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Buda sets eyes on Aquifer Storage drilling site

Buda city officials announced a site plan for a pilot well for its Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) system in an effort to relieve drought pressures and ever increasing costs for water.

The site, located near an existing well at Talley Loop and Cullen Blvd in the Garlic Creek subdivision, will be drilled in early 2019 and will continue to be tested throughout 2020.

When the site is finished, it should aid the city in water collection and storage, while cutting costs currently being used to import water from elsewhere.

Blake Neffendorf, Buda Water Resources Coordinator, presented an update on the plan to Buda City Council Oct. 3 and will present again at a later date when permits are approved. Neffendorf said the ASR well would benefit residents by supplying water during droughts and providing more access to water during hot summer months.

“This provides flexibility,” Neffendorf said. “We can take water from the Edwards Aquifer during times that are good … and we can store that water for when we need to use it during the summertime.”

Water service to Buda residents is provided by the city, Monarch Utilities LLP and Goforth Special Utilities district. The city will continue to share provisional responsibilities with these companies after the ASR well is complete, but will be able to do its part more efficiently.

As the city moved from a Phase II to a Phase I drought last month, officials are looking to maintain conservation efforts until the drought is over or the well is complete. Since establishing water restrictions and conservation efforts, water usage in the city has been reduced from 146 gallons per day per capital in 2014 to 105 gallons per day through 2017.

The well will obtain its supply from the Trinity Aquifer and will connect to Buda’s water system at Old Black Colony Road and FM 1626 by the end of 2019. Afterward, the city will take water from the Alliance Regional Water Authority’s (ARWA) pipeline on the west side of town to improve efficiency in the distribution system.

In addition to the ASR plan, Buda will participate in a water-sharing program to supplement the need in the interim with the Alliance Regional Water Authority (ARWA) project, which will provide water from the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer to its member entities. Buda will take excess water from Kyle and San Marcos until 2023, when the ARWA project is proposed to go online.

Officials say Buda will continue water conservation efforts even after the water storage is in place and regardless of supplies from Kyle and San Marcos.

“We have a year-long conservation ordinance that asks people to conserve, regardless of whether we are in a drought or not,” said David Marino, Buda public information officer. “We’re always pushing for people to conserve anyway.”

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