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Austin Water to begin aquifer storage and recovery pilot

Friday, August 28, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin Water plans to begin designing and constructing a pilot aquifer storage and recovery system after City Council’s vote Thursday to authorize contracts for the initiative. In the first phase of the project, the water utility will evaluate the suitability of multiple aquifers, including the Carrizo-Wilcox, Edwards and Trinity systems, to serve as a storage tank for future water resources. The project is an integral part of Austin’s 100-year integrated water resource plan, also known as Water Forward. In this comprehensive water supply and conservation strategy, the utility identified Austin’s need for 60,000 acre-feet of water by 2040 in order to improve the city’s climate and drought resiliency. To accomplish this goal, Austin Water is looking to leverage the natural aquifers of Central Texas. “We must anticipate future needs and innovate to safeguard the resiliency of our community for future generations. Ensuring adequate and affordable water supply for our customers today and in the future is our focus,” Director Greg Meszaros said in a statement. Storing water underground in enhanced natural systems helps reduce the costs associated with water storage and is a practical way to lessen evaporative loss and make water readily available for withdrawal when other supply sources are strapped.

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