El Paso Projects to Save Water, Help WetlandsEl Paso Projects to Save Water, Help Wetlandshttps://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=103842015-01-30T14:23:00Z2015-01-30T00:00:00Z

The El Paso Public Service Board, which oversees the water utility, has approved the $2.75 million purchase of the irrigation district’s nine-mile Playa Drain, which will become part of the city’s stormwater drainage system.

The board of the irrigation district (officially the El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1) is expected to approve an agreement that will let the water utility complete a pipeline to furnish water year-round to the Rio Bosque Wetlands Park.

That project involves turning the city’s long-defunct Socorro sewage treatment plant site into a ten-foot-deep, 400-acre lake that could be filled by water leaving Rio Bosque park and captured stormwater that will flow down the Playa Drain.

Saved water could be used for irrigation or piped to the Jonathan Rogers Water Treatment Plant and turned into drinking water.

The key will be converting the Socorro treatment plant’s old ponds into a water-capturing lake. The utility and the irrigation district plan to submit a joint application for an Economically Distressed Areas Program grant to fund all or part of the lake project.

Jesus "Chuy" Reyes, the irrigation district's general manager, said the district has already spent $4 million on the project and estimates it will take about $22 million more to complete it.

“We’d like to have the lake ready by 2017,” Reyes said.

El Paso
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