|Water conservation is a perennial topic in Texas, and a report newly added to our collection this week examines the potential for storing water in underground aquifers, a type of storage known by water experts as aquifer storage and recovery, or ASR. Published by the Texas Water Development Board, the report describes how El Paso Water Utilities, the city of Kerrville, and the San Antonio Water System are utilizing ASR technology.
According to the report, ASR has proven to be an efficient and cost-effective method of storing water compared to the use of surface reservoirs, however Texas is lagging behind other states in the implementation of ASR. It points out that at the present time, less than 4 percent of the nation's operational ASR wellfields are located in Texas, although other fast-growing states such as Florida and California are actively pursuing this technology.
The report concludes that the principal challenges for ASR are primarily the legal and regulatory frameworks which, in many states, have not yet caught up with the application of the ASR technology. It points out that although there is a solid regulatory and legal foundation in Texas, improvement and enhancement of the rules and statutes both at the state and local levels are needed. The report makes specific recommendations for legal and/or regulatory changes, and includes several other recommendations that could enhance the implementation of ASR in Texas.