Stage II Alarm Drought - 20% Reduction in Pumping
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Alternate Water Supplies

Overview

The District formed an ad hoc Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) to help guide policy, research, and management decisions concerning alternate water supplies within the District.

The District seeks to find ways to reduce dependence on the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer, especially during extreme drought.  Previous initiatives have focused on demand reduction strategies; this initiative considered what the District could do to promote development of additional water supplies that facilitate supply substitution and extend and/or increase the overall water supply in the region.

Recent research efforts have identified a number of possible alternate sources of water that could help reduce the demand on Edwards Aquifer, while at the same time likely providing additional water for the region.   Potential sources include: the Edwards saline zone for desalination and aquifer storage and recovery (ASR), Middle and Lower Trinity Aquifers, ASR in the Middle and Lower Trinity Aquifers, surface water, groundwater from outside the District (e.g., Carrizo-Wilcox), reclaimed wastewater, rainwater harvesting, natural recharge enhancement, recharge enhancement with externally sourced water, and weather modification. 

Some of these alternative sources are beyond the authority or other capability of the District to promote directly; the focus of the SAC was on those that are within the purview of the District, both now and in some reasonably possible future.

The SAC was designed to be representative of the interests that may affect and be affected by various alternative supply strategies and mechanisms.  The SAC was charged with providing the Board inputs on the previously identified approaches and activities, and any others that the SAC could identify and consider.   The SAC members met once and participated in numerous online surveys in the first quarter of 2013 to review, refine, and add to staff suggested strategies and to comment on those strategies.

SAC Members (status: complete):

  • Todd Votteler, Ph.D., GBRA (Potential Partners/Wholesalers)
  • Vicky Kennedy, Travis County (Potential Partners/Wholesalers)
  • Daniel Meyer, Plum Creek CD (Potential Partners/Wholesalers)
  • Mike Personett, City of Austin (Potential Partners/Wholesalers)
  • Mark Zeppa, IWSCOT (Permittees)
  • David Loftis, Centex (Permittees)
  • Joseph Marini, Texas Lehigh (Permittees)
  • Jason Biemer, City of Kyle (Permittees)
  • Stanley Fees, City of Buda (Permitees)
  • Charlie Laws, Creedmoor-Maha WSC (Permittees)
  • Matthew Scott, Ruby Ranch WSC (Permittees)
  • Jennifer Walker, Sierra Club (Environmental Entities)
  • Mary Kelly, Parulla LLC (Environmental Entities)
  • Sarah Faust, SBCA/SOSA (Environmental Entities)
  • Graham Moore, LAN, Inc. (Engineers & Resources)
  • Byron Benoit, Associated Drilling (Engineers & Resources)
  • Michael Barrett, Ph.D., UT CRWR (Engineers & Resources)
  • David Parkhill, URS (Engineers & Resources)
  • John Littlefield, Southwest Engineers (Engineers & Resources)
  • Wendall Braniff, Ph.D., Onion Creek resident (Public/At-Large)
  • Tim Miller, Millberg Farm (Public/At-Large)
  • Don Inbody, Ph.D., Hays Country Oaks 2 resident (Public/At-Large)
  • Cynthia Wilcox, Travis County resident (Public/At-Large)

Resources:

White Paper on Alternate Water Supplies (1/31/2013, pdf)

Overview Presentation from SAC Feb. 28, 2013 Meeting (pdf)

SAC Feedback Summary (Feb. 28, 2013, pdf)

SAC Wrap Up Survey Results (Apr. 4, 2013, pdf)

SAC Summary and Staff Recommendation to Board (Apr. 18, 2013, pdf)