Written by Phil Cerroni
By Alice Canham
Irving Councilman Dennis Webb served as tour guide for a charter bus full of Irving citizens as they took a cross-state tour of the City’s water supply system earlier this month. Also on board were former City Councilman Rick Stopfer and the City’s water consultant, David Dean.
“The citizens got a look at a possible water source, Lake Hugo in Oklahoma,” said Webb. “Then we stopped off at Lake Cooper where Irving gets 85 percent of its water. We went to the Everett Reservoir, a holding reservoir where they bleed the air out of the lines. Then a gravity line brings the water to the pump station Irving has at Princeton, and from there it’s pumped to Lake Lewisville.
“About 25 – 28 people got to see Irving’s investment in its own water delivery system.”
Webb said Irving has a contract with the city of Hugo, OK for some of its water – 25,000 acre feet per year – if the details can be worked out with the state of Oklahoma and with the Choctaw tribe to build a pipeline for its delivery into Texas.
“All of the parties involved are trying to work out an agreement to free up the right for Irving to get this water,” said Webb.
“Based on our city’s population, we are providing enough water for now, but with the projected growth here, we’ve got to have additional supplies.
“Our need is going to increase, and we have to meet those demands.”
According to Webb, the bus passengers were “blown away” by the trip.
“They didn’t realize that Irving is one of only two cities, along with Dallas, to have its own water delivery system. We buy about 15 percent of our water from Dallas, and Dallas does treat all of our water, but because Irving had the vision many years ago to enter into this agreement with the North Texas Municipal Water District to build Lake Cooper, now we have cut our costs significantly. We have one of the lowest water rates among major North Texas cities – even lower than the city of Dallas.
“I want the citizens to understand this, to see it for themselves, and to hold onto this investment. We incurred a debt to do this, but it’s a good debt, and it will pay dividends in the future,” he said.
Webb plans an additional daylong “water tour” for citizens on Aug. 10.