New Braunfels Utilities continues to break ground on water infrastructure.
The first utility to utilize the Edwards Aquifer in 1991, NBU expanded its reach in October by activating an aquifer storage and recovery demonstration well. The ASR well utilizes an underground formation and allows NBU to inject water for storage and potential use during times of drought.
“This is an important milestone event for water supply in our community,” NBU CEO Ian Taylor said. Taylor also noted the company has increased its water supply by 70% in the past two years.
“ASR wells allow us to more fully use our existing water rights. Once complete, this well field will have a capacity of nine million gallons per day.”
That nine million gallons is equal to the lowest demand day of the year for New Braunfels and about one-third of the highest demand day, Taylor said.
The water NBU plans to inject into underground ASR wells will primarily come from surface-water supplies, according to Taylor.
The process will involve NBU pulling water from the Guadalupe River, treating it and injecting it underground. Once accessed, it will be treated again before being injected into the city’s drinking water.
“Projects like this are impossible to accomplish without a collaborative effort from everyone,” state Senator Donna Campbell said. Campbell sponsored SB 520, which provides guidelines for storage and recovery of water from the Edwards Aquifer.
“New Braunfels is thriving ... and our county and city are growing fast,” Campbell said. “Positive growth creates growing pains, and we need more water. This bill promotes water conservation and the efficient use of water.”
Once complete, NBU expects to have nine total ASR wells on a section of land adjacent to the New Braunfels Regional Airport. The total cost of the program will range from $22 million-$25 million.
“NBU benefits by having the airport protect the water underground, and the city benefits by bringing water, fiber optic and utilities to a previously undeveloped part of the airport,” Taylor said.