Houston’s Sugar Land Consolidates Water Sources

Sugar Land is a suburban community located about 20 miles southwest of Houston in Fort Bend County. The Houston-Woodlands-Sugar Land region of the county is 11th fastest-growing metro area in the US. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown topped Forbes’ list of America’s fastest-growing cities. The city recently approved a Groundwater Reduction Plan (GRP) that outlines the city’s strategies for meeting mandated conversion to non-groundwater sources pursuant to Fort Bend Subsidence District regulations. The GRP will involve participation by smaller water providers in the area to consolidate water plans and collectively meet ground water withdrawal limits. The city has begun construction for the surface water conversion project, which involved the construction of transmission lines, groundwater plant improvements and construction of a 9 million gallons per day (MGD) surface water treatment plant (with capability for future expansion) adjacent to Oyster Creek and Gannoway Lake. Currently, the city supplies surface water for about 41% of total water demands. The GRP mandates for 2025 is to increase surface and alternative water to 60%. This will be achieved through increased use of Oyster Creek surface water, wastewater re-use, and expanding the surface water plant to 25 MGD. Construction of the surface water treatment plant is anticipated at a cost of $105.9 million, all of which will be debt funded. City growth estimates indicate that additional system capacity will be needed in the next five to 10 years.

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