The city of Dallas, the Tarrant Regional Water District in Fort Worth, and the North Texas Municipal Water District will team up to seek future water supplies from Oklahoma, officials said.
Under the agreement approved by Dallas on Friday, the TRWD will act as the lead agency in negotiating the sale or transfer of water to the North Texas region. The Tarrant district approved the agreement this week and the NTMWD agreed last month.
“The city of Dallas is encouraged with the progress and potential of TRWD’s efforts to procure an ample water supply for North Texas,” Dallas Water Utilities director Jody Puckett said in a prepared statement. “This agreement gives us the opportunity to work collectively for North Texas’ future.”
The Tarrant district has sued Oklahoma in federal court over the state’s prohibition of water sales beyond the state lines to the growing Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, about 80 miles south of the Red River that separates the two states. The water agency is seeking about 460,000 acre-feet of water per year from Oklahoma, the equivalent of a new reservoir. The cities will need new supplies to sustain growth over the next 50 years, according to officials.
Under last week’s agreement, the utilities would share in the cost of $2 billion to $3 billion in new pipelines and other infrastructure to bring Oklahoma water to Texas. Those pipelines would likely be financed through bond issues, officials said.