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Ideas keep flowing for Burnet and Llano counties regional water study, costs remain unknown

BURNET — Several proposals on the drawing board could someday allow cities in Burnet and Llano counties to share water and develop their own supply system, but potential costs remain unknown — until at least April. 

“We have 37 (existing water) systems we are looking at for this entire study,” water engineer consultant Susan Roth said during a water issues workshop hosted by the Burnet County commissioners this week. “It is pretty sizable.” The Burnet-Llano County Regional Water Facility Study — funded by both counties and the Texas Water Development Board — is examining the potential to develop a regional water system. 

The study also is considering several surface and groundwater resources for possible links between communities, she added. 

“We want to be diligent,” Roth said. 

Study engineers plan to present cost estimates for several water distribution alternatives this April, she added. 

TWDB officials have asked for a final draft of the study by August, Roth said. 

More than 25 entities are supporting the study, including the Lower Colorado River Authority, Kingsland Water Supply Corp., the Buena Vista Property Owners Association, Cassie Property Owners Association, the Fall Creek Vineyards and most cities in Burnet County except Horseshoe Bay. 

“Water distribution and infrastructure (are among) our most important issues,” Burnet County Judge Donna Klaeger said. 

Several new alternatives or expansion of existing water systems are currently under analysis by the study. 

“The more (water) connections you have — the cheaper your water will be,” Burnet County Commissioner Bill Neve said. “I think a lot of options may tie back to the city of Burnet. I really don’t know how far out they want to go. It may depend on how much it will cost to get there and the return on investment.” 

So far, water options developed by the study include: 

• Bertram operates a stand-alone system with groundwater purchased from the city of Burnet. 

• Bertram receives surface water from Burnet. 

• Bertram receives surface water from Liberty Hill. 

• Bertram provides water to the LCRA Whitewater Springs water system. 

• Blanco San Miguel provides service to Lake Travis area water systems. 

• Burnet provides treated water along FM 2341 to South Silver Creek, Council Creek Village and LCRA Paradise Point and Bonanza Beach water systems. 

• Burnet serves Buena Vista, Cassie and other area small developments. 

• Fall Creek Vineyards provide service to the LCRA Tow Village water system. 

• Granite Shoals extends service to Lake LBJ’s north side, including Highland Haven. 

• Kempner Water Supply Corp. extends service into Burnet County areas currently not served by a provider. 

• Kingsland Water Supply Corp. extends service to Lake LBJ’s southern area. 

• The LCRA Lake Buchanan water system serves the western area of the lake to the Paradise Point water system. 

• Marble Falls extends service to the U.S. 281/Texas 71 corridor, including the Capstone water system and Cottonwood Shores. 

• Marble Falls extends service to 281/71, including Blanco San Miguel, the LCRA Quail Creek water system and a possible extension to Lake Travis area water systems. 

• Secure more reliable water intake downstream of the Pedernales River to serve the 281/71 corridor, including Blanco San Miguel and Lake Travis area water systems. 

raymond@thepicayune.com