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Water Supply Project Receives Highest State Honor

July 10, 2014

The Ward County Water Supply Project has received the 2014 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award from the Texas Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). This award, ASCE Texas' highest honor, is given each year to one project among all civil engineering disciplines. The award will be presented in September in Galveston at the annual Texas Civil Engineering Conference.

The project, an emergency response to the severe West Texas drought, supplies 30 million gallons of water a day to 500,000 people in West Texas, including Odessa and Midland. It encompasses 21 groundwater wells, 66 miles of pipeline, two 2-million-gallon ground storage tanks, four pump stations and related facilities.

The system was designed and constructed in 18 months because the Colorado River Municipal Water District’s three reservoirs were projected to be completely dry by early 2013. Our project team  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.

At right: Freese and Nichols used controlled low-strength material (CLSM) for embedment in the dunes because it allows for higher depth of cover for the shifting sand and provides greater side support for the pipeline.

Freese and Nichols has now received five Texas OCEA awards in the past 20 years. The other winning projects are the Lake Brazos Labyrinth Weir in 2008, the DFW Airport Capital Development Program in 2006 (as part of a team of three consultants), the Benbrook Connection in 1999 and the O.H. Ivie Water Supply System in 1996. In addition, the Lake Delton Emergency Repair Project won a similar award from ASCE Wisconsin in 2009.