Upper Trinity Regional Water District receives federal permit to build reservoir with help from USACE

Feb. 10, 2020
Lake Ralph Hall is one of the first major reservoirs to be built in Texas in 30 years.

LEWISVILLE, TEXAS FEB 10, 2020 -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has issued a Section 404 Clean Water Act Permit to the Upper Trinity Regional Water District (UTRWD) for Lake Ralph Hall, one of the first major reservoirs to be built in Texas in 30 years. This is the final federal permit required to construct the lake. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality granted UTRWD a water rights permit for the proposed reservoir in December 2013.  Named after longtime U.S. Congressman Ralph Hall, the reservoir will be located in southeast Fannin County on the North Sulphur River and will provide essential water to North Texans.

“After nearly 15 years of working with USACE, we are excited to receive this permit as it moves us one step closer to building this critically important new reservoir to meet the water needs of our growing communities,” said Larry N. Patterson, UTRWD Executive Director. “After many technical studies and extensive field investigations by both federal and state agencies, the Environmental Impact Statement was completed leading to USACE’s Record of Decision for Lake Ralph Hall.  This is the culmination of a lot of hard work by UTRWD staff, its consultants, USACE, collaborating agencies and our local partners in Ladonia and Fannin County,” Patterson said.

UTRWD’s water demand within its growing service area is anticipated to increase nearly threefold over the next 50 years, additional water supplies are needed to meet this anticipated future demand.  Once complete and fully operational, Lake Ralph Hall will provide residents and business of UTRWD’s service area and southeast Fannin County an additional 54 million gallons per day (MGD) of raw water.

“Design of the Leon Hurse Dam is near completion and construction is expected to begin later this year in order to have the new lake in operation by 2025,” states Mr. Patterson.  “Lake Ralph Hall will provide a reliable water supply for many generations.” “We appreciate our Members and Customers demonstrated support throughout the permitting process and the diligent effort by USACE to finalize the studies and issue the permit,” Mr. Patterson continued.

Here are a few facts about Lake Ralph Hall:

  • USACE’s Environmental Impact Statement confirmed that the North Sulphur River near the City of Ladonia is a good reservoir site - - limited wetlands, no oil or gas wells or electric transmission lines.
  • Will inundate about 7,600 acres (similar in size to Grapevine Lake) but will yield about 30% more water because of greater rainfall in the Sulphur River Basin.
  • Helps address severe erosion on the North Sulphur River and will provide a significant aquatic and terrestrial habitat in Fannin County, one that doesn’t exist today.
  • Pipeline that now delivers UTRWD’s water from Chapman Lake was built with enough capacity to carry the water from Lake Ralph Hall to UTRWD’s service area.
  • Provides economic benefits to Fannin, Denton, Dallas and Collin Counties.

The Texas Water Development Board’s State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) program will be used to fund the project, estimated cost of $490 million.

For more information, visit www.lakeralphhall.org.

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