Georgetown officials agree to sell 10,000 acre-feet of excess water to Blanchard Refinery

The city agreed to sell excess raw water to Blanchard Refinery. Here are some numbers to know in that sale.

The city agreed to sell excess raw water to Blanchard Refinery. Here are some numbers to know in that sale.

Image description
By the numbers
Georgetown City Council voted 5-1 in favor of an agreement to sell 10,000 acre-feet of excess water to Blanchard Refining Co. on Sept. 24.

In 2006, the city entered an agreement with the Brazos River Authority for 10,000 acre-feet of raw water per fiscal year for municipal purposes, said Glenn Dishong, Georgetown Utility Systems utility director. The contract expires in 2041 but is generally auto-renewed, he said. An acre-foot is the amount of water it would take to cover 1 acre 1 foot deep.

“Typically, when water is available, entities contract for the water via long-term contracts,” Dishong said. “There isn’t a market for water in the state, so the only real way to get water with any certainty is that you contract for the water for the long term.”

The city looks at future growth projections to determine how much water will be needed, Dishong said. According to city data, the city will not need to touch the 10,000 acre-feet of water until about 2033, but that time is extended to about 2040 if the city achieves its water conservation plan.

Since the city is not using water it is paying for, Dishong said selling the excess water to Blanchard would allow the city to make money off the water.

The revenue from the sale of the excess water will exceed the cost of the water by 25%, resulting in net revenue for the water fund in the amount of $197,500 for the next fiscal year, which will increase annually with the BRA system rate until the agreement with the refinery expires in 2029, city documents state.

This, Dishong said, would relieve the pressure on rising city water rates. It will not, however, directly lower rates, he said.

The contract is for 10 years, but there is an option in which the city can take back the water from the refinery in years nine and 10, if needed, Dishong said.

Dishong added that while the city does not need the excess water currently, it also does not have direct access to it.

The city has an intake line at Lake Stillhouse Hollow, but the 10,000 acre-feet of water is contracted out of Lake Belton, and the BRA has not completed the construction of a pipeline between the two lakes, Dishong said.

Dishong added that if the city needed to access the 10,000 acre-feet of water, the BRA would be obligated to get the city the water however it can.

“Water is a constrained resource, and when it’s available, municipalities need to acquire it for future growth,” Dishong said. “An opportunity like this, to be able to sell some of our unused resource for a period of time, eases the pressures on rates that are put on by growth.”
By Ali Linan

Ali Linan began covering Georgetown for Community Impact Newspaper in 2018. Her reporting focuses on education and Williamson County. Ali hails from El Paso and graduated from Syracuse University in 2017.


This map provides details on the Highway 195 and Berry Creek Drive project. (Courtesy city of Georgetown)
Highway 195 and Berry Creek Drive project starts in Georgetown this week

The project aims to improve safety by closing the existing crossover and rerouting turning traffic to new turnarounds and auxiliary lanes.

Georgetown Market Days occur on the second Saturday of the month from March to November. (Courtesy Downtown Georgetown Association)
Plays, soirees and mad dashes: 18 things to do in Georgetown this February and March

Check out this list of events in Georgetown happening late February through early March.

Williamson County residential home sales increased 11.6% year over year, according to an Austin Board of Realtors January housing market report. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County sees increase in year-over-year residential home sales in January

Williamson County residential home sales increased 11.6% year over year, according to an Austin Board of Realtors January housing market report.

Georgetown ISD rezoning 2020
Georgetown ISD board finalizes rezoning for 2020-21 school year

Students at Pickett, Carver and Mitchell elementary schools as well as Wagner Middle School will be affected.

Sue Harrison Georgetown ISD Round Rock ISD
Georgetown ISD names Sue Harrison as director of human resources

Harrison will start in her new role March 9.

Mango Tango Bistro and Bar Georgetown
Asian fusion restaurant coming to Georgetown Square

The bistro and bar plans to open in mid-March.

Cordovan Art School offers a summer camp. (Courtesy Cordovan Art School)
Check out 29 Georgetown summer camp options for the 2020 season

Parents searching for summer camps have a variety to choose from in the Georgetown area.

Local committee works to see Georgetown completely counted in U.S. census

Members will work to educate residents so they know what to expect and when regarding the census, which, ideally, will make them more likely to respond.

Meet the artist, more details on the new Gus's Drug mural in Georgetown

On March 2, the artist will begin drawing out the design on the wall.

The Georgetown Utility Systems control room operates 24/7. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Four new water tanks in four years: Growth leads to continued expansion of Georgetown water utilities

In the last two budget cycles, Georgetown City Council has earmarked $47.4 million in major water capital improvement projects.

Tourism strategic plan implemented to manage more Georgetown visitors

The intent of Georgetown’s plan is to take tourism to the next level.

Abed Yaghi makes a margherita pizza. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
Yaghi's New York Pizzeria offering fresh yet affordable options since 1999

There are eight Yaghi's locations in the Austin area.

Back to top