Two water treatment projects—the North Lake Water Treatment Plant expansion and Southside Water Treatment Plant rehabilitation—came online this spring and added 12 million gallons per day to Georgetown's water capacity.

The upgrades came online as water usage and conservation efforts continue to be key topics for the city, Mayor Josh Schroeder said in the annual State of the City address.

Per Georgetown officials, the Southside Water Treatment Plant rehabilitation added 3.6 million gallons per day to the city’s water capacity system, and the North Lake Water Treatment Plant expansion added 8.8 million gallons per day.

Along with 9 million gallons contracted from other cities, officials said the projects brought the city’s production capacity to 49.9 million gallons per day.

Officials said the first phase of another project, the South Lake Water Treatment Plant, is set to come online in late 2025 and bring an additional 22 million gallons per day. Its second phase will bring another 22 million gallons once it comes online in 2026, bringing the overall owned capacity to 93.9 million gallons per day.

Some context

According to Georgetown officials, an average of 42.8 million gallons of water are used per day during peak season. During the nonpeak season, water usage averages 17.63 million gallons per day. Per the city's website, about 70% of Georgetown's residential water is used for irrigation during peak summer months.

Schroeder said Georgetown’s water service spans 440 square miles—well beyond city limits—and gets most of its water from Lake Georgetown, Stillhouse Hollow Lake and Belton Lake.

“Whether you can see water in the lake or not does not translate to whether or not you can water your lawns in the summer,” Schroeder said. “That translates as the water that we treat and put into our water system that makes it to your home so that you have enough water to run your household and irrigate.”

Looking ahead

Schroeder said conservation needs to be a key component in Georgetown’s water usage.

“One of the things that we are shouting from the rooftops is the way water is used, at least in Central Texas, is about to change forever,” Schroeder said. “We are out of surface water, ... and so folks are going to be relying on groundwater, which is extremely, extremely expensive.”

Some conservation efforts Schroeder outlined included:
  • Retreating wastewater to make it safe to drink
  • Using graywater, or wastewater from washing machines, showers and sinks, for irrigation
  • Changing the city’s development code to mandate or allow xeriscaping, or landscaping that requires little to no water
Schroeder added that Georgetown is in the process of working with utility service provider EPCOR to secure up to 70,000 acre-feet of groundwater from East Texas to fulfill the city’s needs for the next “50 to 60 years.”

“We believe it's our responsibility, not just [to be] worried about the next five, 10, 15 years, but to look 50 years into the future because that's what the people did 50 years ago to put Georgetown in the place that it is today,” Schroeder said. “They made some very intelligent and wise long-term decisions.”

Also of note

Officials said Georgetown water utility customers remain in Stage 2 irrigation restrictions—one outdoor watering day per week—due to ongoing drought conditions and lake levels. Customers can find their watering schedule based on their address here.