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One Water

New report: PACE financing can help scale water reuse projects in Texas

Water reuse projects are a proven solution to the state’s water availability challenges, but many more could be built if developers took greater advantage of a statewide financing program for water and energy conservation improvements known as PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy). So concludes a new report by the National Wildlife Federation and Texas Water Trade highlighting the vast potential – as well as the challenges – of using PACE to finance the upfront capital costs of water reuse, including development of onsite infrastructure for capturing and reusing non-potable water such as rainwater and air conditioner condensate as well as connecting and reusing a utilities’ recycled wastewater (known as purple pipe infrastructure). “Increasing the development...

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One Water in Action: Travis County Courthouse

By Jennifer Walker, National Wildlife Federation & Bill Moriarty This summer, Travis County broke ground on the new Civil and Family Court Building. The 435,000 square foot facility is located at 1700 Guadalupe Street and sits on 1.46-acres.  It is located in the northern part of downtown which is rapidly being re-developed. Travis County leadership realized early that construction of this new facility was a unique opportunity to deploy One Water strategies for the good of the community.  Commissioner Brigid Shea worked closely with the City of Austin’s Water Forward Task Force, Austin Water, and the County’s engineering team to develop a facility that will capture much of its water supply onsite thereby substantially reducing...

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Ensuring One Water Delivers for Healthy Waterways

By Jennifer Walker, National Wildlife Federation & Myron Hess, Tributary Consulting Texas Living Waters is an active advocate for the One Water approach because it offers tremendous opportunities for improving how water is managed. Even so, we are concerned that the available One Water implementation frameworks are not providing adequate guidance or methodologies for ensuring that implementation of One Water principles will result in actual on-the-ground benefits in achieving “healthy waterways,” which is a key component of the One Water approach. There often seems to be an assumption that implementing a One Water approach will automatically produce environmental benefits. However, One Water’s emphasis on local water capture, efficiency and reuse, if not carefully considered, may actually pose...

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Unpave The Parking Lot and Create Paradise: A Story of Headwaters at the Comal River

By Nancy Pappas, Managing Director of New Braunfels Utilities’ Headwaters at the Comal The Beginning Remember the Joni Mitchell song “They paved Paradise and put up a parking lot”?  Well, imagine you are on the Governing Board of the New Braunfels Utility and the staff proposes a plan to parcel off sections of a valuable 16 acres tract of land - once the fleet, facility and operations center for the growing utility - for development.  The mostly asphalt-paved property could bring in a significant amount of short-term funding redeveloped for commercial purposes, however, it also happens to have the neglected and long-forgotten original water source for the New Braunfels community.  What would you recommend? Keep...

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One Water in Action: Wimberley ISD Makes History as First One Water School in Texas

By Anna Huff and Nick Dornak, The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University The small Texas towns of Wimberley and Woodcreek are making big waves in the One Water world after the Wimberley Independent School District (WISD) announced their plans to build the first One Water school in Texas. When it opens in fall 2020, the primary school campus will utilize a variety of One Water strategies to reduce groundwater usage from the Trinity Aquifer by 90 percent when compared to traditional construction standards. One Water is a water planning and management approach that rethinks how water moves through and is used in a community; it brings stakeholders like developers,...

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