Priority Program 2: Sustainably Manage Our Water Resources
Central goals of this priority program are to conserve water resources and improve watershed health, which will require extensive involvement in regional efforts and close coordination across all aspects of Austin’s water resources. Bringing together existing efforts allows us to move forward with integrated strategies that address the range of water resources issues such as supply, quality, conservation, public health, and recreation.
Austin Water Utility (Teresa Lutes - Program Champion), Watershed Protection (Jean Drew - Program Champion), Planning and Zoning
For additional information about this priority program, see page 191 of Imagine Austin, or contact the Planning and Zoning Department liaison.
Watershed Protection Master Plan: In 2016, Watershed Protection updated the Watershed Protection Master Plan - the department's strategic plan that assesses erosion, flood, and water quality problems in Austin and prioritizes effective solutions. Solutions can include capital projects, programs, and regulations. The plan was updated to reflect new watershed problem score data, align with Imagine Austin, recommend new types of solutions, and revise the cost for capital solutions to address watershed needs.
Participation in 2016 Region K Water Plan: Austin Water actively participated in the development of the 2016 Region K Water Plan for the Lower Colorado Regional Water Planning Group, which was adopted and submitted to the Texas Water Development Board in late 2015. This plan, which is now incorporated into the 2017 State Water Plan, is updated on a regular 5-year planning cycle and includes an expanded set of City of Austin Water Management Strategies.
New Rainscape Rebates from Texas' Top Water Conservation Scoring Utility: In Austin, weather can quickly swing from intense periods of dryness to intense periods of wetness in no time - making both water conservation and stormwater management critical. In 2015, Austin Water, with help from the Watershed Protection Department, created the WaterWise Rainscape Rebate. This initiative offers rebates for landscpae features like berms, terraces, rain gardens, and porous pavement that direct and retain rainwater within a property. This innovative rebate is part of Austin Water's overall water conservation effort. In May 2016, the Texas Living Waters Project recognized Austin's water conservation program as the highest scoring across the state in their Texas Water Conservation Scorecard. The Texas Living Waters Project is a partnership of the Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter, National Wildlife Federation, and Galveston Bay Foundation.