The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) has a legacy going back more than seventy years to meet the region’s needs today and tomorrow. As part of that vision, discussions began in the 1980s for a new water supply reservoir to do just that for our growing population. Fast forward more than four decades and another milestone is reached as NTMWD is on the brink of realizing that vision for the nearly two million North Texans we serve – the name Bois d’Arc Lake has been officially recognized by the U.S. Board of Geographic Names (BGN) of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI).
While to many, this may seem nothing more than a clerical action, however this important federal recognition along with previous approval by the Texas Geographic Names Committee, means Bois d’Arc Lake will be included on the Federal Map of geographic names and formally recognized by various federal and state regulatory agencies.
“Official recognition for the name Bois d’Arc Lake honors the local history and recognizes the positive impact the lake will have on North Texas into the future,” said Jenna Covington, Executive Director of NTMWD. “While this critical project helps meet our service area’s water needs, Bois d’Arc Lake also provides economic benefits and recreational opportunities in Fannin County and surrounding areas.”
The 16,641-acre lake is in the final phases of construction and located northeast of the city of Bonham in Fannin County. Named after the Bois d’Arc tree abundant in the area and a familiar creek with the same name, this is the first new major reservoir in Texas in over 30 years. Rainfall and flows from Bois d’Arc Creek will be the primary source of water for the new lake. NTMWD began impounding (or holding) water in the lake in April 2021 and is on schedule to begin delivering treated drinking water later this year.
The remaining major construction efforts close to completion include work on the two-mile long dam, water treatment facilities, 60 miles of water pipelines, and over 17,000 acres of environmental and habitat improvements to offset the footprint of the lake. Environmental enhancements include planting of five million trees, stream restoration and reestablishment of natural wildlife habitats.
Economic studies for Fannin County project 2,400 new, long-term jobs, property taxes on new housing adding $1.9 million in revenue, $3.9 million annually to school district revenues, $303,000 per year to local sales tax revenues, and $183,000 annually hotel occupancy taxes. Working with Fannin County officials, NTMWD has developed a shoreline management plan for development and land use around the lake.
NTMWD is partnering with Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW) on recreational opportunities including boating, fishing, and hunting. NTMWD constructed three public access boat ramps with day-use picnic areas which remain closed until the lake is complete and meets all safety requirements to open. All recreation activities on Bois d’Arc Lake will follow state regulations as determined by TPW. Boating, fishing and hunting are prohibited at this time. NTMWD will notify the public when the lake is open.
“We look forward to a day hopefully soon when we can celebrate this great achievement for North Texas,” said Covington. “Bois d’Arc Lake has been many decades in the making, and it will provide the essential water supply needed as well as outdoor fun for generations to come.”
Learn more at www.BoisdArcLake.org.