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City of Austin searching for location to store large amounts of water underground

The city has met with Lee and Bastrop County residents in search for a potential location. On Thursday, they'll be meeting with Travis County resident for feedback.

AUSTIN, Texas — As Austin continues to grow, the City has started looking into what it can do to conserve the water that the reserves currently have as part of Austin's 100-year water resource plan. 

One of the projects that the City has implemented includes having a place to store massive amounts of water to pull from during a drought. City officials have already met with residents in both Lee and Bastrop Counties to search for a potential location.

On Oct. 20, officials will meet at the Austin Permitting and Development Center to get feedback from Travis County residents about how this project could incorporate equity and affordability considerations. 

Once the aquifer is up and running, the City will pull water from reservoirs in the Highland Lakes along the Colorado River in times of plenty. It will then store the pulled water in the aquifer, which will allow for the water to be stored underground in times of drought. 

"We can treat that water to drinking water standards," said Marisa Flores Gonzalez with Austin Water. "The water will be stored there until we need to get during times of drought or other emergency situations. It's a strategy that allows us to stretch our currently available water supplies."

The location they're searching for now is for the pilot aquifer. 

"Once we have that pilot project completed, we will be developing recommendations for a full-scale ASR project," said Flores Gonzalez. "We anticipate that that construction could last from June 2028 through 2035."

In 2035, when the full-scale aquifer is complete, Flores Gonzalez said they'll start storing water to reach their storm water target of 60,000 acre feet by 2040.

For more information about the ASR project and the schedule of upcoming public input workshops, click here.


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