REGULATION: New City of Austin Mandatory Alternative Water Systems Proposed


REGULATION: New City of Austin Mandatory Alternative Water Systems Proposed

At an Austin Energy Green Building seminar last week, the Bingham Group learned of a new proposal from the City of Austin that could make onsite alternative water systems mandatory for new commercial development over 250,000 square feet.

Examples of these systems, also referred to as water reuse or water recycling systems, include rainwater, greywater, stormwater, and condensate water systems.

The City’s desire is to have non-potable water supplied through these onsite systems. The effort was directed by the City Council via an amendment to a larger motion adopted on May 2, 2019 to provide direction on the Land Development Code revision process (i.e., CodeNEXT).

Council’s direction could mean mandatory requirements for:

  • Onsite water reuse systems and dual plumbing to support them,

  • Higher water rates and meter fees if developments exceed water budgets/thresholds that would be set by City staff, and

  • New landscaping requirements.

These strategies were included in the 100-year water plan, Water Forward, adopted by Council last fall, but the Council’s May direction speeds up ordinance adoption by moving these items into the Land Development Code revision process.

Water is a precious resource but there are many details that need to be fleshed out if the City chooses to mandate these changes.

Austin Water will host a workshop on June 25 and a charrette is being planned by Austin Water for mid-to -late July. June workshop details are below. Details for the July charette are still being formulated.

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Our team has experience in land use regulations, as well as in water conservation policy. The Bingham Group is following this issue closely to see how development in Austin could be impacted.   

//Tina Bui, Senior Consultant


Alternative On-Site Water Use Workshop hosted by Austin Water

  • June 25, 2019

  • 8:30am – 4:00 pm

  • Austin Board of Realtors’ Central Office in NW Hills @ 4800 Spicewood Springs Road, 78731

  • RSVP is required to reserve lunch

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The Bingham Group, LLC is an Austin (TX) based full service consulting firm representing and advising clients on government affairs, public affairs, land use and procurement matters. The firm is certified MBE/HUB/DBE

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