Where does the City get its water?
The City of Round Rock currently obtains its water from two different sources -- wells and surface water -- and is in the process of obtaining water from a third surface water source.
Wells drilled into the Edwards Aquifer provided the City's original intial source of water and economically met the City's needs for many years. However, the amount of water in the Edwards Aquifer is dependent on continual rainfall, so it's not a reliable source during the frequent Central Texas droughts. The City still operates four wells called the Lake Creek Wells and the Westinghouse Wells. Groundwater is the City's least expensive source of water, since it currently doesn't require any treatment other than chlorination.
For the second source of water, the City has purchased surface water from the Brazos River Authority (BRA). Surface water is piped from Lake Georgetown to the City's water treatment plant. The BRA also supplements the water in Lake Georgetown via a 28-mile pipeline from Lake Stillhouse Hollow, near Belton.
The City has partnered with the cities of Cedar Park and Leander to create the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority
to access water in Lake Travis. The City has contracted to purchase Lake Travis water from the Lower Colorado River Authority
, though this water is not yet needed by the City, nor are facilities available to make use of this supply.
However, a new intake pumping station, raw water transmission pipelines, water treatment plant, and treated water transmission pipelines are now under construction. These facilities are anticipated to be on-line by June 2012. An additional 48-inch treated water transmission pipeline will need to be in service to deliver treated water to the City of Round Rock. The City anticipates needing this pipeline constructed by 2014 in order to meet the City's future water demands.
One primary difference between groundwater and surface water supplies is that surface water sources are able to supply a known quantity of water at a required rate, provided the facilities are available to treat, pump, and deliver water at the desired rate. The stated capacity of a groundwater source is typically the maximum rate that the groundwater source can deliver on a reliable basis.
Additionally, the City is in the process of beginning to develop a reuse water system that will reduce the City's freshwater needs.