By Carlie Porterfield
A new subdivision coming to the Driftwood area is bringing not only 300 homes in a low-density setting, but also promises to help keep the local water supply as healthy as possible.
Developed by Beverly Hills-based Discovery Land Company, Driftwood Golf & Ranch Club will be a subdivision with more than 300 home sites on a total of 800 acres, anchored by an 18-hole golf course. Construction on the first houses in the development is expected to begin by mid-2019.
David Rhoades, president of the Driftwood Golf & Ranch Club, said the subdivision is unique in that its design is environmentally conscious, particularly in regard to groundwater.
“There are two significant things that set us apart from a lot of other projects in the marketplace. One is that we are requiring half of the individual custom homes that are constructed to harvest rainwater off of their roofs into a cistern,” Rhoades said. “Going beyond that, we will be installing infrastructure to take that rainwater harvested into the community system to inject it back into the aquifer.”
It is unheard of to conduct such a project on a large-scale community basis, Rhoades said.
“There’s always concern about the aquifer and recharge zones reaching critical levels,” he said. “We’re helping Mother Nature, in a way, by helping get water back into the ground.”
The development has also pledged to support Dripping Springs’ new wastewater treatment facility by utilizing 350,000 gallons of treated water a day on the subdivision’s golf course once the plant is up and running. City of Dripping Springs officials are seeking to increase the capacity of its wastewater treatment plant to close to 900,000 gallons per day.
That’s water that would have otherwise been discharged into waterways, Rhoades said. Treated effluent will also be used to irrigate the course upon its completion.
“Sustainability, to me, goes beyond the environmental aspects. We’re creating a place people want to be,” Rhoades said. “It can’t be sustainable if no one wants to go there.”
Discovery Land Company has developments in Hawaii, The Bahamas and California; all are locations with sensitive environments.
“The Austin area is very similar to that, with nuanced environmental impact,” Rhoades said. “Being aware of that is part of our company ethos.”