New Braunfels Utilities hosts Republic of Uganda representatives for tour on water supply, management

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Representatives from the Republic of Uganda Ministries of Water and Environment and Finance were in New Braunfels on July 24 for a daylong excursion that covered local groundwater management, monitoring and drinking water supply systems.

Hosted by New Braunfels Utilities, the tour covered major NBU projects at the Headwaters at the Comal and Comal Springs and Landa Park. The Ugandan officials were briefed on groundwater wells, monitoring, and deep-water production, storage and treatment.

“For us, back home one of the challenges is management,” Republic of Uganda official Robert Mutiibwa said. “We’re getting our water from very shallow aquifers, and we haven’t done any deep wells. This will be the first one, and it’s one of the reasons we’re scared. We haven’t dug that deep.”

Republic of Uganda officials had an interest in NBU’s interaction with the Edwards Aquifer Authority and the relationship between groundwater management and conservation in order to protect the local habitat, NBU Chief Operations Officer Ryan Kelso said.

Officials took a tour of the deep Edwards Aquifer well, which was guided by Hydrogeologist Jenny Adkins from the Edwards Aquifer Authority, and finished the day with a visit to the NBU Trinity Aquifer and Wellfield Facility for a demonstration on treatment, filtration and monitoring systems.

With more than 40 million people, the Republic of Uganda is rich in water resources and home to vast portions of Lake Victoria and the Nile River basin, as well as larger lakes Lake Kyoga and Lake Albert.

“We’re really interested in deep-water management, because our focus has been on shallow water,” one representative named Toni said while leaning over a plate of chicken-fried steak, mashed potatoes and coleslaw. “We want to understand the deep-water process.”

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