Lake Columbia Frequently Asked Questions

These questions are derived from the public input section of this website, as well as other means of communication with the project team. The goal is to answer your questions quickly and easily.

How can I find if my farm will be included in the water area?
The maps not having a scale make it close guess work.

Recently developed maps overlay property ownership tracts with the reservoir normal and flood pools. While these maps are very good for determining general relationships between the reservoir boundary and individual properties, they are not suitable for establishing the final perimeter of the reservoir. These maps have not been ground truthed by licensed professional surveyors and are subject to change upon verification by survey personnel at the time of final project design. If you believe your property is affected, please contact ANRA for a much more precise determination of the portion of land, if any, which may be impacted by the reservoir.

When do you expect to start purchasing the properties affected by Lake Columbia?

Land acquisition will not begin until after the US Army Corps of Engineers issues a 404 permit for construction of the reservoir. It is hoped that the permitting process would be complete by the end of calendar year 2010. Following issuance of a permit, ANRA would proceed with contracting with local entities for water, then surveying and appraisals would begin followed closely by acquisition. We anticipate land acquisition to begin six to eight months after the 404 permit is issued.

I believe we have enough lakes in east Texas. The Neches River is the last river in the area that doesn't have a large lake on it and doesn't need one.

Lake Columbia is not being built on the Neches River, rather on Mud Creek which is a tributary of the Angelina River. State and local water planners have been developing state and regional water plans since 1997. These water plans show a marked increase in population for East Texas, which means that more water is needed to meet future demands. Lake Columbia is a new water resource that will be used to meet these growing demands.

What does PMF pool elevation mean? I believe it references flood levels, but I do not know how it is determined and the statistical expectation that the water levels might get that high.

PMF refers to the Probable Maximum Flood. This is a flood level which exceeds the 500 year flood event. The PMF is calculated based on a rainfall event of approximately 42 inches of rain over a 72 hour period.

What is an acre-foot?

The term acre-foot is a water industry term that is used to measure large volumes of water. An acre-foot is the amount of water that equals one acre of land covered by one foot of water. One acre-foot is approximately 325,851 gallons.

I am interested in purchasing some land on the proposed Lake Columbia. Who can I contact about buying a lake front site before the lake is built?

Until purchased by ANRA, the reservoir footprint and surrounding land is privately owned. Any land available for sale would be either through the land owner or carried by an area realtor. Both Cherokee and Smith Counties have area Boards of Realtors or the area Chambers of Commerce could be sources to begin the search.

Is this a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' lake?

No. Lake Columbia will be owned and operated solely by the Angelina & Neches River Authority for water supply purposes.

When is the lake expected to be completed?

Once the permit is issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, we will enter what is called the “Construction Phase” activities. Construction phase activities will begin with funding, land acquisition, final engineering design and finally commencement of construction. Once we begin the physical construction of the dam, we anticipate a three to five year timeline to complete those activities.

Where is Lake Columbia going to be Located?

Lake Columbia will be located on Mud Creek primarily in Cherokee County, with the northern limits of the lake extending into southern Smith County. The location of the dam is about 16 river miles upstream of the confluence of Mud Creek with the Angelina River, and about 5 miles southeast of Loop 456 in Jacksonville, Texas.

Why do we need Lake Columbia?

The primary purpose of Lake Columbia is water supply. It is also expected to provide significant recreational benefits to the five-county area surrounding the lake. Lake Columbia is not, by design, a flood control reservoir, nor is it envisioned to have any hydroelectric capabilities

What is your guess on the length of time to fill the lake under normal rainfall?

It depends on rainfall. If the wettest season were to repeat itself, it would fill in 78 days (based on the runoff that occurred from January 18, 1945 through April 5, 1945). If the driest season was repeated, the reservoir would take 1,468 days to fill (based on runoff that occurred from April 16, 1962 through April 22, 1966)