News Digest - June 13, 2022

  • Williamson County commissioners approved $72.5 million from the remaining American Rescue Plan to go directly toward water and wastewater treatment projects. The court decided on 15 projects to fund in towns and cities across the county to jump-start their infrastructure.
  • Last Wednesday, the U.S. House voted to authorize the Army Corps of Engineers to begin planning for the "Ike Dike" coastal barrier project in Galveston Bay to protect the coast from hurricanes. The next step is securing funding for the project, which would be the largest civil engineering project ever proposed in the U.S.
  • Austin Water has announced two new innovative water management systems located at the City of Austin's Permitting and Development Center called OSCAR and CLARA. The underground On-site Collection and Reuse System (OSCAR) collects rainwater and condensation that is filtered and used for outdoor landscaping. The Closed-loop Advanced Reclaimed Assembly (CLARA) can collect up to 5,000 gallons of wastewater per day, which is then treated and recycled back to the building to flush toilets and urinals. These projects help demonstrate sustainable water reuse for commercial buildings.
  • Austin has entered stage one of its drought contingency plan, which means that automatic irrigation is limited to once a week from 7 PM to 8 AM. To protect the city from worsening droughts, Austin Water has developed a 100-year plan to ensure the city has water as it grows known as the "Water Forward" plan.
  • The latest TWDB drought map shows a slight decrease in the area of the state impacted by drought. Notable improvements were seen in northern Brewster, Tom Green, and Concho counties.

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