Discussions about water and conservation continue in the city of Kyle just a week after city officials moved into amended Stage 3 drought restrictions, reducing residents' water usage.

What you need to know

Council Member Daniela Parsley kicked off the discussion Sept. 5 at the City Council's regular meeting about possibly requiring new developments and developers to focus on water conservation through landscaping.

"We are in a situation where we are not actually requiring anything from developers, and I don't know the legality of this and how much we can require from new developments that are coming," Parsley said "What I would like to see ... is [to] look into the possibility of us requiring, not suggesting, but requiring from any new development that they bring at least 50% of the landscaping to be water conservation friendly."

Council Member Michael Tobias suggested city staff collaborate with the economic development team as well as the planning and zoning commission as both entities help bring in or vet developers trying to build in the city.

What they're saying

The dais was in support of Parsley's suggestion and spoke in favor of working toward a solution.

"I lived in Los Angeles for nine years in a place where there's just perpetual fear of not having enough water, and water conservation is just drilled into people's minds," Council Member Bear Heiser said. "We need to get more into that mindset of this isn't just an as needed thing; we need to be practicing conservation year-round every year for the remainder of our lives."

A closer look

The city of Kyle, much like the rest of the region, has experienced population growth in the past decade. Not only that, but the city is no stranger to developments with dozens of planned and ongoing projects throughout to bring a variety of businesses and housing options to residents, according to previous Community Impact reporting, such as:Additionally, around 50% of the city's land is still undeveloped, primed for more projects as the city's population is projected to reach 77,050 by 2030, according to a draft of the city's 2030 Comprehensive Plan. The city's population in 2021 was just over 45,000.

Referred to as "controlled growth sectors," land in these areas are either under development or already have entitlements for future build-out, according to to the draft. City officials will be prioritizing growth in the areas of Kyle that already have infrastructure and services as some pockets have limited water and sanitary sewer availability.

What happens next?

City Council directed the planning and zoning commission to begin researching and workshopping the ways the city can improve its water conservation efforts directly linked to new and existing developments. The efforts could materialize in the form of incentives, programs and ordinance changes.

What else?

In addition to the action council took Sept. 5, city staff are also working on the city's Reclaimed Water Master Plan that will use purple pipes, used for reclaimed and recycled water than cannot be drank but can be used for other purposes, such as toilet flushing and irrigation.

"There are major recommendations for the cost of implementing a Reclaimed Water Master Plan," City Engineer Leon Barba said. "It's going to take quite a bit of time and money."

Barba added council will receive a report on the plan and its status at the next meeting Sept. 19.