Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2011TX396B

Benefits and Costs of Water Reuse Programs in Texas

Institute: Texas
Year Established: 2011 Start Date: 2011-03-01 End Date: 2012-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $5,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $10,000

Principal Investigators: Shae Luther, Laura Stroup

Abstract: As Texas’s population is expected to reach approximately 46 million by 2060, water managers will need to find more sustainable water supplies to accommodate this increase. Overallocation of many of the state’s rivers, as well as overpumping of aquifers, makes these resources less reliable for meeting growing water demands. For this reason, many decision-makers are turning toward creative water reuse initiatives to augment dwindling supplies, as water use for municipal purposes has already increased exponentially over the last several years. According to the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), at least five counties located throughout the state report more than ten million gallons per day of municipal water supply reuse: Potter, Midland, Lubbock, Collin, and Bexar. The first portion of this study examines similarities and differences between these counties to determine how each community incorporates reuse into their municipal water supply. Additionally, for a reuse project to be effective and successful, the local community must be onboard, and therefore should be included in the planning and implementation process. The second portion will survey residents of the five counties to analyze and assess their perceptions regarding reuse, and to evaluate the extent to which they are willing to accept various reuse initiatives.