LCRA awards $157,350 in grants to aid water conservation projects - LCRA - Energy, Water, Community LCRA awards $157,350 in grants to aid water conservation projects - LCRA - Energy, Water, Community


LCRA awards $157,350 in grants to aid water conservation projects

Projects will help conserve water in Hays, Travis counties

April 8, 2022

An LCRA representative presents a $100,000 grant to Reunion Ranch WCID for upgrades at its wastewater treatment plant. The grant is part of LCRA’s Firm Water Conservation Cost-Share Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Dennis Daniel, Reunion Ranch WCID Board of Directors president; Stacy Pandey, LCRA senior water conservation coordinator; and Terri Purdy, WCID board vice president.

LCRA representatives present a $57,350 grant to the City of Lago Vista for a new meter reading system. The grant is part of LCRA’s Firm Water Conservation Cost-Share Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Susan Patten, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Victor Manzano, Lago Vista interim director of public works; Ed Tidwell, Lago Vista mayor; and Brett Briant, LCRA senior water conservation coordinator.

HAYS AND TRAVIS COUNTIES – Grants totaling $157,350 from the Lower Colorado River Authority will help fund significant water conservation projects in the Reunion Ranch Water Control and Improvement District in Hays County and the City of Lago Vista in Travis County. LCRA has awarded a $100,000 cost-share grant to the Reunion Ranch WCID to enable the district to add an enhanced pumping and filtration system at its wastewater treatment plant, allowing effluent to be safely used to irrigate landscaping in common areas of the neighborhood. LCRA also has awarded a $57,350 cost-share grant to the City of Lago Vista to assist the city in shifting to a new meter reading system that measures water use on an hourly basis instead of a monthly one. An online portal will allow customers and utility staff to set alerts that warn of leaks, analyze water-usage patterns and promote conservation. Combined, the projects initially are expected to save about 102 acre-feet – roughly 33 million gallons – of water annually. John Hofmann, LCRA executive vice president of Water, said LCRA is proud to support water conservation and water efficiency projects such as these. “Everyone from individuals to cities and community groups should incorporate good water conservation habits into their routines,” Hofmann said. “Using recycled water efficiently and finding ways to spot leaks quickly are excellent examples of responsible water management. We applaud these projects and encourage other water providers to seek similar ways to use water more efficiently.” The Reunion Ranch Water Control and Improvement District will contribute about $120,000 for the project to use treated effluent for irrigation. “This recaptured water will be the first choice for maintaining our common areas,” said Dennis Daniel, Reunion Ranch WCID board president. “We’ll try to optimize it and hopefully we won’t need to use any potable water for these areas. Potable water will be a backup in the deep, hot summer, but our goal is to not use any potable water.”Daniel said reusing water is a win-win. “If we take that water we use for drinking and household purposes, treat it and recycle it for irrigation, then I think that’s more efficient,” Daniel said. “We’ve already paid for it and treated it so it’s essentially found water for us.” The project in Lago Vista is part of a multi-year effort to improve the city’s water infrastructure and further reduce water loss. The city will contribute more than $1.5 million in matching funds for the project, which links advanced water meters to communication networks and data management systems so customers and utilities can track water usage. Victor Manzano, Lago Vista’s interim director of public works, said the new meters will have a fail rate of less than 1%, far below previous failure rates that hovered around 20%. Eliminating the need for manual meter readings also will free up public works employees for other tasks. “Lago Vista, like neighboring communities, is experiencing an influx of growth like never before,” Manzano said. “With an anticipated 10% annual population increase, conserving water has become even more crucial to help extend our supply.” The grants are awarded through LCRA’s Firm Water Conservation Cost-Share Program, which provides funding for water efficiency projects and programs established by LCRA’s firm water customers, including cities, utilities, industries and irrigation and recreational water users. Eligible projects must help reduce or maximize the efficient use of surface water, including water loss reduction efforts, equipment efficiency upgrades and conversion of irrigated areas from raw or potable water use to recycled water. LCRA also offers rebates of up to $600 for residents to help offset the cost of upgrading irrigation systems, maintaining landscapes and pools, and soil testing. See www.WaterSmart.org/rebates for more information.

About LCRA
The  Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

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