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Engineering Excellence Grand Award

American Council of Engineering Companies

The Ward County Water Supply Project received a 2014 Engineering Excellence Grand Award, given to the top eight projects of any discipline by the American Council of Engineering Companies.

The $111.8 million transmission system supplies 30 million gallons of water per day to the 500,000 people served by the Colorado River Municipal Water District in West Texas. It encompasses 21 groundwater wells, 66 miles of pipeline, two 2-million-gallon ground storage tanks, four pump stations and related facilities.

The project was an emergency response to the drought of 2010-11, which had reduced the water district's reservoirs to a combined storage volume of 5.5 percent. To avoid interruption of the water supply for the cities, the entire system was designed and constructed in less than 18 months. Freese and Nichols developed innovative solutions to expedite the project, reduce costs and overcome challenges such as shifting sand dunes. The system went into operation Dec. 13, 2012, two weeks ahead of schedule and $26.9 million under budget.

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