Innovative Program Management: Coordinating Water Supply Infrastructure in Central Texas

$300+ million

infrastructure value

Approximately 85 miles

of transmission main

19.5 MGD

Water Treatment Plant

Program Management

Cohesively managed strategic planning, multidisciplinary consultants, the program’s various schedules and budgets, and more in close partnership with the owner

Efficient Timeline

Coordinated a complex program schedule with input from multiple stakeholders, resulting in a design and construction timeline that delivered efficient results to the community

Standards Development

Created ground-up standards to ensure consistency and clarity for ARWA’s programs, including guidelines regarding materials, compaction requirements, and pipeline jointing methods

Established in 2007, the Alliance Regional Water Authority (ARWA) was created to meet the long-term water needs of a variety of different cities and utilities in Central Texas between Austin and San Antonio. While ARWA had completed one previous design and construction project to improve short-term conditions for one of their sponsors, they still had to develop their major system and infrastructure to continue serving their members’ growing water needs in the future.

In 2017, ARWA brought on Kimley-Horn as their program manager and owner’s representative to take this impactful project from initiation to completion. From supporting standards development to coordinating schedules, stakeholders, and construction and design packaging, our team helped ARWA establish the infrastructure needed to supply water for the surrounding communities for decades to come.

Synchronizing Program Management Stages and Stakeholders

The ARWA Phase 1B Program has been an extensive endeavor involving the design and construction of a variety of infrastructure to provide potable water for sponsors, including a well field, a booster pump station, raw water pipelines, a water treatment plant, and approximately 85 miles of treated water transmission mains. Kimley-Horn has managed multiple consultants responsible for different elements of the design and has provided these services:

  • Construction and design packaging strategy
  • Procurement
  • Program management planning
  • Preliminary engineering report preparation
  • Project management
  • Representation of owner’s interests
  • Standards development
  • Monthly reporting
  • Program data tracking and management through custom SharePoint and GIS sites
  • Land acquisition
  • Environmental clearance
  • Texas Water Development Board coordination
  • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality coordination
  • Permitting
Overall Phase 1B Layout

Our team did extensive up-front evaluations to assess options for construction and design packaging and procurement methods for professional services. We also maintained relationships with contacts at the Texas Water Development Board and performed quality checks on submittals to help the project achieve approval and funding.

Additionally, our relationship with the owner allowed us to represent their needs and priorities as we navigated consulting contracts, engineering design, land acquisition, and program consultant discussions. To maintain this close communication with ARWA, Kimley-Horn developed tracking methods, including a SharePoint site and GIS interfaces, and presented monthly reports to the board of directors about the project’s progression.

Leveraging strategic planning and communication, Kimley-Horn coordinated the multidisciplinary team as they delivered different project aspects. To support agency communication and consistent perspectives and reporting, we procured one environmental consultant team, which streamlined the environmental study and permitting process. Our team also managed a variety of essential project aspects behind-the-scenes—from document control to data collection, budgeting, scheduling, permit tracking, and quality assurance.

Scheduling & Strategy for Present and Future Needs

As part of our program management for ARWA, our team delivered a complete Phase 1B Program schedule—which included timelines for engineering, permitting, land acquisition, environmental review, and more. Due to our careful coordination of project elements, this expansive project is projected to be completed in 2026.

To help manage the design and construction schedules, our team divided the overall development of the approximately 85 miles of 48-inch and smaller diameter transmission pipelines into separate design and construction contracts. The small contracts represented manageable projects that were part of the overall program and were created to capture more interest from potential contractors and expand our partnership options.

We also scheduled design and construction to meet the program’s goals within a productive timeline while leaving space for expansion in future project stages. For instance, the well field has an average 6.1 million gallons per day (MGD) average flow with planned additional field development that will extend the capacity to 31.8 MGD average flow, providing even more water for ARWA’s sponsors and the communities they serve.

Guiding Infrastructure Expansion with Quality Standards

Since ARWA had new and minimal infrastructure prior to the Phase 1B Project, they needed guidelines to support this massive expansion of their infrastructure. One integral aspect of our program management for ARWA was developing the transmission pipeline design standards that laid the foundation for the entire program. As the owner’s representative, we started from scratch on developing these standards and put together a playbook that the multidisciplinary consultants could use to maintain consistency and cohesion.

One key decision made in the standards development involved determining which different materials could be used for the pipeline. After initially drafting the standards to include steel, ductile iron, and bar-wrapped concrete steel cylinder as materials, we solicited feedback from the ARWA staff, pipe manufacturers, and program design consultants. These various groups provided valuable technical peer reviews of the standards, and we were able to facilitate discussion around additional elements like pipeline performance criteria, backfill materials, compaction requirements, pipe jointing methods, supply chain and material volatility, and more. Our team re-evaluated and modified the standards based on this expert feedback and provided visuals to explain the results of the standards development process.

Kimley-Horn’s support of ARWA and the diverse consultants who worked on this program has allowed for the development of quality water supply infrastructure that will sustainably benefit millions of people throughout Central Texas.

Quick Facts


Alliance Regional Water Authority


Central Texas


"Kimley-Horn has been a tremendous adviser to Alliance Water in the development of our Phase 1B Program. From developing design and construction standards, managing design consultants, and participating in resolving construction issues, the Kimley-Horn team has been with us every step of the way"

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