Proposed Allens Creek Reservoir moving forward

Proposed Allens Creek Reservoir moving forward

A landmark agreement between the Brazos River Authority and the City of Houston will allow the proposed Allens Creek Reservoir project to move forward. The City of Houston has agreed to sell its 70 percent ownership interest in the long-planned reservoir to the Brazos River Authority for approximately $45 million. The agreement will allow the project to move forward toward providing an estimated 100,000 acre-feet of additional water supply for the Brazos River basin


"The agreement is a win for the people of the Brazos River basin and the entire state of Texas," said David Collinsworth, Brazos River Authority general manager/chief operating officer. "The water that will be supplied by the Allens Creek Reservoir has long been a substantial part of the State Water Plan. This agreement allows the federal permitting process and ultimately construction on the reservoir to move forward." 


The Allens Creek Reservoir was initially permitted by the state of Texas to Houston Lighting and Power (now Reliant Energy) in 1974 as a cooling reservoir for a proposed nuclear power plant to be built near Allen's Creek, a tributary of the Brazos River. When the company abandoned plans to construct the nuclear power plant in the 1980s, the property and state permit to build the reservoir were purchased by the Brazos River Authority and the City of Houston to be used as a water supply reservoir to meet the future needs of the lower Brazos watershed. 


With the recent agreement between the City of Houston, the Brazos River Authority will immediately move forward with the 404 federal Clean Water permitting process. Should that permit be issued by the US Army Corps of Engineers  in a form consistent with the current water rights permit, the BRA will make an additional payment to the City of Houston of $15 million. Once the reservoir fills, the City of Houston will have the option to purchase up to 30 percent of the permitted firm yield of the reservoir.   


Covering approximately 9,500 acres of land, the projected amount of usable or firm water from the reservoir will provide about 100,000 acre-feet of water available annually for municipal, industrial, agricultural, and mining use. The estimated cost of the project is $500 million.


Like other water supply reservoirs owned and operated by the Brazos River Authority, recreation will be allowed on the lake. However, recreation may be available on a limited basis as levels are expected to fluctuate extensively to meet water supply needs.