President Obama has signed a bill that allows the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) to resume pumping water from Lake Texoma when a new $300 million pipeline is completed in the fall of 2013.
NTMWD, which supplies water to Richardson, currently cannot utilize water from Lake Texoma, which represents 28 percent of its water supply, because of the invasive zebra mussel.
The change gives the NTMWD an exemption from the Lacey Act, which had prohibited use of water from Lake Texoma due to the presence of zebra mussels. Now use of water from the lake will be allowed as soon as a 46-mile pipeline to transfer water from the Texoma pump station directly to the water treatment plant in Wylie is completed. The closed pipeline and the water treatment process will prevent any invasive species, including the zebra mussels, from being released into the environment while restoring a major portion of the NTMWD’s water supply.
Despite the legislative action that will restore the Lake Texoma water supply late next year, the NTMWD remains under Stage 2 water management measures in response to the current drought conditions. An unseasonably dry summer and fall has resulted in Lavon Lake, the district’s primary reservoir, to drop almost 10 feet below the normal water level.
Water efficient practices are necessary to extend the current available supplies until Lavon Lake receives much needed rain inflows and the Texoma supply is restored.