FORT WORTH (AP) –Construction could begin by 2013 on a $1.6 billion pipeline to move water from East Texas to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The Tarrant Regional Water District on Tuesday approved a financing agreement with the city of Dallas.

KRLD’s Austin York Reports:

The agreement allows design and construction to proceed on the 149-mile pipeline, stretching from Lake Palestine to Benbrook Lake, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. The board also approved paying $16.3 million to five contractors for engineering work on nearly 95 miles of the pipeline.

The Dallas City Council approved the deal last week.

Wayne Owen, the water district’s planning director, said the work serves as a blueprint for cooperation on future projects, such as bringing water from Oklahoma, northeast or the Louisiana border.

“This is by far the most expensive project we’ve pursued,” said Owen. “There are no cheap options left. That is why it begs for cooperation among large regional water providers. There was a lot riding on this financing agreement.”

When completed, the pipeline will allow the water district to pump an additional 197 million gallons a day from the Richland-Chambers and Cedar Creek reservoirs, near Corsicana, to Benbrook Lake. Dallas gains the ability to pump up to 150 million gallons per day from Lake Palestine to Joe Pool Lake.

Water from the pipeline, to be built by the district, could be available by 2018. The water district is expected to pay about $980 million, with Dallas paying the rest.

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