BALLINGER - The City of Ballinger approved a water supply agreement with the City of Abilene that will secure water for Ballinger for the next 80 years during a special called meeting today at noon at Ballinger City Hall. The historic agreement will provide a much needed water supply to Ballinger for decades to come and allow for the city to move forward with projects and to promote economic development.

BALLINGER - The City of Ballinger is set to approve approve a water supply agreement with the City of Abilene that will secure water for Ballinger for the next 80 years during a special called meeting today at noon at Ballinger City Hall. The historic agreement will provide a much needed water supply to Ballinger for decades to come and allow for the city to move forward with projects and to promote economic development.

The new agreement was brokered by Ballinger City Manager Bryan Grimes and supported by the Ballinger City Council. The resolution as approved and adopted by the City of Abilene on Thursday approves a water supply and infrastructure partnership between the two cities.

Currently, the City of Ballinger receives 500 acre feet of water, on Lake O.H. Ivie, from the Colorado River Municipal Water District (CRMWD) via a water supply contract with Millersview-Doole Water Supply Corporation.  (MDWSC).  

“The supply agreement does not provide enough water to meet the demand for the nearly 2,000 water connections in the City of Ballinger Water System, Grimes explained. “This lack of supply, combined with consistent drought conditions, has put a tremendous financial burden on the City of Ballinger, which has been passed to Ballinger’s water customers.  Today, the only source of water available to the City of Ballinger is Lake O.H. Ivie.”

The adopted resolution and plan is part of the City of Ballinger’s on-going efforts to obtain a secure water supply for years to come and is an amended version of the proposed Lake Fort Phantom Water Project in which Ballinger was proposing to purchase water rights from that water source and build a 75-mile pipeline.

In January, the city was approved for a $3 million grant from the Texas Water Development Board, which is for the design and development portion of the project.

In March of 2016, the city applied for a $30 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to purchase 1,250 acre feet of water from Lake Fort Phantom through the City of Clyde and for a 75-mile pipeline to transport the water to Ballinger.

Under this plan, Ballinger will have the ability to receive water from multiple sources, including Abilene’s Lake Fort Phantom, Lake Hubbard in Breckenridge and Possom Kingdom Lake.

Here are the facts of the current water supply situation and the plan going forward.

Ballinger pays $1.46 for 500 acre feet of water from Lake O.H. Ivie.  This is not enough to supply the City of Ballinger.

Abilene will supply Ballinger with a minimum of 625 acre feet and a maximum of 1,250 acre feet at $0.79 per thousand.  This represents approximately a 50% reduction in costs.  

Abilene will supply Ballinger a minimum of 625 acre feet and a maximum of 1250 acre feet of water from Lake Hubbard and Lake Fort Phantom at a cost of $0.99 per thousand.  

Abilene will supply Ballinger a minimum of 625 acre feet and a maximum of 1,250 acre feet of water from Possum Kingdom Lake at a cost of $3 per thousand.

This agreement is for a 40 year team, with an automatic 40 year renewal.  Prices are only adjusted based upon industry standards and CPI.  

This agreement will interconnect Ballinger to four reservoirs, not including Lake Ballinger and Old Lake Ballinger.  Upon completion, Ballinger will be able to draw off of six reservoirs.  

Ballinger will pay 100 percent of the planning, acquisition, and design of a water line connecting Abilene’s Grimes Water Treatment Plant and the Hargesheimer Water Treatment Plant. The City of  Ballinger has secured grant funding to help pay the costs of the planning and development.

Ballinger has also secured a low interest loan from the TWDB to pay for approximately $1 million of the planning and development.