LITTLE ROCK, AR – Central Arkansas Water has secured the largest water storage agreement ever approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District, and now owns up to 100 million gallons a day (MGD) of water from DeGray Lake.
The water storage agreement will allow CAW to withdraw from the main reservoir of the lake, which is located on the Caddo River near Arkadelphia. This agreement is a massive step to ensure a safe, high-quality, abundant drinking water supply for decades to come.
“For the citizens of Central Arkansas this is a much needed, viable third water source,” CAW Chief Executive Officer Tad Bohannon said. “This ensures we have enough water for future generations.”
In 1989, Little Rock Municipal Water Works reached an agreement with the Corps for first right of refusal for 120 MGD of water to be drawn out of DeGray Lake. Since that time, LRMWW, which merged with North Little Rock Water Works to become CAW in 2001, has paid an annual payment to the Corps to maintain that right.
Over the past seven years, CAW has been working with the Corps to make this agreement permanent by acting on that first right and permanently purchasing the water allocation. After much work by CAW, the Corps and other stakeholders, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works signed the approval to enter into the water storage agreement.
Of the 120 MGD total, CAW will sign a water storage agreement for 100 MGD and the City of Hot Springs will sign a separate agreement for the remaining 20 MGD. CAW will pay approximately $1 million each year for the next four years to secure storage of its allocation. Hot Springs will pay for their allocation separately.
“We appreciate the partnerships we have with all those interested in maximizing the benefits derived from the flood control reservoir at DeGray Lake,” Vicksburg District Commander Col. Michael Derosier said. “We are incredibly pleased to be part of a collective effort to identify mutually agreeable and beneficial solutions for all involved.”
An official signing ceremony will take place with CAW and Corps officials at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 3 at the Oak Bower Group Use Area at DeGray Lake.
CAW is the largest water supplier in the state of Arkansas and serves more than 450,000 Arkansans in seven counties.