A public meeting and hearing is set for this week focuses on the Northwest Louisiana Utility District Study. Project Manager Ken Ward says residents have had concerns about groundwater in Caddo and Bossier Parishes, so other water sources are being discussed.

"We keep talking every year about our groundwater, and yes, we do have a groundwater issue, whether it's at Sparta over in Bossier or Wilcox here in Caddo," Ward says. "We're also very blessed, I guess, to have Caddo Lake, Cross Lake, the Red River, as well as Toledo Bend. So we addressed all the situations we could look at, and kind of came up with different plans."

He says the study has identified that there's plenty of water coming out of Caddo Lake. Even with the Texas and Louisiana split, there are still 50-million gallons a day that could be taken out and treated. And the Red River has over 100-million gallons a day. There's also a possibility of having water from Toledo Bend pumped and treated and brought back to the southern part of the parishes.

"We have five different options," Ward says. "It's a matter of just sorting through them and figuring out which one's the best for our area."

And he says each plan comes with a different price tag. So residents are invited to come out and get more info, and share their thoughts, at this week's meeting. It's being held at the Bossier Civic Center from 3-8 p.m. Wednesday, January 29th.

Why is this important to you?

Ward says this study is to make sure we have high-quality drinking water at an affordable price in the future. "If we don't do anything now, in the future, we either won't be able to afford it, or we haven't done the proper due diligence to secure the water," he says. "As you know, everybody's fighting over water. When we have water that's available to us, and if we don't do what we need to do now, we have the potential to lose it."

Ward says whenever an opportunity comes up, we need to pounce on it. A good example is a cooperative endeavor agreement between the Caddo Parish Commission and the cities of Vivian and Oil City to upsize the water lines they're proposing from each town out to I-49. Information that came out of a study showed that the project was worth the $1.4-million price tag.

CLICK HERE for more details on the Utility District Study.