By Jason Allen

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – More than 10 years ago, as every new Texan turned on a faucet, and each new business added in sprinklers, water planners realized they had a potential problem.

While the City of Dallas, and the Tarrant Regional Water District had enough water in East Texas lakes, they didn’t have a way to get enough there.

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The solution is now buried across 50 miles of Ellis County. The pipeline is big enough to drive a truck through, and massive pumps push millions of gallons of additional water every day to the north.

“As demands grow, and as the public needs that water, we’re ready and poised to add that,” said Dan Buhman, the assistant general manager for the TRWD.

This section of pipeline now operating, pulling water from the Richland Chambers Reservoir, is just the first phase of the integrated pipeline project. When finished, 350,000,000 gallons of water per day, will be able to move through the line.

Dallas will be able to pull 150,000,000 gallons per day from Lake Palestine. The TRWD will be able to get 200,000,000 from Richland and Cedar Creek, connecting them with Benbrook Lake.

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“Our goal is to never be the constraint,” Buhman said. “To be the thing that stops growth or prohibiting people from moving here if they want to move here.”

Planners believe that by working together, they’ve saved as much as $500,000, and saved 4,000,000 people, from worrying about their water.

By keeping the existing pipeline operational, they’ve also created a redundancy in the system, protecting it in case of power loss, failures, or just creating the ability to perform maintenance without interrupting supply.

Right now, there’s no target date to finish the rest of the pipeline.

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North Texans have started conserving so much, that even though population is growing, water demand is still at similar levels to where it was eight years ago.