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 Trinity River Authority of Texas and the East Texas Electric Cooperative broke ground May 27, 2015 on the R.C. Thomas Hydroelectric Project at Lake Livingston Dam. It was developed in cooperation with TRA and the city of Houston. More than 100 people attended the event with speakers including TRA Board Member John Jenkins and Congressman Brian Babin, who represents the Lake Livingston area in the U.S. Congress.
Hydroelectric power is now generated using run-of-the-river flows and releases to meet downstream commitments through the dam. Thus, the level of the lake will not be affected during operation of the project. The 24-megawatt hydroelectric plant will generate, on average, approximately 124 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. This is enough energy to serve approximately 12,000 households. The hydroelectric plant will annually offset approximately 64,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel power-generating plants.Trinity River Authority of Texas
- Lake Livingston Project
- Lake Livingston Permits
- Recorded Lake Livingston Information