In western Texas, the thriving petroleum industry continues to propel the local economy, attracting high paying jobs and low unemployment, and driving a high demand for water in one of the most parched areas of the country.
By 2012, Midland, Texas, faced a very real water scarcity challenge. Years of severe drought left the city with precious little time to find a source of 20 million gallons of potable water per day by summer 2013.
To meet the city’s expedited, 12-month deadline for the new water supply, Midland County Fresh Water Supply District No.1 implemented a public-private partnership arrangement with a team including Black & Veatch, Garney Construction and local companies Parkhill, Smith and Cooper for design support; Severn Trent for operational expertise; LBG Guyton for hydrogeolic support; and Hilliard Energy for land acquisition.
The team adopted an early-procurement strategy that called for overlapping design, procurement and construction processes.
With solid conceptual project planning—and design and construction occurring in parallel—the team was able to expedite and chop weeks from the usual regulatory approval process.
Hilliard Energy acquired land easement agreements from more than 55 landowners along the 60-mile pipeline in less than six months without ever exercising the District’s eminent domain authority – sometimes finalizing easements just ahead of the construction teams.
Procuring sufficient labor to quickly construct the needed facilities was one of the most difficult aspects of the project. Overland Contracting, a Black & Veatch-owned construction company, and Garney Construction drew upon their extensive supervisory and labor resources to get the right people to the field.
The delivery team’s financing plan allowed work to begin on the project before full funding was in place. Local banks provided interim financing, which was repaid by issuing short-term bonds. Revenue notes financed the remainder of the project.
The team reduced the overall contract price by executing work associated with the vertical wells on a unit-pricing basis since fewer wells were needed.
The project delivered the first water to Midland on May 14, 2013, beating the projects 12-month deadline. For providing the city a timely and reliable water supply solutions for the next 40 years, NCPPP is proud to award the 2014 National Public-Private Partnership Infrastructure Award to the T-Bar Ranch Well Field Development and Delivery Project and the project’s partners: City of Midland; Midland County Fresh Water Supply District No. 1; Black & Veatch Corp.; Garney Construction; and Parkhill, Smith and Cooper.