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Houston plant expansion will increase water supply and reduce reliance on groundwater Posted on December 15, 2023


George Peyton – Board Member, Texas Water Development Board

We're here at the Northeast Water Purification Plant in northeast Harris County. The Northeast Water Purification Plant is part of the Luce Bayou Interbasin Transfer Project, which is one of the largest water infrastructure projects across the country. When completed, it will provide 400 million gallons per day of clean drinking water to the almost 5 million residents of Harris County, Fort Bend County, and City of Houston.

Ravi Kaleyatodi – Project Director, Houston Public Works

There are two reasons for the project. One is to comply with the subsidence regulations. And second is for the population growth. When I say subsidence regulations, the City of Houston and the region should reduce dependence on groundwater, and we should be getting water from the surface water. And by year 2035, only 20 percent of the water in the region should come from ground, and the remaining 80 percent should come from surface waters. That is the main purpose of this project. 

Secondly, purpose is the region is experiencing population growth. We are growing at about a million people per decade.

We are nearing substantial completion of phase one. When I say phase one, the first 80 MGD, million gallons per day, is nearing completion. There are two more phases. The next phase, we call it phase 2A, that will deliver another 80 million gallons a day. And phase 2B, that’s the final phase, that'll give 160 million gallons a day. So the entire complex, the new construction, will get 320 million gallons a day.

We are getting water for this project from surface water. When I say surface water, it is mainly from lakes and/or rivers. So, Lake Houston is the primary source of water for this particular expansion and the existing plant.

George Peyton – Board Member, Texas Water Development Board

The Northeast Water Purification Plant has been funded by the Texas Water Development Board by our State Water Implementation Fund for Texas program, which has provided $1.9 billion for this project. The Northeast Water Purification Plant is a shining example of regional collaboration.

Ravi Kaleyatodi – Project Director, Houston Public Works

It is a pleasure working with TWDB. Involvement of TWDB was very important in the financing of this project, not only for the City of Houston but also for the four water authorities is provided by TWDB.

George Peyton – Board Member, Texas Water Development Board

I've really enjoyed being here touring this plant. It's an impressive facility. The scale and magnitude of what we're doing here and what these entities are doing here is really, really impressive. It is going to be an incredible project that folks are going to look back on in generations, understanding that Texas got it right here.

This article is posted in Water Planning / Financial Assistance / Water Supply / Groundwater .