The Corpus Christi regional water system administered by the City of Corpus Christi (Corpus Christi) serves communities in seven Coastal Bend counties, including Aransas, Bee, Jim Wells, Kleberg, Live Oak, Nueces, and San Patricio. Corpus Christi is building a new pipeline to transport purchased surface water from the Colorado River near Bay City to the Lavaca-Navidad River Authority's existing West Delivery Pump Station south of Lake Texana.
The Mary Rhodes Phase 2 Pipeline ties into Corpus Christi's Mary Rhodes Phase 1 Pipeline, also known as the Texana Pipeline, which currently transports water from Lake Texana to the Coastal Bend Region. The Mary Rhodes Phase 1 Pipeline has been in operation since 1998. The water transported via the Mary Rhodes Phase 2 Pipeline is used by Corpus Christi customers including various municipal and industrial customers.
The project includes the following structures:
- Mary Rhodes Phase 2 water intake structure, river pump station, sedimentation basin, and booster pump station
- Tie-in to the Mary Rhodes Phase 1 Pipeline at the existing West Delivery Pump Station
- 41-mile Mary Rhodes Phase 2 Pipeline (54” diameter pipe)
- Fiber optic communication system
The Mary Rhodes Phase 2 project is a recommended water management strategy identified in the State Water Plan and the Region N Water Plan for meeting the water needs of the Coastal Bend Region. Corpus Christi takes a long-term approach to water planning and has an excellent record of maximizing the use of its existing water supplies and implementing conservation measures
In 1992, Corpus Christi entered into an option agreement with Garwood Irrigation Company (Garwood) for the purchase of 35,000 acre-feet per year (1 acre-foot equals 325,851 gallons).This amount was a portion of Garwood’s larger water right, the oldest water right along the Colorado River. Most of Garwood's service area was outside the lower Colorado River Basin with a large portion of its water right used for irrigation of crops in the Lavaca-Navidad River Basin.
In 1999, Corpus Christi finalized the purchase of a minority portion of Garwood’s right, having received the approval of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (the predecessor agency to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) in 1998. Garwood also sold its remaining water right and related assets to the Lower Colorado River Authority in 1999. With the purchase of the 35,000 acre-feet water right, Corpus Christi was authorized to pump water from the Colorado River at a maximum diversion rate of 298 acre-feet per day. In 2010, Corpus Christi began the initial steps in planning and designing Mary Rhodes Pipeline Phase 2. In September of 2011, they completed the preliminary phase of the project, and in October of 2013, they completed the Design Phase of the project. Corpus Christi completed bidding in January 2014 and awarded construction contracts in February 2014. The construction of Mary Rhodes Pipeline Phase 2 then started in April.