New Braunfels Utilities (NBU) is committed to planning for the future of our community.
With the pace of growth, ensuring adequate water supply while protecting our natural resources is critical.
New Braunfels Utilities has a diverse water supply portfolio totaling nearly 51,000 acre-feet per year (AFY). One acre-foot is equal to enough water for four families over the course of a year. The NBU water supply portfolio comes from seven different sources and our Water Resources Plan, which forecasts demand and evaluates new supplies, is updated annually.
Not all of the 51,000 AFY is currently deliverable without the addition of infrastructure to treat and transport the water. We are implementing an aggressive infrastructure plan to stay ahead of growth. Three projects in particular will bring new water to our community including the GBRA Mid-Basin Project and expansions of the NBU Surface Water Treatment Plant, and the Trinity Well Field and Treatment Plant.
In 1991, NBU was the first user of Edwards Aquifer water to reduce its reliance on the aquifer by building a surface water treatment plant (SWTP). In 2019, NBU purchased an additional 8,350 AFY of Canyon Reservoir water from GBRA, making it the single largest water purchase in NBU’s history. It was also one of our most economical, with a delivered price of $529 per acre-foot per year, while new supplies in our region typically range from $1,500 to $2,000 per acre-foot per year. Expansion of the SWTP to treat this additional water is in the planning phase.
Expansion of the Trinity Well Field and Treatment Plant is also underway. Not only will we add more than 3,000 AFY of water supply, we will save funds by co-locating NBU’s new consolidated Headquarters on the property.
New Braunfels Utilities is adding resiliency to our water supply by developing an Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) project in the Brackish Edwards Aquifer. The ASR Project will store water during times of plenty and then recover the water for use during droughts, emergencies, and peak usage periods.
While this spring season has brought abundant rain, many of us recall when portions of the Comal Springs went dry during the 2011-2015 drought. Conservation is important in protecting the environment and it is also good business. Water that is conserved is water we don’t have to acquire and infrastructure we don’t have to build. Lawn watering is the primary driver for new investments and water rate increases. Even with the recent water rate increases, NBU’s rate for essential use water is the lowest in our region.
The cornerstone of NBU’s conservation plan is the implementation of “One Water,” which promotes the integrated use of all water – drinking water, wastewater, storm water, and greywater – as a single resource to optimize its management and ensure resiliency. New Braunfels Utilities has partnered with other agencies within our region to develop a roadmap for implementation.
There’s no doubt that that our community is growing at an unprecedented rate. New Braunfels Utilities will continue to stay ahead and live up to our mission of being a trusted community partner for years to come.