Water Planning & Conservation
The City of Buda is currently under Stage 2 Drought Restrictions. Water use allowances and restrictions for Stage 2 can be viewed in the referenced links below.
Water Conservation Ordinance and Drought Contingency Plan
Water is a precious resource in Buda. Throughout our region, it provides tourism, recreation, habitat for endangered species, and drinking water for a rapidly growing population. Unfortunately, it is also a limited resource, especially during times of drought, which are common in central Texas. Wise use of our water resource is critical to the economic health and vitality of our city—a key resource in maintaining and enhancing Buda’s quality of life. Conserving water provides financial benefits as well, as it reduces customer utility bills and assists the City in keeping utility rates as low as possible. It is necessary for each of use to do our part to conserve water, and by doing so ensure adequate water supplies both now and in the future.
Stage 2 Drought Restrictions quick reference guide.
Planning for Future Water Needs
Current Water Supply
The City holds historic public water supply rights to pump 275,000,000 gallons annually from the Edwards Aquifer. However, the amount permitted to pump per month, absent any drought curtailments, varies from 17,325,000 in December and January up to 33,275,000 in August. The Barton Springs-Edwards Aquifer Conservation District manages pumping from the Edwards Aquifer, and through its policies can curtail the City's pumping rights by as much as forty percent during times of drought.
To stabilize and increase the water supply, the City entered into a contract with GBRA in 2002 to secure up to 1,000,000 gallons per day, sourced from Canyon Reservoir (Canyon Lake) in Comal County. In 2011, the City secured an additional 500,000 gallons per day through GBRA from the same source, bringing the total to 1,500,000 gallons per day. Assuming the maximum daily amount was pumped from GBRA's supply line, the City has access to 547,500,000 gallons annually through GBRA's Canyon Reservoir facility.
Water Supply in the Future
Buda's growth means the City is constantly preparing its infrastructure for future demand. Water is no different. The City is participating in the Alliance Regional Water Authority, (formerly the Hays Caldwell Public Utility Association - HCPUA), formed in 2007, in an effort to secure additional water sources from the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer. This was based on a joint long-term water supply study concluded in 2005. The Alliance Regional Water Authority (ARWA) is a very unique regional approach to water planning in which several public water utilities and large water users are partnering together to secure the region's future water supply. Partners include the cities of San Marcos, Kyle and Buda as well as the Canyon Regional Water Authority.
The ARWA has achieved several milestones. This includes leasing approximately 17,000 acres of water rights in Caldwell and Gonzales Counties. The leases took 2 1/2 years to procure, involving agreements with 79 separate landowners. As a result, the Alliance Regional Water Authority was able to receive a permit from the Gonzales County Underground Water Conservation District in 2012 for the right to produce and transport 10,300 acre-feet per year.
Due to the cost of the ARWA improvements to produce & transport the water, the ARWA partners have developed a water sharing plan for existing water supplies in order to defer construction of the project until water is needed by the aggregate of the partners. The City of Buda has entered into an interim agreement with the City of Kyle and also the City of San Marcos through the ARWA to provide the City with up to 1,000,000 gallons per day of water through the existing GBRA pipeline. It is anticipated that Buda's share of the Carrizo-Wilcox water from ARWA will be available in 2023, at which time the interim water will be allocated back to Kyle and San Marcos.
Even with the Alliance Regional Water Authority, Buda continues to be proactive in seeking other additional sources of water in order to secure its future and preserve the quality of life that continues to attract citizens to this wonderful city. The City is currently in the beginning stages of an Aquifer Storage and Recovery pilot well which will allow the City to store excess Edwards Aquifer water in the Trinity Aquifer for use during peak summer demands and also potentially as a long term water supply storage option.