With the announcement of a 400+ acre development anchored by Nebraska Furniture Mart, big changes are in store for The Colony.
However, for areas of the site, which sit at a higher-than-average elevation, bringing in water has come at a premium.
The source is the city of Plano, which, since the late 1990s, has been contracted to supply up to four million gallons of water per day to The Colony.
“That commitment has not changed, it’s just increased the area we are serving,” said Jerry Cosgrove, Plano's director of public works.
Recent votes by both cities mean Plano will add about another 60 acres to the area it currently serves near its northwest corner.
Both Plano and The Colony said this was in the works before the development, but, as in the past, Plano will get a piece of the pie.
"We do make money off the water," Cosgrove said. "The Colony pays us the same rate we pay North Texas, plus 10 percent."
For the city of The Colony, Tod Maurina said when you look at the cost benefit of buying water at the premium versus, for example, building a new water tower, the comparison is an even one.
However, he says considering the maintenance a water tower requires and the fact that neighbors are usually opposed to the change to the landscape, buying water makes more sense.
While the agreement was made before the drought, according to Cosgrove, The Colony is only using about 300,000 gallons per day of its 4 million gallon limit.
That number is expected to rise with the extra acreage, but according to the original agreement, it’s water to which The Colony is entitled.
“The area that we anticipate here, probably the maximum they’d be using would be 1 million gallons per day, and most likely, it would never reach that,” Cosgrove said.
He also points out the agreement will extend for years – likely outlasting Stage 3 water restrictions.