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[00:00:02]

ONE

[CALL TO ORDER]

OH FOUR ON NOVEMBER 17TH, 2020.

AND WE'LL START THE WATER IN THE WASTE, WATER COMMISSION, VIDEO CONFERENCING, AND THEY SNOW CDS AND COMMUNICATION.

AND WE WILL SKIP THE APPROVAL OF MINUTES AND WHAT THAT, IF ANY, MOVE TO

[B. ITEMS FOR COMMISSION’S REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION FOR APPROVAL TO CITY COUNCIL]

DISCUSSION ITEMS, ITEM V, AND ALL GO ALONG THE TABLE AND ESCA FOR COMMISSIONER.

ANY QUESTIONS? TWO SOULS.

AND WE START WITH COMMISSIONER MOLLY YAPPY, PLEASE.

I HAVE NO QUESTIONS.

I HAVE ANY REFUSALS.

OKAY.

OKAY.

AND I BELIEVE WE'RE WAITING WHAT? COMMISSIONER PEN? COMMISSIONER HALL.

OKAY.

YES, SIR.

I HAVE NO RECUSAL AND STAFF ORIENTED.

STILL MY QUESTION OVER EMAIL.

NO QUESTIONS.

THANK YOU.

UH, AND I DON'T HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR UM, I HAVE NO RECUSALS AND WERE QUESTIONS.

STAFF ALSO ANSWERS MY QUESTIONS.

THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS. THE QUESTIONS ARE NEVER EASY.

THANK YOU.

LET ME SHUT UP.

NO QUESTIONS.

NO RECUSALS.

OKAY.

NOT THE CASE.

UH, WE WILL POOL ITEM EIGHT V EIGHT IN THE B NINE FOR THE PRESENTATION FIRST, BEFORE WE DO THE CONSENT ITEMS. SO MY UNDERSTANDING IS THE CONSENT ITEMS. ITEM ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, 10, AND 11.

ONE MORE TIME.

ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, 10, AND 11 TODAY.

THEIR OKAY.

MOTION MADE BY, UH, COMMISSIONER .

IS IT A SECOND? THIS IS NOT A SECOND.

SECOND BY COMMISSIONER HALL.

AND LEE'S UH, BRANCA FREEZE CODE AT ALL.

OKAY.

VICE CHAIR.

CASTLEBERRY.

YES.

COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS. YES.

YES, YES, YES, YES.

ANIMOUS APPROVAL.

THANK YOU.

NOW LET'S MOVE TO THE STUFF OR MAKE IT A PRESENTATION.

[E.2. Multi-Family Customer Assistance Program Briefing]

I SAID E TO MULTIPLE FAMILY CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM, BRIEFING.

DAVID, IF YOU'RE MUTED, YOU CAN UNMUTE DAVID ANDREWS.

YOU ARE UN-MUTED BUT WE ARE UNABLE TO HEAR YOU THROUGH YOUR HEADSET.

CAN YOU HEAR US? CAN YOU GIVE US A HEAD SHAKE? OKAY.

CAN YOU HEAR IT? YES, WE CAN HEAR YOU NOW.

OKAY.

I HAD TO SWITCH TO MY HEAD DIFFERENT HEADSET THING.

OKAY.

UH, SO, UH, CHAIR, UM, DAVID ANDERS, DID YOU WANT ME TO DO WHICH PRESENTATION? I DIDN'T QUITE HEAR.

UH, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT ITEM E TWO, MULTIPLE FAMILY CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM BRIEFING.

OKAY.

UM, AND THAT'S RELATED TO ITEMS EIGHT AND NINE.

IF YOU CAN CALL UP THE PRESENTATION, PLEASE.

[00:05:03]

UH, GOOD AFTERNOON COMMISSIONERS.

I'M DAVID ANDREWS, UH, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF FINANCIAL SERVICES FOR AUSTIN WATER.

I'M HERE TODAY TO PROVIDE A BRIEFING ON OUR MULTIFAMILY CAP PROGRAM AND THE TWO ITEMS ON YOUR AGENDA.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

FIRST I WILL PROVIDE, UH, SOME QUICK BACKGROUND ON OUR CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

AUSTIN WATER CURRENTLY HAS AROUND 13,900 RESIDENTIAL CAP CUSTOMERS.

THESE CUSTOMERS GET WAIVERS OF ALL FIXED FEES AND DISCOUNTED VOLUME RATES.

THE AVERAGE RESIDENTIAL CAP CUSTOMER RECEIVES A $41 AND 20 CENT OR A 51% MONTHLY BILL DISCOUNT.

