This is very interesting item to me from several perspectives; as a landowner and as an engineering geologist with more than 30 years experience evaluating pond and dam sites for flood control, water storage, recreation, municipal water storage, irrigation etc. My 30 years with U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's Soil Conservation Service from Texas to North Carolina to Arizona afforded me opportunity to work on many ponds, dams, lakes, and reservoirs. If you are not a cooperator with USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (formerly Soil Conservation Service) you may want to talk to your district office. They can provide you with some basic information and may design pond for you. free of any charges. You should have a district office in your county or parish, as the case may be.
I can see many possible benefits which might accrue to you. Depending upon your soil and geologic conditions you may or may not have to line reservoir. With negotiating you could as minimum end up with free pond which might enhance value of your property. Depending upon future water demands it could generate some income to you. I see endless opportunities.
I don't thing I would invest buying water and put in lined pond for storage due to evaporation of the water over time would be great lost plus transportation cost of water to storage and to end user. I would look into what Aubrey C. Sanders,jr. suggested.
i went thru this scenario a few months back with an operator. i was asked if i would be interested in having a pond/lake built on my property for fresh water storage at no expense to me. i said of course. the process began with myself, a landman, and an environmental engineer going around my place looking for prospective locations as well as the logistics of building it in a suitable location. you would not believe all the red tape involved when an operator vs an individual is building a pond. just the permitting process can take a year or two. we have not gotten the "deal" done as of yet... the deal stalled when the water source couldn't get the permit to sell any more water than it already was. i debated building my own ponds and then just marketing the water to whoever needed it. i decided it would be better to let them build it. they have an engineer who can look at topo maps and figure exactly how and where to build it to take full advantage of the natural watershed.
sooooo, they build it, they pay for it, we both use it, and in about 15 years it's all yours. oh, and they would be willing to stock it with fish too. at least that was the way i was setting it up. i am still hopeful that the water source will receive the appropriate permit and we can unstall this deal. i think it would have been a great opportunity to make an improvement to my property at no expense to me.
BTW- i heard no mention of any liner. we talked about the bottom of the pond needed to be clay but that was it. my impression was that most of the area would be clay at pond depth so not much concern there. where is your land that the company thinks they need a liner?
King john, I have evaluated thousands of dam sites and pond sites over my 30 years working for USDA-SCS. Only in the event that one of them did leak after construction did I recommend a liner or other remedial measures. I normally avoided building on such sites unless owner insisted on a specific site. I had couple of clients in NC who insisted on building under such conditions. One of them was worth $66 million back in the '60's so he paid the price to get what he wanted . To me it was impractical, but money buys.
Every state has its own laws regarding impounding runoff water from a watershed so it is essential to investigate.the laws. Certainly if you have location that is topographically favorable to construction of an earthen dam that is by far better than an excavated reservoir. If you want to undertake this I strongly suggest that you contact your USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service district office. Each state has different policies regarding the assistance they will provide to land owners. They will provide you some guidance and they may provide some engineering and geologic assistance. During my 10 years in NC and 20 years in AZ I provided assistance on many dams and ponds. Since I have been retired 20 years I know there have been many policy changes. But their mission remains the same, more or less. They are charged with assisting landowners apply conservation measures to their lands.
Just reviving this thread. We are in initial contact with a major company regarding surface water. We are looking at restoring an old SCS (now NRCS) pond whose dam washed out several years ago and had heard some companies were constructing ponds for private landowners. This pond is in a natural drainage and drains quite a few acres. We would simply be restoring a former existing pond, albeit possibly enlarged somewhat. Restored, the pond could supply a significant amount of water.
I would be interested in how these deals are typically structured with the company. We are not interested in simply getting a storage fee or a new pond in exchange for providing water.
We would certainly entertain a deal in which the company gets its money back plus a return on investment, possibly in the form of initially free or discounted water, possibly with a long-term contract with favorable rates.
Has anyone done this or aware of how this is done? Particularly interested in the structure of the deal and in the permitting issues mentioned above if the company did the construction. There would be no well water or well construction involved. Thanks.
Most likely, the project will require a section 404 permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, since most intermittent and larger streams are considered "Waters of the United States". The length of time required for obtaining this type of permit can be as short as 60 days, to beyond 180, and will depend on the amount of impact in the project. However, If the existing dam was still servicable, or the failure of the dam was recent, it probably would not require a 404 permit. If a 404 permit is required, mitigation may be needed. Current mitigation credits sell for $10,000 to $15,000 each. Without knowing more, it is hard to say how many credits might be required.
Next up, if the dam exceeds 6ft height and impounds more than 50 acre feet, then it probably needs to be registered with the Dam Safety Program run by Louisiana DOT.
Since it is in LA, it most likely does not require a water rights permit. In Texas, a similar (on channel) project would most likely require a water rights permit from TCEQ.
I can't comment specifically on the compensation structure, but most firms I have seen want some type of exclusivity or gurantee of use for a period of time when they build or reconstruct a pond.
hope that helps
Seems to me that you have very good possibilities. As you know I worked for SCS 30 years in Texas, North Carolina, and Arizona in which time I evaluated thousands of pond and damsites. Many of these were for private landowners,DCS cooperators. Mostly the were flood control dams of which we bult many throughot the country.
I would suggest you call upon NRCS district conservationist to discuss any assistance which might be available to you in repairing your dam. There assistance would likely be limitted to technical assistance.
It is very unlikely that you would need 404 permit. I am not familiar with requirements of La. state dam safety requirements as each state has their own rules. In NC any SCS designed dam was exempted from state dam safety requirements as we always equaled or exceeded state design requirements.
I suggest you follow up on this idea.
What Parish are you in? My land is in Webster Parish. Good Luck
As exciting as this is, we know that we have a responsibility to do this thing correctly. After all, we want the farm to remain a place where the family can gather for another 80 years and beyond. This site was born out of these desires. Before we started this site, googling "shale' brought up little information. Certainly nothing that was useful as we negotiated a lease. Read More