X
GO

Water School

How do you build a lake (reservoir)?

While the process may vary for each location, here’s a general outline of how a reservoir goes from idea to reality.

Once a need for water in an area is established, a site for the reservoir must be chosen. Several factors go into this decision, including nearness to a source of demand, a feeder supply of water (such as a river or creek), the geological suitability of the area and engineering constraints. Other factors considered could include impact on the environment, the local population, and historically or culturally significant sites.

Once a site is selected, hydrologists calculate early estimates of reservoir capacity and water supply availability to determine the lake’s yield. After these preliminary sighting and feasibility studies are complete, requests for a permit to impound water of the state is submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.  Other environmental studies and permits are required from federal and state agencies.  When permits are approved and complete, officials begin acquiring the land to be covered with water.

Once land is secured for the new reservoir, a series of pre-construction studies are conducted and state and federal permits are acquired. A final dam design is completed based on the various studies and once the permits are obtained, the dam is built and water is impounded.

The lake-building process can take several years or even decades. Throughout the process, officials hold public meetings to inform and obtain input from the public.

Related

Share

Search
Categories

The information provided on this site is intended as background on water within the Brazos River basin. There should be no expectation that this information is all encompassing, complete or in any way examines every aspect of this very complex natural resource.

If you have questions about a post or would like additional information, please contact us or call 888-922-6272.

Tags
gate parasite watercourse streamflow brackish meta tag marsh municipal mission sludge environment PAM water plants anaerobic invasive plants jobs bed and banks kayak boating electricity septic system reservoirs inland TCEQ surface water corps of engineers river effluent sediment water rights dock stream lawn fertilizer channel tributary spillway environmental wildlife acre-foot gas hydrology industry oxygen system wetland supply landscaping canoe golden algea lake levels filter water code lake level inundated hydropower organic estuary wastewater well costs emergency use lakes flood control lake evaporation canoeing riparian subwatershed water supply subsidence employment golden algae gage water clarity water use drought rain impound spring water cycle solids recreation appropriation hydrologic cycle planning flood pool granbury classification water planning contaminants contract soil limestone lake salt smell salinity Board watershed main stem drinking water chlorine speaker legislation beneficial use industrial rights use gulf allens creek reservoir habitat treatment depth agriculture sewage calcium wetlands monitor consumption streamflow septic minerals climate measure flood direct re-use aerobic potable corps subsidence district possum kingdom biosolids electric companies hunting aquifer authority taste pharmaceuticals algae farming acre-feet bay reservoir USGS water turbidity conservation cfs medicine groundwater water quality quality fishing clarity storage pollutants xeriscape E. coli map releases infection mgd dissolved solids governance riverine basin water treatment permit precipitation drilling camping E coli volume bottled water mitigation chlorides mainstem hydrilla sanitation dam fork ground water maps agricultural fish kill insurance indirect re-use runoff