WHEN YOU COMPARE TO THE NON-CASH CUSTOMER'S BILLS, AUSTIN WATER ESTIMATES, APPROXIMATELY 20,000 MULTIFAMILY CAP CUSTOMERS WITHIN THE AEC SERVICE AREA WHO ARE ALREADY A E CAP CUSTOMERS.

THIS LEVEL HAS INCREASED SIGNIFICANTLY DUE TO COVID CONDITIONS.

OUR PROPOSED PLAN WILL PROVIDE THESE AES MULTIFAMILY CAP CUSTOMERS, A DISCOUNT.

THE COMMUNITY BENEFIT CHARGE FUND PROVIDES FUNDING FOR THE AUSTIN WATER CAP PROGRAMS THROUGH A 15 CENT PER THOUSAND GALLONS SURCHARGE ON ALL NON CAP RETAIL CUSTOMERS.

NEXT SLIDE PLEASE.

AUSTIN WATER HAS BEEN WORKING ON DEVELOPING A MULTI-FAMILY FAMILY CAP PROGRAM EXPANSION FOR MANY MONTHS DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 21 BUDGET PROCESS.

COUNCIL MEMBER ALTAR OFFERED A BUDGET RIDER REGARDING OUR MULTIFAMILY CAP PROGRAM EXPANSION, THE RIDER DIRECTED AUSTIN WATER TO DEVELOP A MORE ACCESSIBLE MULTI-FAMILY CAP DISCOUNT PROGRAM AND RETURNED TO COUNCIL IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF FISCAL YEAR 21 TO DESCRIBE FINANCIAL IMPACTS AND SEEK APPROVAL FOR IMPLEMENTATION THE ACTIONS BEFORE THIS COMMISSION TODAY, AND WITH COUNCIL IN DECEMBER WILL PROVIDE COMPLIANCE WITH THIS BUDGET RIDER.

NEXT SLIDE.

PLEASE WANT TO TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE CHALLENGES THAT WE HAVE IN CREATING A MULTIFAMILY CAP PROGRAM.

THERE ARE MANY CHALLENGES TO PROVIDING THIS PROGRAM.

AUSTIN WATER MASTER METERS ARE MULTIFAMILY ACCOUNTS.

WE DO NOT INDIVIDUALLY METER EACH MULTIFAMILY UNIT.

THEREFORE THERE IS NO AUSTIN WATER ACCOUNT FOR EACH UNIT JUST MAKES IT DIFFICULT TO PROVIDE THE INDIVIDUAL MULTI-FAMILY UNIT, A CAP DISCOUNT, AUSTIN INJURED ENERGY DOES INDIVIDUALLY METER MULTIFAMILY UNITS.

THIS PROVIDES AN OPPORTUNITY TO PROVIDE A AUSTIN WATER CREDIT THROUGH AES ACCOUNT.

HOWEVER, AUSTIN WATER HAS A SMALL FRACTION OF MULTI-FAMILY ACCOUNTS OUTSIDE OF AES SERVICE AREA.

SO THIS AA CREDIT WOULD NOT BE ABLE AVAILABLE TO THOSE SPECIFIC CUSTOMERS FROM A LEGAL PERSPECTIVE, WE NEED TO TREAT ALL MULTIFAMILY ACCOUNTS EQUITABLY.

SO AUSTIN WATER NEEDS TO HAVE A PLAN FOR THOSE MULTIFAMILY CAP CUSTOMERS OUTSIDE OF AG SERVICE AREA.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

JUST A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE PROCESS THAT WE WENT THROUGH OVER THE LAST SEVERAL MONTHS, A TEAM OF AUSTIN WATER, UH, AUSTIN ENERGY, THE LAW DEPARTMENT FORMED TO EXPLORE OPTIONS OR DEVELOPING AN AUSTIN WATER MULTIFAMILY CAP PROGRAM.

THE TEAM ANALYZED DATA ON AUSTIN WATERS, APPROXIMATELY 5,600 MULTIFAMILY ACCOUNTS.

WE ANALYZED EIGHT E CAP CUSTOMERS AT THE SAME ADDRESSES AND REVIEWED APPROXIMATELY 100 AUSTIN WATER MULTIFAMILY ACCOUNTS THAT ARE OUTSIDE OF AES SERVICE AREA.

THE GROUP ALSO EXPLORED METHODS TO IDENTIFY SPECIFIC MULTI-FAMILY CAP CUSTOMERS LOCATED AT ADDRESS IS OUTSIDE OF AEC SERVICE AREA, BOSTON WATER DEVELOPED AN APPROPRIATE MULTIFAMILY CAP DISCOUNT THAT IS BASED UPON DIFFERENCES BETWEEN FIXED FEES AND VOLUME CHARGES OF RESIDENTIAL CAP CUSTOMERS AND MULTIFAMILY CAP CUSTOMER.

