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Water Supply

Overview

Water Supply is an increasingly important benefit provided by Corps lakes, especially with recurrent droughts and projected shortages in both urban and rural areas across the region. Fifty major lakes, constructed and operated by the Southwestern Division, provide one-third of the surface water supplies for Texas and Oklahoma, and 20% of the supply for Kansas. An additional 10 lakes also provide significant water supplies in the state of Arkansas. Altogether, these sixty lakes contain more than 8 million acre-feet of storage space that is reserved for municipal and industrial water supplies.

The water stored in these Southwestern Division lakes can reliably supply over 4 billion gallons of water per day to households and industry, even during severe drought conditions. This amount of water could supply the domestic needs of about 1.8 million households. In fact, much of the water withdrawn from these lakes is used by businesses and industries across the region.  The revenues received from the users are based on repayment of the original project investment costs, interest on those costs, an assigned portion of the yearly operations and maintenance, and major repair, replacement and rehabilitation costs. All revenues received from the users of municipal and industrial water supplies from Corps lakes are deposited directly into the U.S. Treasury.

Mission

As one of the nation’s largest water management agencies, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plays an important role in ensuring that Americans have enough water to meet their needs. The Corps helps supply water to homes, business, and farms nationwide.

Water quality, quantity, and distribution are regional challenges that SWD and its local partners are addressing. As part of this effort, the SWD water supply business line provides support for taste water planning initiatives. Furthermore, SWD and its districts, together with the Kansas City District, are working with the Texas Water Development Board, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, and the Kansas Water Office to identify resolve challenges for more effective federal-state collaboration.

Southwestern Division Water Supply Facts:

  •  60% of the Corps water supply contracts

  •  75% of Corps water supply storage

  •  60 reservoirs with water supply storage

  •  8.4 million acre-feet of storage 

  •  4 billion gallons of water per day during severe drought conditions

  •  Enough water for 1.8 million households