled

July 1987

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


The Richland-Chambers pipeline is complete and operational.

May 1986 (11)scaled

Wetlands Aerials (6)scaled

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 1996

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



October 1, 1996

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

November 12, 1998

The Benbrook Pipeline is complete and the first delivery of East Texas water occurs.

4-12-1996 (10)scaled


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.

January 2011

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


Benbrook Lake-dry boat ramp-2scaled

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.