VICKSBURG, Miss. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District hosted a signing ceremony for two water storage space agreements at DeGray Lake near Arkadelphia, Arkansas, April 3.
Vicksburg District Commander Col. Michael C. Derosier, along with Central Arkansas Water (CAW) Chief Executive Officer Tad Bohannan and City of Hot Springs Mayor Pat McCabe signed the agreements.
The agreement with CAW is for an estimated 157,014 acre-feet of storage and will supply approximately 100 million gallons a day (MGD) of water to their customers. The agreement with the City of Hot Springs is for an estimated 31,456 acre-feet and will supply approximately 20 MGD to the city.
Representatives from the Vicksburg District, CAW and the City of Hot Springs provided remarks during the ceremony.
“This is absolutely remarkable what is being achieved today,” said Dale Kimbrow, CAW’s manager of planning and regionalism. “The older you get, the more you start thinking about your family, your kids, and your grandkids, and in my case, I know they are taken care of for the most important thing that’s going to be in their lives 30 to 40 years from now. We have now secured their future.”
CAW and the City of Hot Springs have requested a combined 188,470 acre-feet of storage space, which equates to approximately 120 MGD, to be withdrawn from the main reservoir or upper pool of DeGray Lake. The agreements are the largest water storage space agreements executed in the Vicksburg District and throughout the Mississippi Valley.
Located on the Caddo River in Arkansas, DeGray Lake is a multi-purpose reservoir with flood control, hydropower, water supply, environmental and recreational functions.
“It’s very exciting to have these multi-purpose projects and to be able to move them in a direction that provides the benefits that Congress and all of you expect them to deliver,” said Derosier.
CAW and the City of Hot Springs initiated the request for a water storage agreement with the Vicksburg District in October of 2013.
“This whole process started in 2013 and it all ties together today,” said McCabe. “The Corps has an awesome responsibility… The agreements that we sign today will ensure the economic vitality of our community, Central Arkansas, the Little Rock area, greater Hot Springs and Garland County, and for that, we are forever grateful to the Corps.”
The Vicksburg District, CAW, the City of Hot Springs and Southwestern Power Administration have collaborated to create a solution for water withdrawal from the main pool that is consistent with current policy and advantageous to both hydropower and water supply users of the lake.
The Vicksburg District encompasses a 68,000-square-mile area across portions of Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana that holds seven major river basins and incorporates approximately 460 miles of mainline Mississippi River levees. The district is engaged in hundreds of projects and employs approximately 1,000 personnel.
A video summarizing the agreements can be found at https://youtu.be/1-ryPSbaBTw