Staff from the City of Boerne recently served on a panel at the first of what will be the annual One Water in the Texas Hill Country Conference, hosted by the Hill Country Alliance, the Cibolo Center, and the City.
The conference, held Oct. 26 at the Cibolo Center, was a gathering of environmental planners, researchers, utility operators, and city and county officials from across the Hill Country.
Its focus was on the concept of One Water – an intentionally integrated approach to water stewardship and management. It promotes the management of all water – drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, reclaimed water – as a single resource.
"One of our key tenets at the City of Boerne is environmental responsibility," City Manager Ben Thatcher said. "We know that by working together as a community we can achieve appropriate water management that is required as the area grows."
One Water emphasizes the interconnection of all water types across regions and watersheds to encourage sustainable and environmentally conscious policy and decision-making.
Boerne Utilities Director Mike Mann and Director of Engineering and Mobility Jeff Carroll served on a panel titled “Working Towards One Water in Boerne,” along with fellow panelists Andria Wisian, Kendall County commissioner (Precinct 2) and Troy Dorman, the director of water resources at Halff Associates.
Mann spoke about how Boerne Utilities’ reclaimed water service fits into the One Water approach.
“Using reclaimed water for landscape irrigation conserves potable water for more beneficial uses that require it,” Mann said. “However, we encourage our customers to conserve reclaimed water because what does not go on yards is discharged into creeks for other beneficial uses downstream.”
Carroll offered details on how the City of Boerne’s adopted ordinances promote low impact development and integrate with the overall management of water and stormwater.
"Contrary to old school thinking, it does not have to be an all or nothing approach to development," Carroll said. "When we created the new tools that are now in effect, we placed a premium on water quality, and as a result new development must follow some of the strongest rules in the Texas Hill Country."
The City’s Water Dashboard was also highlighted as a vital resource to help educate and inform the public and other stakeholders of where our water comes from and how it connects to other sources in the region.
Also in attendance were City Councilman Dr. Joseph Macaluso and Boerne City Manager Ben Thatcher, who opened the conference with welcoming remarks.