(UPDATE 6/22) On April 11, 2016, the Texas Water Development Board approved the Executive Administrator’s (EA) prioritization list, requesting full applications on 28 water projects totaling $1.3 billion, including 10 conservation projects totaling nearly $218 million through the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT), which provides ongoing financial assistance for qualifying projects in the State Water Plan.
As the population of Texas continues to grow rapidly (our population is expected to increase more than 70 percent between 2020 and 2070, from 29.5 million to 51 million) and climate change and severe weather, including drought, threaten our water future, projects that focus on encouraging conservation and limiting water loss remain incredibly important to meeting our long term water needs, which are expected to increase by 17 percent between 2020 and 2070, from 18.4 million to 21.6 million acre feet per year.
The TWDB requested full applications, totaling $235,497,376 in investment (including the Bryan aquifer storage and reuse project), of the following water conservation projects, listed in priority order:
- The City of Austin requested $80,195,000 for their Advanced Metering Infrastructure project which will allow the City to better identify leaky pipes and will provide more accurate and timely consumption levels for customers so they can quickly adjust their use to save water and money.
- The City of San Angelo requested $80,195,000 for their Direct Reuse Strategy project which will implement a direct potable reuse (DPR) system. Effluent from city’s wastewater treatment plant will be conveyed to advanced treatment facility including low pressure membranes, reverse osmosis (RO), and advanced disinfection. Then the water will be delivered to the city’s surface water treatment plant to undergo conventional treatment before being delivered to customers. The system will be designed to treat 9 mega-gallons per day (mgd) of effluent, expandable up to 12 mgd. The project also includes improvements at the city’s water and wastewater treatment plants, disposal of concentrate from the RO treatment system and conveyance infrastructure to transport the water between the treatment facilities and RO concentrate.
- The City of Austin requested $86,980,456 for their Direct Reuse Strategy project which will expand and enhance reclaimed water system infrastructure. This will include a rehabilitation of tertiary filtration system at South Austin Regional and Walnut Creek wastewater treatment plant to increase effluent quality and capacity. A ground storage tank for reclaimed water will be constructed in Montopolis and over 74,000 feet of reclaimed main to serve different parts of the city.
- The City of Seabrook requested $1,700,000 for their Municipal Conservation & Water Loss Reduction project which will help customers identify leaks on the customer side of the meter, and will also promote municipal conservation measures appropriate to their homes or facilities.
- The City of Cleburne requested $19,000,000 for their West Loop Reuse project which will implement a direct and indirect reuse water pipeline. The first phase, an indirect potable reuse (IPR) system, will treat, pump, and pipe 2 mega-gallons per day (mgd) to Lake Pat Cleburne, eventually becoming a looped system. The direct reuse system will supply water to Brazos Electric Power Plat and James Hardie Building Products. The proposed project includes a pump station, storage tank, pipeline, and additional treatment at the wastewater plant.
- The City of Keller requested $12,000,000 for their Enhanced Water Loss Control project which will reduce water loss through leaks, pipe breaks and service lines, and will also replace aging asbestos cement pipes.
- Harris County Municipal Utility District (MUD) requested $540,000 for their Municipal Conservation & Water Loss Reduction project which will isolate sources of leaks, and will support their current water loss detection and elimination efforts.
- The City of Yoakum requested $300,000 for their Municipal Water Conservation: AMI Water Meter Upgrade project which will allow the City to better identify leaky pipes and will provide more accurate and timely consumption levels for customers so they can quickly adjust their use to save water.
- The City of Waco requested $12,000,000 for their Advanced Metering Infrastructure project which will enhance water conservation efforts by their customers by allowing them real-time access to reported water consumption via a web based portal, and will enable the City to more effectively identify leaky pipes.
- The City of Cleveland requested $4,781,920 for their Municipal Conservation & Water Loss Reduction project which will support education efforts about water conservation and will replace small diameter water lines to reduce water loss.
Additionally, although not a direct conservation strategy, The City of Bryan requested $18,000,000 for their Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) conjunctive use strategy which will prevent evaporation losses that effect water stored in surface reservoirs and create a reliable underground water supply to meet demand during shortages. The project requires four new ASR wells and 4 recovery wells to be pumped at an allowable rate year round, with excess water directed from the city’s Well Field Pump Station to a new ARS field for aquifer storage. When demand exceeds allowable pumping from measured available groundwater (MAG) models, this recovered water will be used instead. While not a direct water conservation strategy, ASR does conserve pumped and diverted water by preventing evaporation that can cause significant water losses in our hot, dry climate.
As of May 11th, full applications for these SWIFT funding projects have been submitted. Later this summer, the TWDB will consider the full applications and award funds.