Case studies

Austin Water

Given Austin’s fast-growing population, susceptibility to drought, and need to adapt to climate change, the city adopted the Water Forward Plan —  a unique 100-year integrated water management plan that solidifies Austin’s commitment to sustainable water management into the next century. The Water Forward Plan includes at least 6 key sustainable, localized water management elements: (1) public and stakeholder engagement; (2) reliance on local water supplies; (3) water demand analysis that incorporates onsite reuse; (4) conservation and efficiency programs; (5) climate-science based planning; and (6) clear performance metrics. Click the link below to download the full case study.

Project at a Glance

Utility Overview

  • Utility: Austin Water
  • Location: Austin, Texas
  • Population served: 950,000
  • Service area: 300 square miles


  • Rapid population growth
  • Drought and lack of reliable water supply
  • Climate change


  • The “Water Forward Plan,” an integrated water resources plan based on a 100-year planning horizon.


Benefits of Austin's Water Forward Plan

Accounts for anticipated impacts of climate change
Allows planners to think of transformative solutions by envisioning a world very different from today
Increased resilience from greater reliance on local water supplies
Exceeds Texas state law requirement to develop 50-year integrated plan
10 million gallons per day of decentralized non-potable reuse by 2040
Offset demand for drinking water with “fit for purpose” approach

Check out WaterNow’s Tap into Resilience Toolkit to learn even more about investing in localized solutions like Austin’s in your community.


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