Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

The Louisiana-to-Texas Water Deal is Off

Photo by Flickr user DrGBB (Creative Commons)

The Toledo Bend Reservoir

That was fast.

A plan to suck massive amounts of water from a Louisiana lake and sell it to Texas is off, the Shreveport Times reports. The Sabine River Authority of Louisiana, which regulates the Louisiana side of the lake, held a meeting late last week and “voted to suspend out of state water sales until a comprehensive water plan for Louisiana has been developed.” Some 300 people had gathered at the meeting, and when the vote against the sale went through, it was met “with applause, whoops of joy, and a few offered a hearty “Amen,” the paper reports.

What exactly was the plan? For starters, one of its financial backers was University of Texas alum and businessman Red McCombs. Forrest Wilder of the Texas Observer has the details:

“Over the past year, Toledo Bend Partners, the private company backed by McCombs and two wealthy Republican Louisiana businessmen, has been negotiating with the Sabine River Authority of Louisiana to lock up a large portion of the water in Toledo Bend Reservoir. The lake, the largest in the South, straddles the Texas-Louisiana border and is one of the last major sources of largely untapped surface water in Texas. The two states split the water evenly.

Toledo Bend Partners and the river authority have hammered out a draft contract that would allow TB Partners to secure the rights to 600,000 acre-feet — that’s 196 billiongallons — of water per year from Louisana’s portion of Toledo Bend Reservoir and pump it to Texas. That’s a huge amount of water. The city of Austin, for example, uses about 170,000 acre-feet a year. Six-hundred-thousand acre-feet also represents about 60 percent of Louisiana’s “firm yield,” the amount of water available during the worst drought on record.”

You can read more on the origins of the plan (and where that water might have gone) in the Texas Observer.


  • pfsfst@cox.net

    Central USA Water Resource


    By Jude Ramagosa


    An available water supply for Eastern Texas could be developed with small
    depletion of the Red River in Louisiana. Hydrology allows for aqueduct flow of
    water from the Red River to Caddo Lake in Louisiana and it’s length would be
    about five miles


    A few years ago Texas sought contracting water from Toledo Bend, La. but
    Louisiana “voted to suspend” 1. I believe we can give water to Texas
    from a different resource north of Shreveport, La. being the Red River. This
    river could be partially diverted flowing downhill to Caddo Lake, La. Water from
    the Texas side of Caddo Lake could be pumped into its’ countryside or cities.
    Water pumped or a Dam located on the Red River above Shreveport elevating water
    above the Lake allows aqueduct flow by gravity towards Caddo Lake.

    1.The Louisiana-to-Texas Water Deal is Off



    …“voted to suspend out of state water sales until a comprehensive water plan
    for Louisiana has been developed.”…

    What’s the Magic Number on Texas’ Water Needs?


    Texas would need to decide if they do have a water concern and if so
    make a contract with Louisiana because the CaddoRam concept will supply the
    needed water from Louisiana.

    Dallas area, northeast Texans split over reservoir in water plan


    Texas has much work to do once they have a water source and I believe
    the Caddo Ram concepts in my article is a very good source that will give
    Louisiana about $30,000,000 in sales a year.

    Joint project looks at Texas watershed


    My concept uses Caddo Lake for flow in from the Red River equal to flow
    out to Texas keeping Caddo Lake at same volume as though the concept was not

    If a drought is anticipated, more Red River flow can be diverted to
    Caddo Lake and this extra can be used during the drought. This may affect the
    natural lake level changes but from historical data on the CaddoRam concepts
    this would happen every seven years. During the 2012 drought for 4 months Red
    River flowed minimum average 1,600 CFS and 800 CFS is needed for Texas. Red
    River may be able to supply the 800 CFS during the drought and there would be
    no level impact of Caddo Lake, for the experts to determine.

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »