TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas – A $15,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority will help Texas Water Trade create an online toolkit to assist developers in incorporating water reuse technologies in new buildings.
The LCRA Firm Water Conservation Cost-Share Program grant, along with matching funds of $3,591 from Texas Water Trade, will pay for the Net Zero Water toolkit. The toolkit will be available through the organization’s website, texaswatertrade.org, and will provide developers step-by-step instructions on incorporating innovative water conservation efforts into developments and information about the existing financial incentives available to assist in those efforts.
“Texas Water Trade believes that growth can be a source of water if we design buildings to capture, treat and reuse their water on-site,” said Sharlene Leurig, chief executive officer of the nonprofit. “Buildings have lots of untapped sources of water available to them, from air conditioning condensate to rainwater, stormwater, foundation drainage and even treated wastewater. Buildings can generate more water than they demand, becoming net zero or even net positive.”
Leurig said the Net Zero Water toolkit will provide information on issues tied to direct water reuse such as permitting, costs and marketability. The toolkit also will include case studies highlighting effective on-site water reuse in schools, multifamily housing and commercial developments.
Though the toolkit will be available to communities and developers across the state, Texas Water Trade plans to focus its initial outreach efforts in fast-growing Hays, Burnet and Travis counties.
John Hofmann, LCRA executive vice president of Water, said LCRA supports efforts to incorporate water conservation into plans for new developments.
“The Net Zero Water toolkit takes an innovative, smart approach to responsible water management,” Hofmann said. “Water conservation is not something we should do every now and then. It should be a vital part of our daily lives, including how we build new developments. We applaud this effort and believe it is a valuable addition to water conservation efforts in our state.”
Texas Water Trade, which was founded in 2018, works with agricultural producers, river authorities, natural resource managers and municipal and industrial water users to promote water conservation throughout the state.
“We are thrilled to receive this grant from LCRA,” Leurig said. “It’s a cornerstone commitment to the development of our Net Zero Water toolkit. Because of the important role that LCRA plays in regional water security, receiving LCRA’s support helps us bring these ideas to an audience that may not know about on-site water resources or who may not have looked at them closely as a real opportunity for providing sustainable and cost-effective water supplies.”
The cost-share grant is awarded through LCRA’s Firm Water Conservation Cost-Share Program, which provides funding for water efficiency projects and programs established by LCRA’s firm water customers, including cities, utilities, industries and irrigation and recreational water users. Eligible projects must help reduce or maximize the efficient use of surface water, including water loss reduction efforts, equipment efficiency upgrades, conversion of irrigated areas from raw or potable water use to recycled water, and emerging technology projects focused on education, outreach or technology advancements.
LCRA also offers residents up to $600 in rebates to help offset the cost of upgrading irrigation systems, maintaining landscapes and pools, and soil testing. See www.WaterSmart.org/rebates for more information.
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit www.lcra.org.
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