City project to help in case of drought emergency

RIO HONDO — The city has a plan in case of an emergency.

The city’s water pipeline will soon be interconnected with nearby water suppliers for the residents if there is an emergency.

“This is history-making. We will have San Benito Irrigation District No. 2, East Rio Hondo potable water whenever we need it if our plant goes down,” said Ben Medina, Rio Hondo city administrator. “And we are connecting with Harlingen Irrigation District.”

The project is estimated at $1.2 million and is expected to be completed by October.

The project consists of connecting the water pipelines and water plant improvements.

The Texas Water Development Board granted the city $1.9 million in December, and $300,000 of it is a loan.

Two summers ago the San Benito Irrigation District No. 2 ran out of water during a drought season. It left the city without access to its water from the river to be purified in the treatment plant.

“The city was in dire need of water,” Medina said. “The way we get water here rides on the back of agriculture water.”

And when the drought hit causing the San Benito Irrigation District to run out of water, the state recommended the city get push water from another near by irrigation district.

Medina said he went to the Brownsville Irrigation District No. 1 to buy push water for more than $24,000 to get water into Rio Hondo.

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