Cedar Park City Council approved alternative water sources in the city’s Drought Contingency and Water Emergency Plan on consent at the June 9 meeting.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, or TCEQ, is now requiring water suppliers to select alternative water supply sources in their Drought Contingency and Water Emergency Plan. The city of Cedar Park named the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority water treatment plant and the existing interconnection with the city of Round Rock as alternative water sources in the plan, according to city documents.

“If we were to have any type of issue at our primary plant, we could pull from BCRUA on an emergency basis,” utility program manager Nanette McCartan said at a May 26 meeting when the council initially discussed the plan. “But then also, there is an interconnection that we have with the city of Round Rock. It has not been in service for quite awhile—we have not needed it—but it does still exist."

Cedar Park’s main water source is the Lower Colorado River Authority, or LCRA. The interconnection with Round Rock and the BCRUA plant will be used only in emergency situations.

This modification comes as part of a TCEQ requirement for water suppliers to maintain and update the Drought Contingency and Water Emergency Plan, according to city documents. This plan helps the availability of water resources to the city, ensuring water conservation practices during drought and non-drought conditions.

The plan was last updated in 2019. TCEQ requires an update to the Drought Contingency and Water Emergency Plan every five years. The next formal update for Cedar Park is in 2024.

“I was very impressed, I think it’s a well designed plan,” council member Eric Boyce said at the May 26 meeting.

McCartan covered some water conservation practices at the May 26 meeting which include water reuse, prohibition of water waste, tiered rate structure and maintaining watering schedules, which is twice a week for Cedar Park residents.

“It was a nice reminder... for us to keep that two day a week watering restriction and keep us habituated to that,” Mayor Jim Penniman-Morin said at the May 26 meeting. “Because that shows actually we have quite a fair amount of breathing room or watering room before we start really hitting what, I think, most of us would expect as a kind of more painful set of restrictions.”