Cedar Ridge Reservoir could be created as Abilene's 5th water source

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) - Abilene is working to get a 5th water source, but the project is being met with some opposition. 

The plan to create the Cedar Ridge Reservoir is to flood more than 65 hundred acres of land north of Abilene, however, the Army Corps of Engineers is preparing to issue an environmental impact statement on the project after a process called "scoping," and soon "scoping notices" will be going out to anybody who wants to get one and give their opinion on Abilene's planned Cedar Ridge Reservoir. 

Janice Bezanson who is with the Texas Conservation Alliance will be submitting her scoping notice sighting Abilene just does not need a new water source.

"Abilene has enough water supply now to meet the amount of demand that is projected for the year 2070," Bezanson said.

Tommy O'Brian, however, with the City of Abilene claims just the opposite, saying "the information that we have and the work that we have done, shows that Abilene is going to need an additional 26 thousand acres feet of water by 2030."

The plan to dam the Clear Fork of the Brazos River near the Shackelford, Haskell County line, causing the river to back up and flood hundreds of acres of land, not only has Bezanson concerned for the wildlife but the water itself.

"It's projected to develop 26 thousand, what's called, acres feet a year, that's the unit, in water supply, but it would also lose an additional 16 thousand acres feet a year just from the evaporation alone, and that's not a good trade-off," Bezanson claims. 

She suggest instead a far less expensive solution of building a pipeline from the Clear Fork of the Brazos to Lake Hubbard were a pipeline to Abilene already exists.

Another environmental group, The Sierra Club, who is also opposed to the plan for a surface water source for the City of Abilene, is suggesting recharging aquifers, where evaporation is not a factor.  

As far as the land that will be flooded if the dam is built, the property managers declined to comment.

KTAB/KRBC went to the North Lodge Headquarters of the Clear Fork Ranch and they confirmed that it is their land that will be flooded and where the mile-long dam will be back up the river.

O'Brian says it's during this scoping process that concerns will be heard and taken into consideration to be part of the Army Corps of Engineers environmental impact statement before the City gets any permits to proceed with the plan to build Cedar Ridge Reservoir. 

If you would like to receive a scoping notice, contact the Fort Worth Division of the Army Corps of Engineers.

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