Lake Columbia Water Rights Granted to Tomlin Infrastructure Group
Addison, TX-based Tomlin Infrastructure Group, LLC, (TIG) a subsidiary of Tomlin Investments, has entered into an agreement with Angelina and Neches River Authority (ANRA) that grants TIG exclusive rights to acquire 47% of the water rights, in perpetuity, to Lake Columbia in East Texas. The agreement enables the creation of a public-private partnership that would finally allow construction to begin on the fifteen mile-long lake that has been planned since the mid-70s. Once completed, the lake could serve as an important new water source for North Texas households.
TIG says it plans to bring in a financial partner to share the majority of these rights, which constitute 34,202 acre feet in perpetuity. ANRA also granted TIG the right of first refusal to any additional water rights that might become available in the future, according to Fred Brown, TIG managing partner.
Firm annual yield for Lake Columbia is approximately 85,500 acre feet. In layman's terms, 1 acre foot is equivalent to 325,853 gallons. Water rights granted to TIG could supply enough water for 150,000 North Texas households annually.
“With water becoming an increasingly scarce commodity throughout Texas, any new source coming on line will be in high demand,” says Brown.
The public-private infrastructure partnership will allow ANRA to complete a final permitting hurdle, The Army Corps of Engineers 404 Permit, Brown says. A bill passed by the Texas legislature designates Lake Columbia as a water resource and a recreational lake. The infusion of capital will solve the stalemated status of the delayed project. ANRA began planning the lake in 1978. The state issued the water rights permit to ANRA in 1985. The original engineering study was completed in 1987, but since then the lake has been beset by both permitting and funding delays. Formerly known as Lake Easttex, the lake was re-named Lake Columbia to honor the NASA Shuttle which went down in the area.
ABOUT ANRA: Angelina & Neches River Authority www.anra.org is a government entity created by the Texas legislature and is authorized to construct, maintain and operate any and all works necessary for controlling, storing and preserving water resources in the 17-county jurisdiction in the Neches River Basin.
ABOUT TIG: Tomlin Infrastructure Group www.tomlininvestments.com is the “intermediary” for infrastructure investments and public entities to facilitate new infrastructure projects. TIG sources and creates investment opportunities in toll roads, rail intermodals, airports, utilities and public service facilities. TIG originates these infrastructure opportunities by working with public entities to define the infrastructure project. Then it assesses the political, economic, financial and operational risks of each infrastructure project, then structures a viable contractual arrangement, pursuing only projects that have a competitive advantage and generate fair returns for the investors.