Resource Management CommissionMay 17, 2022

ITEM 5- AW Quarterly Update — original pdf

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Water Conservation Update Resource Management Commission Kevin Kluge | May 17, 2022 Agenda  Water Supply Outlook  Conservation Penalties Ordinance • Timeline • Feedback received  Water Forward Plan - Landscape Transformation Drought Stage Triggers: Stage 1: 1.4 Million Acre Feet (MAF) Stage 2: 0.9 MAF Stage 3: 0.6 MAF Conservation Penalties  Approvals • Water & Wastewater Commission – April 13 • City Council – May 5  Public information regarding enforcement  Process development • Rule regarding admission of liability • Hearings • Invoicing Water Forward Plan  2014 – Austin Integrated Water Resource Planning Community (Water Forward) Task Force  2018 - City Council approved Water Forward Plan  2021 - Council asked Austin Water to accelerate the Landscape Transformation Ordinance strategy Landscape Transformation Ordinance Strategy  Transition new homes to water-efficient landscaping  Could include limitations of "lawn" grass and/or irrigation area  More detailed ordinance ideas/language to be created with public input Expected Near-Term Timeline The Ordinance on SpeakUp Austin  A platform for online public input • Comments • Free form input • Future meeting dates • Survey Survey Q2: SHOULD THERE BE A CITY OF AUSTIN LIST OF ALLOWED NATIVE OR ADAPTED PLANTS AND GRASSES FOR NEW RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES? Other (please specify), 5.3% No, 22.5% Yes, 33.2% Yes, but only if the list is large enough and allows for potential suitable plant replacements, 38.5% Survey: Q3 SHOULD THE AREA OF TURF GRASS (LAWN GRASS) BE LIMITED FOR NEW RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES? Other (please specify), 4.3% No, 30.5% Yes, 28.3% Yes, as long as the area of turf grass can be large enough to be functional (Example: an area for dogs to go to the bathroom outside), 19.3% Yes, as long as the turf grass can be large enough for residential recreational use, 16.0% Survey: Q4 SHOULD THE SIZE OF THE NEW AUTOMATIC IRRIGATION SYSTEMS BE LIMITED FOR NEW RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES, WITH SIZE LIMITATIONS BASED ON THE SIZE OF THE PROPERTY? Yes, 46.5% Other (please specify), 4.8% No, 28.9% Yes, but only for large single-family properties (Examples: lot sizes larger than ¼ acre, landscape areas larger than 8,000 square feet), 17.6% Survey: Q5 IN ADDITION TO THE EXISTING STANDARDS FOR INSTALLATION OF NEW IRRIGATION SYSTEMS, SHOULD MORE STANDARDS BE IDENTIFIED FOR NEW IRRIGATION SYSTEMS TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCY? Yes, 36.9% Other (please specify), 4.3% No, 11.8% Yes, but only if the standards balance cost-effectiveness and potential water savings, 44.9% Survey: Q6 SHOULD NEW RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES BE REQUIRED TO SUBMIT LANDSCAPE AND/OR IRRIGATION PLANS FOR REVIEW AND APPROVAL PRIOR TO THEIR INSTALLATION? Other (please specify), 3.2% No, 39.6% Yes, both landscape and irrigation plans should be required, 36.4% Yes, but only landscape plans should be required, 1.1% Yes, but only irrigation plans should be required, 19.3% Survey: Q7 OF THE FOLLOWING, WHICH BEST DESCRIBES YOUR OPINION ON LANDSCAPE AND IRRIGATION STANDARDS FOR NEW RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES REGARDING AFFORDABILITY: Protecting our water supply is more important and we need new conservation standards regardless of affordability, 34.8% Affordability is more important, and no new conservation standards that increase costs should be considered, 9.6% Both protecting our water supply and affordability are key issues; only conservation standards with minimal impact on affordability should be considered, 54.5% Survey: Q8 IN YOUR OWN WORDS, PLEASE DESCRIBE ANY LANDSCAPE AND/OR IRRIGATION REGULATIONS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE IMPLEMENTED FOR NEW RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES. Irrigation Regulations Landscape Regulations More Restrictive Less Restrictive More Restrictive Less Restrictive How You Can Get Involved  Learn More about the Irrigation & Landscape Ordinance by visiting the SpeakUp Austin page at  Take the survey  Ask Questions and get answers from our staff Internal (City of Austin) Stakeholders  Development Services Department (DSD) • Plan review • Inspections • Environmental • Building  Watershed Protection Department (WPD)  Austin Energy (AE) – Green Building  Sustainability Office  Equity Office  Planning and Housing Department  Wildlife Austin (PARD) External Stakeholders include:  Home Builders Association of Greater Austin  Irrigation professionals  Texas Nursery and Landscape Association  Turfgrass Producers of Texas External Stakeholder Feedback: Home Builders Association of Greater Austin  Want to see water savings numbers • estimates & examples from other cities.  Include incentives for homebuilders • like an impervious cover credit  Concern about project delays with extra inspections and/or plan reviews External Stakeholder Feedback: Irrigation Professionals  Increased enforcement of non- permitted irrigation systems and non-licensed irrigation installers  Separate irrigation meters for large estates  Support high-efficiency irrigation system components  Design for a certain water budget when installing External Stakeholder Feedback: Turfgrass Producers of Texas  Do not want us to exclude any type of turf grass  High carbon sequestration rate  Acknowledgement of shade tolerance when trees are mature  Delayed implementation • Give time for growers to grow • Promote grasses within the home building community Examples From Other Texas Cities City of Frisco, Texas City of New Braunfels, TX  Plan review on all irrigation systems  One model home per subdivision must not exceed 50% "lawn" grass  Separate irrigation meters for irrigation systems • Done online • Check hydraulics  Post installation inspections • 2,500 a year – 4 inspectors • 30% fail rate  Recommend we start with what we can enforce  Homeowners get a free irrigation check within 45 days of installation Input from February Meetings  Public Meeting input included: • Concerns about erosion control • Concerns about increased gravel use when limiting “lawn” grass • No grass planted in the summer • More water saving data  External Stakeholder Meeting input included: • Educate homeowners • Affordability of plant beds vs “lawn” grass • Increased incentives Irrigation Options Moving Forward  Enhanced post-installation inspection (City of Frisco )  Require specific irrigation components  Homeowner education  Pressure reduction devices  Limited irrigation area  Irrigation plan review (City of Frisco) Landscape Options Moving Forward  Require a landscape plan to be submitted with the building plans  One model home per subdivision must not exceed 50% "lawn" grass (New Braunfels)  Limit "lawn" grass area (Austin HBA – 2016)  Soil requirements QUESTIONS? Kevin Kluge Water Conservation Division Manager City of Austin | Austin Water 512-972-0400