Lake Columbia Water Supply Project

The primary purpose of Lake Columbia is water supply. Lake Columbia is not a flood control reservoir nor is it envisioned to have any hydroelectric capabilities. The lake will be located in the Mud Creek floodplain, with the dam being approximately 5 miles southeast of Jacksonville, Texas. The Lake will primarily lie in Cherokee County, with the northern limits of the lake extending into Smith County (see map at right). It will be 14 miles in length, approximately 1.5 miles wide at its widest point; cover 10,133 acres of land at normal pool. The lake will impound 195,500-acre-feet of water and provide a firm yield of 85,507 acre-feet of water per year to our water supply customers.

Environmental studies indicate that the Lake Columbia site contains no endangered species as currently listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The project will not impact any State designated “ecologically unique stream segments,” nor will it inundate any “priority 1” bottomland hardwood areas identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Lake Columbia is a recommended water supply strategy in the 2007 State Water Plan and the 2006 Regional Water Plan. These plans recognize the proposed reservoir site as a “unique reservoir site” suitable for the development of a reservoir and legislative confirmation. Senate Bill 1362, approved in 2003, confirmed the unique reservoir site designation and formally changed the name from “Lake Eastex” to “Lake Columbia” in honor of the crew of the space shuttle Columbia.

Key Physical Information for Lake Columbia

Normal Pool Elevation 315 ft NGVD (10,133 acres)
Fee simple purchase 318 ft NGVD (11,500 acres)
Emergency spillway elevation 324 ft NGVD
2 year flood elevation 317.12 ft NGVD
5 year flood elevation 318.57 ft NGVD
10 year flood elevation 319.69 ft NGVD
25 year flood elevation 320.77 ft NGVD
50 year flood elevation 321.72 ft NGVD
100 year flood elevation 322.59 ft NGVD
500 year flood elevation 326.65 ft NGVD
Probable maximum flood elevation
(Equals 41" of rain in 72 hours)
334.08 ft NGVD
Top of dam 336 ft NGVD
Dam length 6,800 feet
Dam height
(from stream bed)
67 feet
Dam footprint 164 acres
Total volume of above-grade fill in dam 3.6 million cubic yards
Reservoir volume at 315 NGVD 195,500 acre feet
Emergency spillway width 1,100 feet
Shoreline length 94.5 miles
Drainage Area 384 square miles

Public Input

You can participate in the development of the Lake Columbia Water Supply Project by providing your input using the form below. You can post questions, concerns, comments and suggestions. Your input will be provided to a key member of the project team. Due to the anticipated high volume of public input, responses to individual comments and questions may not be provided. All comments and questions, however, will be taken into consideration during the development of the Lake Columbia Water Supply Project. Frequently asked questions will be posted to the Frequently Asked Questions page by a member of the project team. Check this page occasionally for answers to frequently asked questions.

Lake Columbia Public Input

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