The largest single-purpose reservoir in Texas at 83,000 surface acres and 450 miles of shoreline, 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.
The dam, constructed across the Trinity River approximately seven miles southwest of Livingston, is 2.5 miles long and is the only dam on the main stem of the Trinity River. 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. 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.
TRA and the East Texas Electric Cooperative broke ground on May 27, 2015 on the R.C. Thomas Hydroelectric Project at the dam. The project, which was dedicated on Nov. 12, 2021, was developed in cooperation with TRA and the city of Houston. Hydroelectric power is generated using run-of-the-river flows and releases to meet downstream commitments through the dam. The level of the lake is not affected during operation of the project. The 24-megawatt plant will generate, on average, approximately 124 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. This is enough energy to serve approximately 12,000 households.
Lake Livingston Permits
Recorded Lake Livingston Information
Lake Livingston Project
5170 S. FM 1988, Livingston, Texas 77351
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