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Ensuring water security in the fast-growing Texas Triangle

The Texas Triangle – the region between Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio and Houston–is one of the fastest-growing regions in the country. Meeting the water demands of this dizzying growth without starving downstream communities of water they rely on for agriculture, industry and environmental flows cannot be achieved through water conservation alone. We need investments in reliable water supplies that truly add new water to our state’s portfolio. Texas Water Trade believes this can be achieved if we look at growth as a source of water – not just a source of demand. With a diverse suite of market-based solutions, we see a path forward to ensure growth and long-term water security in this booming region. 

Water reuse is one of our biggest opportunities. Texas Water Trade is working with the private and public sectors to develop new supplies of sustainable, climate-resilient water through an approach known as Net Zero Water. Net Zero Water can be achieved in many ways, including buildings that harvest and reuse water resources onsite, from rainwater and air conditioning condensate to wastewater reuse. 

Corporate water offsets can also fund Net Zero activities such as on-farm water efficiency upgrades and purchasing water for environmental benefits. Texas Water Trade is already working with corporate partners to help them offset their new water demands in the Texas Triangle through on-farm and instream investments. In the next three years, we plan to expand the suite of Net Zero options available for corporate water offsets and regional water planners. This will include opportunities to invest in building-scale water reuse projects that make water reuse accessible to all, including public libraries, schools, and affordable housing developments. To enable such projects, we’ll be launching a Net Zero Water Fund to help defray capital and financing costs for water reuse projects. 

We will also pursue other market-based solutions to reduce localized water supply pressures in the Texas Triangle, including land protection and source switches to shift demands to more resilient water sources. In Hays County, we will work with our Texas Water Market Maker, The Watershed Association, to enable municipal water users to shift their demand away from the overstressed Middle Trinity Aquifer in the Jacob’s Well Groundwater Management Zone. We will continue our groundbreaking work with Hays County to use State Revolving Fund monies for land protection in critical aquifer recharge areas, and coordinate with stakeholders in other counties to expand the use of this financing tool for land and source water protection. Finally, we will continue coordinating with entities like the Texas PACE Authority to expand the use of existing financing tools to make water reuse an affordable option for private and public development projects.