To mitigate issues connected to rapid growth, Leander is requesting a transportation master plan and a long-range water supply study. Both studies will be the first of their kind for the city.

Leander City Council approved contracts for each study at its Aug. 6 meeting.

The $250,000 transportation master plan study will look at how city growth is affecting Leander roads and will aid in planning future projects. The contract was awarded to Kimley-Horn and will be funded from traffic impact analysis fees.

The water study, or the Long Range Water Supply Study & Water System AWIA Risk and Resiliency Assessment and Emergency Response Plan, was approved in a $359,837 contract with Black & Veatch, which has an Austin office. The study is being financed by the utility capital projects fund.

Council Member Marci Cannon said Leander needs hard data when planning future road and water projects. She said the long-term water study was "desperately needed" years ago and that the city is currently relying on a 2005 system study provided by Round Rock.

Mayor Troy Hill said he has no intention of leaving the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority, which is the water partnership between Leander, Cedar Park and Round Rock. Hill said the study will ensure that the city's $80 million share in the upcoming BCRUA deep water intake project is the right thing to do. He also said the other partner cities are taking similar measures.

“I think water is the new gold,” Hill said. “If we’re growing at the rate we’re growing, we better make sure that the decisions we make are going to be adequate for how much we're growing."