WIMBERLEY, Texas (KXAN) — Blue Hole Primary School was the first “One Water” school in Texas. The school was designed to reduce water usage and teach students about the importance of conserving water.
This year’s drought has forced water restrictions and closed some Central Texas watering holes, but experts said schools like Blue Hole Primary can make a big difference.
In the Hill Country, Jacob’s Well stopped flowing this summer and was forced to close down. When water stops flowing in Jacob’s Well, that means Cypress Creek is impacted.
“Cypress Creek should have water in it,” said Robin Gary with the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association. “This is the result of drought and groundwater pumping.”
Gary has worked closely with Blue Hole Primary, educating students and others about the importance of reusing water.
“The more water we can save, the more we extend our water supplies,” Gary said.
A walk on campus, and you’ll notice pipes both inside and outside. Rainwater is collected in these pipes and then used for plumbing and irrigation.
“There are two 200,000 gallon water tanks on campus,” Gary said. “There are 84 units on the roof that can collect 1,300 gallons of AC condensate alone every week.”
Gary said the school is saving hundreds of thousands of gallons of water. She hopes in the future there will be a dashboard to show exactly how much is being reused.
“An add-on to the school would be showing how much is harvested and how much is reused and how much we have to use from our potable water supply,” Gary said.
Every gallon saved means less water taken out of our aquifers.
“We can tell it’s making a difference, because that is water that is not being pumped from the aquifer to meet the same needs,” Gary said.
Some future developments in the city of Austin will be required to save water.
Starting in December 2023, Commercial and multi-use developments more than 250,000 square feet or greater will need to have water reuse systems on site.