The largest single-purpose reservoir in Texas at 83,000 surface acres, Lake Livingston was completed in 1971 as the result of a contract between the Trinity River Authority of Texas and the city of Houston. TRA financed and constructed the lake, along with Lake Livingston Dam, and continues to own and operate both. Lake Livingston has a normal pool elevation of 131 feet above mean sea level and supplies water to four surrounding counties, plus the city of Houston. Stocked with striped and Florida bass, Lake Livingston is known as one of the best fishing spots in Texas.
Lake Livingston Dam, constructed across the Trinity River approximately seven miles southwest of Livingston, is 2.5 miles long. Lake Livingston has no flood control or flood storage capacity — flow through the dam is controlled by 12 tainter gates in a concrete and steel spillway. Operation of the spillway mirrors river behavior — as river flow increases, discharges will increase as well.
The R.C. Thomas Hydroelectric Project was developed by ETEC in cooperation with TRA, which owns and operates the dam and reservoir, and the city of Houston. Situated on Lake Livingston, the hydroelectric project’s groundbreaking was held in 2015, and it was brought online in early 2021 after eight years of planning, designing, and building. Water that TRA would otherwise release through the dam’s spillway gates is diverted through the plant’s powerhouse, turning three 8-megawatt turbine-driven generators. The electricity generated goes immediately onto the power grid serving the region. The project generates enough clean energy to serve approximately 12,000 households in East Texas and has the potential to offset approximately 64,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel power-generating plants each year.Trinity River Authority of Texas
- Lake Livingston Project
- Lake Livingston Permits
- Recorded Lake Livingston Information
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