Water Planning & Conservation
The City of Buda has lifted Stage 1 Drought Restrictions, but is currently under year-round water use allowances and restrictions as defined by Section 24.06.005 in our City code.
Water Conservation Ordinance
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.
Drought Contingency Plan
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 549,000,000 gallons annually through TBRA'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 Hays Caldwell Public Utility Association (HCPUA), formed in 2007, in an effort to secure additional water sources from the Carizzo-Wilcox Aquifer. This was based on a joint long-term water supply study concluded in 2005. The HCPUA 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 HCPUA 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 HCPUA 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. This is enough to address the water needs of the participating partners for the next 50 years.
Due to the cost of the HCPUA improvements to produce & transport the water, the HCPUA partners are in the process of developing a 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 entities are working on the best means to share supply, whether it be through transfers of water rights or physically connecting the systems.
Even with the HCPUA, 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.