The council approved initiative supports progress toward long-term water supply goals.
AUSTIN, TX - Today, Austin City Council approved Austin Water’s new Onsite Water Reuse System Pilot Incentive Program. Identified as a key strategy in the Water Forward Integrated Water Resource Plan, this program will incentivize developments that incorporate systems to collect, treat, and reuse rainwater, stormwater, graywater, foundation drainage, air conditioning condensate, or blackwater for non-potable purposes onsite. Capturing and reusing these alternative sources of water will help offset drinking water demand as Austin’s population continues to grow and extend core water supplies from the Colorado River and Highland Lakes facing impacts from climate change.
To demonstrate how these innovative systems work, Austin Water commissioned a pilot project at the City of Austin’s recently completed Permitting and Development Center to showcase sustainable water management practices to the development community. Educational signage describes how these innovative water reuse systems, known as OSCAR (On-Site Collection and Reuse) and CLARA (Closed-Loop Advanced Reclaimed Assembly), are used in the building. OSCAR and CLARA are anticipated to save the City of Austin almost 1.5 million gallons of drinking water annually, and to reduce the site’s potable water use by 75 percent. A recent recipient of the Texas chapter of the American Water Works Association Conservation and Reuse Award, this first-of-its-kind project in Texas will provide performance data to inform future development projects and encourage efforts to capture and reuse water onsite for non-drinking water needs.
Developers seeking to voluntarily incorporate Onsite Water Reuse Systems are encouraged to submit proposals for funding. Incentives are available for projects that meet one of the following criteria:
- Systems that replace 1,000,000 gallons or more of potable water per year are eligible for program funding up to $250,000; or
- Systems that replace 3,000,000 gallons or more of potable water per year are eligible for program funding up to $500,000.
For more information and to download the pilot incentive program application, please visit Austin Water’s website: http://www.austintexas.gov/department/onsite-water-reuse-systems.