Brazos River Authority holding public forum to discuss drought mitigation plan in Bell County

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 6:54 PM CDT
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BELTON, Texas (KWTX) - A plan to maintain a stable water supply in Bell County has been years in the works, and now plans are moving forward that will eventually start the construction of a new pipeline.

The project manager with the Brazos River Authority says they will hold a public meeting Wednesday to address any questions or concerns the community may have.

The BRA wants to assure residents that this project will improve their water supply for years to come.

A growing population and drought conditions have increased concerns over water supply shortages. It is something the state has been tackling for years.

“This project has been included in the state water plan since probably about 2007,” says Brad Brunett, the project manager with the BRA.

”The growth that was projected for the southern part of bell county and other areas in that region contemplated at some point in time that we would need to move water from Belton to Stillhouse Hollow,” Brunett says.

It’s called the Belhouse Drought Preparedness Project, and once complete, it will allow them to pump water directly from Lake Belton to Stillhouse Hollow Lake if it is needed. Stillhouse Hollow is only half the size of Lake Belton and it already distributes water to Williamson county in towns outside of our region.

“We are not going to need to run this pipeline continuously because in most years there will be adequate water supply in Stillhouse Hollow, just from the natural rainfall and runoff in the water shed,” Brunett says.

That is just one concern that people took to Facebook over, and it is one of many misconceptions they are hoping to clear up. The BRA says they do not need permission from the community to move forward but that transparency is important to them.

The Brazos River Authority says the preliminary engineering is already done, but that the design and construction process could take up to six years. They hope to have a fully functioning pipeline by the year 2030.

The public meeting will be held tomorrow from 5-7 P.M. at the Bell County Expo Center in Belton. There, they will talk about the purpose of the project as well as answer any questions or concerns from the community before they move forward with the rest of the project.