water meets demand
Historical Drought Data
% of Texas land area in exceptional drought in August While not as severe as the totals in 2011, drought conditions throughout Texas are again worstening.
Area city ocials are addressing water concerns and predicting regular demand will closely follow population growth. The data below shows water demand in Round Rock and Pugerville is projected to increase at roughly the same rate as each city's population. *
demand in Million gallons per day
Population vs. projected population
0% 0.3% 0.74%
SOURCE: NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATIONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
*DATA FOR HUTTO IS STILL BEING CALCULATED AND IS NOT YET AVAILABLE, ACCORDING TO CITY STAFF.
SOURCES: CITIES OF HUTTO, PFLUGERVILLE AND ROUND ROCK, U.S. CENSUS BUREAUCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
Michael Thane, Round Rock Utilities Department director, said the city is well-positioned with expan- sion eorts on the way. Projections for expansions to draw 80 million gal- lons per day, or mgd, in 2030 show the city being able to meet peak demand of 43 mgd at full build-out. Pritchett said Pugerville is in a similar position. In June, the city approved a contract with the Lower Col- orado River Authority to double the city’s yearly water to an available supply of 21.4 mgd to accommodate a demand of 10.7 mgd. The city would not use all of the available supply until at least 2040, but it would be there if needed, he said. Pugerville has an expansion to its water treat- ment plant in the works that will nearly double the plant’s capacity as well as several new pipeline projects, including a second pipeline to pump water from the Colorado River into Lake Pugerville. While Round Rock’s and Pugerville’s recent water projects focus on water access in the long term, o- cials in Hutto are prioritizing capacity in the near term. The city is in the midst of drafting an updated water and wastewater master plan to more pre- cisely identify its needs, and sta said accurate data will not be available for several weeks. However,
preliminary ndings project the city’s water demand will catch up with its capacity within the next two years. To address the looming shortfall, city sta iden- tied several projects to immediately increase capacity, including improvements to multiple pump stations and construction of new pipelines. “The plan here is to have an actionable [capital improvement program] list moving forward so that the council can act accordingly … and direct sta to move forward on some of these projects,” Hutto Engineering Director Wade Benton said. Thane said as the city of Round Rock has grown, ocials have diversied water sources. In 2005 the city joined the Brushy Creek Regional Water Author- ity, a partnership with Cedar Park and Leander that allows for exploration of diversied water sources. Pritchett said Pugerville also uses conservation programs to stretch the water supply, including automatic metering infrastructure, or technology that allows users to closely track their water use. “[Automatic metering infrastructure] really pushes that conservation message and gets residents more knowledge about what they can do and how much water they’re actually using,” Pritchett said.
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in Texas, though they cannot say for how long. Because of this and rising need in general, city ocials maintain it is crucial to ensure local water resources can keep up with demand that is projected to more than double within the next decade. To that end, major local projects are underway to expand water and wastewater treatment systems to meet demands of a growing population and address any issues of access in the case of severe drought. Further explaining the need for immediate prepara- tion, Pugerville Utilities Director Brandon Pritchett said ongoing drought conditions and population growth will make securing water dicult for area cities in the coming years. “We, as a city, are in a very good position, … but for Central Texas as a whole, I think that’s a whole dierent discussion,” Pritchett said. Supply and demand The source of water for local municipalities varies, but despite current demand and drought conditions,
Major Projects Round Rock has numerous smaller water projects in the works from pipelines to pump stations. Some of the most signicant projects include:
OLD SETTLERS BLVD.
BCRUA Deep Water Intake Phase 2
Timeline: 2022-2027 Cost: $224.8 million Funding source: BCRUA regional partnership Purpose: The second phase of a raw water intake running from Lake Travis to Round Rock to ensure access to drinking water even in extreme droughts.
Replacement of wastewater lines
Timeline: 2020-23 Cost: $100 million Funding source: BCRWWS regional partnership BCRWWS East Waste Water Treatment Plant Expansion Purpose: The East Waste Water Treatment Plant is undergoing an expansion to upgrade from 21.5 mgd treatment capacity to 30 mgd treatment capacity.
Timeline: TBD Cost: $221,256
Funding source: Self-nanced wastewater construction Purpose: One of the latest pipeline projects to come after inspection of the city’s wastewater lines, a 552-foot-long 15-inch wastewater main will be replaced near Brushy Creek. The city stated that 15 major breaks were discovered, with many smaller repairs carried out over the last few months.
1431 COLORADO RIVER
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