San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

March 19th, 2012
Buda water demand to surpass supply within decade

Kyle, Buda, San Marcos plan to pump water from Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer The Hays Caldwell Public Utility Agency is planning a 40-mile-long pipeline to pump water from eastern Caldwell County to a collaboration of entities including the cities of Kyle, Buda and San Marcos. The first phase alone, scheduled to be online by 2020, is estimated to cost more than $100 million. The agency has already leased 17,000 acres in Caldwell County. MERCURY GRAPHIC by BRAD ROLLINS.


Demand for water in Buda will exceed capacity within the next eight years, according to projections provided to the Buda City Council last week.

As the city grows and becomes thirstier, Buda leaders will have to explore more options for future water sources, consultant Graham Moore told council members on March 6.

Options over the next five years include sharing water with neighboring entities, he said, and continuing to develop a water supply through the Hays Caldwell Public Utility Agency, a partnership among the corridor cities of Kyle, Buda and San Marcos and a handful of smaller water suppliers in the area.

The agency is planning to drill for water in the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer in Caldwell and Gonzales counties and pipe it west to the corridor, but the agency’s drilling permit from the Gonzales County Underground Water Conservation District is being contested. A permit hearing will likely be held in the second half of the year, said Moore, an engineer with the firm Lockwood, Andrews and Newman.

Sewage seeping  into Plum Creek

Aging septic tanks in the impoverished Hillside Terrace subdivision east of Buda are leaking sewage into Plum Creek.

To protect the creek, considered one of the state’s impaired waterways, the city of Buda has pre-applied for a forgivable loan that would pay for up to 70 percent of the cost of running wastewater service to the neighborhood’s 265 homes.

Working with Hays County and the Plum Creek Watershed Partnership, a regional consortium led by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, the city also qualified for the loan last year but declined to accept it amid concerns over payment of the remaining 30 percent of the project expense.

Connecting the homes to Buda’s wastewater infrastructure would cost an estimated $5.6 million, according to a presentation given to the City Council last week. Buda and Hays County officials have begun discussing how to pay the remaining $1.7 million not covered by the forgivable loan, Buda City Manager Kenneth Williams said.

“We’ve started talking money and how to put this together and make it work for the city of Buda,” he said. “If we all share in the costs it makes it much likelier to succeed.”

Though the city would begin to collect monthly wastewater fees from Hillside Terrace residents, Mayor Pro Tem Sandra Tenorio said the city should also consider levying impact fees to fund the endeavor.

“I think it’s a great project, and it needs to be done,” she said. “And I think there’s money out there for that 30 percent.”

WES FERGUSON is editor of the Hays Free Press where this story was originally published. It is reprinted here through a news partnership between the Free Press and the San Marcos Mercury.

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2 thoughts on “Buda water demand to surpass supply within decade

  1. I just have two questions:

    When will anybody out there EVER consider that central Texas simply cannot sustain unlimited growth because of the limits of our water supplies?? We cannot drill forever….aquifers *can* be depleted.

    Why is rainwater harvesting not included in future planning?

  2. And the City Of San Marcos only wants to build apartmenets by the thousands, where typically residents pay a flat fee, or it is included in their rent, for water and wastewater, you tell me how much conservation is going to happen there! The shortsided developer craziness must end, the watersheds that recharge the aquifer and the rivers are being destroyed and replaced with asphalt and concrete. Speak up and tell your elected officials that enough is enough! End the destruction of San Marcos,or replace those that will not listen in November! JLB 🙂

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