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Water Project Ranked in ENR Top Starts List

Updated: May 17




DEC is program and construction manager for a $1.486 billion surface water supply project in Harris County ranked by Engineering News-Record (ENR) as a Top Starts project for the Texas/Louisiana region in 2021. ENR rankings and project details are based on Dodge Data & Analytics, reports from within the public record and information provided by project teams.

The West Harris County Regional Water Authority (WHCRWA) has partnered with the North Fort Bend Water Authority (NFBWA) to construct the project, which began in 2021.

More than 55 miles of pipeline and two large pump stations are being constructed across the city of Houston to ensure reliable, long-term water supplies for west Harris County and north Fort Bend County. The project also will help the authorities meet regulatory milestones for groundwater reduction requirements for 2025 and beyond put in place by the Harris-Galveston Subsidence District (HGSD) and Fort Bend Subsidence District (FBSD).

Once complete, surface water from Lake Houston will be supplied to retail water providers (MUDs, PUDs, WCIDs, etc.) in the WHCRWA and NFBWA by way of Houston’s Northeast Water Purification Plant. These transmission pipelines will vary in diameter from 96 inches to 42 inches, depending on the pipeline segment.

DEC also manages the $1.8 billion WHCRWA program, one of the region’s largest water supply programs. DEC interfaces and coordinates with more than 120 municipal utility districts, cities and regulatory agencies.  

DEC has staffed and served as engineer for the authority since its creation in 2001. DEC is responsible for all aspects, including population and water demand projections, strategic planning, budgeting, scheduling, environmental permitting, and technical design and construction. The engineering firm also is responsible for technical review management of design by outside engineering firms, construction management, hydraulic modeling, right-of-way acquisition, survey support, and contract negotiations support.

For the WHCRWA program, DEC leads a team of internal and external professionals tasked with designing and building more than 100 miles of pipelines and two booster pump stations in a challenging urban environment. The system is designed to deliver more than 150 million gallons a day of surface water to the service area’s growing population.

The authority was created, in part, to manage subsidence by converting public water supplies from groundwater to surface water, as required by the Harris-Galveston Subsidence District (HGSD). Through DEC’s work, the authority reached its 2010 goal to reduce the use of groundwater by 30 percent and is making progress on its goal of 60-percent reduction by 2025.

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