A New Braunfels Utilities-supported bill to create an Aquifer Storage and Recovery program awaits Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature after Texas Senate Bill 520 passed unanimously in the Texas Legislature May 22.

The bill allows NBU’s storage and recovery of water in the brackish portion of the Edwards Aquifer.

According to a release from NBU, a full-scale ASR demonstration well is being constructed near the New Braunfels Regional Airport and three additional monitoring wells.

“Texas Senate Bill 520 is the culmination of years of research, and determination by NBU and community partners to establish a viable water resource management strategy by creating an [ASR] program,” NBU CEO Ian Taylor said in the release. “As we continue to build resiliency in the NBU water management plan, building an ASR system that stores a blend of groundwater from our Edwards Aquifer wells and treated surface water from our water treatment facilities into the brackish portion of the Edwards Aquifer benefits our community on multiple fronts. Primarily, it will offer NBU the opportunity to recharge the ASR with water directly from our public water distribution system in times of plenty and to pull water from storage during times of drought.”

The release said NBU has partnered with the Edwards Aquifer Authority to assure protection of water levels and water quality in the freshwater portion of the Edwards Aquifer at Comal Springs.

“Protecting, preserving and conserving our natural resources is, and will remain, a priority focus for us at NBU,” Taylor said in the release. “Establishing this first of a kind ASR program means NBU will lead the way to take every precaution to protect the fresh water of the Edwards Aquifer as we move forward.”