Water Forward 2024

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About Water Forward:

Water Forward is Austin’s 100-year integrated water resource plan to develop and implement diverse and environmentally conscious water management strategies to adapt to growth, drought, and climate change and ensure a sustainable, resilient, equitable, and affordable water future for our community for the next 100 years.

Water Forward was first approved by Council in November 2018. Since that time Austin Water has begun implementation of near-term plan strategies to help address future water supply needs. Austin Water has now started the process to complete the first 5-year update to the Water Forward plan and is targeting plan completion by 2024. Austin Water will be updating this plan in alignment with community values and will include refreshed demand, climate, and other projections to plan for a range of possible futures.

The Water Forward community engagement process will include virtual and in person engagement opportunities, including public workshops, ongoing Water Forward Task Force meetings, and other events. This page will be used to inform the public of our progress and collect your thoughts on community values related to water.



Why this matters:

Drought has historically threatened Austin's water sources. From 2008 to 2016, Central Texas experienced one of the worst droughts on record. Though Austin didn't run out of water, the Highland Lakes were drained to only 1/3 full and water restrictions were placed city-wide. The drought highlighted the dangers of having only one drinking water source.

Climate scientists have predicted that Austin will likely see even longer and deeper periods of drought, punctuated by very heavy rain events. Texas could also see drier conditions in the second half of the 21st century than it has in the past 1,000 years (according to a 2020 UT and A&M study). Add rapid population growth onto that and it's clear the city needs to plan for a more resilient water future.

About Water Forward:

Water Forward is Austin’s 100-year integrated water resource plan to develop and implement diverse and environmentally conscious water management strategies to adapt to growth, drought, and climate change and ensure a sustainable, resilient, equitable, and affordable water future for our community for the next 100 years.

Water Forward was first approved by Council in November 2018. Since that time Austin Water has begun implementation of near-term plan strategies to help address future water supply needs. Austin Water has now started the process to complete the first 5-year update to the Water Forward plan and is targeting plan completion by 2024. Austin Water will be updating this plan in alignment with community values and will include refreshed demand, climate, and other projections to plan for a range of possible futures.

The Water Forward community engagement process will include virtual and in person engagement opportunities, including public workshops, ongoing Water Forward Task Force meetings, and other events. This page will be used to inform the public of our progress and collect your thoughts on community values related to water.



Why this matters:

Drought has historically threatened Austin's water sources. From 2008 to 2016, Central Texas experienced one of the worst droughts on record. Though Austin didn't run out of water, the Highland Lakes were drained to only 1/3 full and water restrictions were placed city-wide. The drought highlighted the dangers of having only one drinking water source.

Climate scientists have predicted that Austin will likely see even longer and deeper periods of drought, punctuated by very heavy rain events. Texas could also see drier conditions in the second half of the 21st century than it has in the past 1,000 years (according to a 2020 UT and A&M study). Add rapid population growth onto that and it's clear the city needs to plan for a more resilient water future.

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Page last updated: 18 Oct 2022, 10:50 AM