ADDITIONALLY, THE TEAM DEVELOPED IMPLEMENTATION

[00:10:01]

RECOMMENDATIONS AND DETERMINED NEEDED A BILLING SYSTEM CHANGES.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HOW WE DETERMINED OUR MULTI-FAMILY CAP CREDIT CALCULATION TO DEVELOP THIS MULTIFAMILY CAP CREDIT AUSTIN WATER STARTED WITH THE $41 AND 20 CENT AVERAGE RESIDENTIAL CAP DISCOUNT ADJUSTMENTS WERE MADE FOR MULTIPLE FAMILY UNITS THAT PAY LESS AND FIXED FEES.

THE MULTIFAMILY FIXED FEE ADJUSTMENT WAS ESTIMATED BASED ON A SAMPLE OF MULTI-FAMILY CUSTOMERS AND NUMBERS OF UNITS IN THOSE CUSTOMERS, THE METER SIZES, UH, SERVING THOSE CUSTOMERS AND THE RESULTING PER UNIT FIXED FEE.

WE ALSO MADE ADJUSTMENTS FOR MULTIFAMILY UNITS USING LESS WATER THAN RESIDENTIAL UNITS.

THE MULTI-FAMILY CONSUMPTION AND THE FLOW ADJUSTMENT WAS BASED ON WATER FORWARD.

UH, GPCD ESTIMATES COMPARING RESIDENTIAL AND MULTI-FAMILY WATER USES THE RESULTING CAP.

MULTI-FAMILY DISCOUNT IS $17 PER MONTH, AND WE EXPECT THIS WILL PROVIDE AN APPROXIMATELY 50% DISCOUNT ON THE AVERAGE MULTIFAMILY UNIT WATER BILL THAT THEY RECEIVE FROM THE LANDLORD.

NEXT SLIDE PLEASE.

SO HERE ARE OUR AUSTIN WATERS RECOMMENDATIONS, UM, FOR OUR, OUR MULTI-FAMILY CAP PROGRAM.

AND WE RECOMMEND THAT WE IMPLEMENT THIS IN TWO PHASES.

PHASE ONE INCLUDES THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A $17 MULTIFAMILY CAP, MONTHLY CREDIT THAT IS $11 FOR WATER AND $6 FOR WASTEWATER.

THIS MONTHLY CREDIT WOULD BE APPLIED TO THE H E CAP ACCOUNT AT THE SAME ADDRESS FOR THAT SAME INDIVIDUAL, AUSTIN WATER WILL REIMBURSE A E FOR THE AMOUNT OF THE MULTI-FAMILY CAP DISCOUNTS THAT THEY PROVIDE USING THE AUSTIN WATER COMMUNITY BENEFIT CHARGE FUND PHASE TWO IS FOR PROVIDING MULTIFAMILY CAP CREDITS TO CUSTOMERS WHO RESIDE IN MULTIFAMILY UNITS OUTSIDE OF THE AEA SERVICE AREA.

OUR TEAM IS STILL WORKING ON IDENTIFYING THOSE SPECIFIC CUSTOMERS AND DETERMINING THE SPECIFICS OF HOW TO PROVIDE CREDITS THOSE CUSTOMERS.

SINCE THEY DON'T HAVE AUSTIN WATER OR A E ACCOUNT, WE ANTICIPATE PHASE TWO BEING IMPLEMENTED LATER IN THE FISCAL YEAR.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

THE FINANCIAL IMPACTS OF THIS PROGRAM IS APPROXIMATELY $4.7 MILLION ANNUALLY.

THIS ASSUMES THE 23,000 MULTIFAMILY CAP CUSTOMERS AT A $17 PER MONTH CREDIT.

THE CBC FUND IS EXPECTED TO HAVE SUFFICIENT BALANCES TO COVER THE MULTIFAMILY CAP COSTS FOR FISCAL YEAR 21 IN FISCAL YEAR 22 COURSE, IF CHANGES IN THE NUMBERS OF MULTIFAMILY CAP CUSTOMERS DURING THIS TIME COULD OBVIOUSLY IMPACT, UH, EITHER HIGHER OR LOWER THAT COST PER FISCAL YEAR 23, AUSTIN WATER ANTICIPATE A CBC SURCHARGE RATE INCREASE OF APPROXIMATELY 2 CENTS PER THOUSAND GALLONS FROM THE CURRENT 15 CENTS TO 17 CENTS.

WELL, THIS INCREASE IS ONLY AN AVERAGE MONTHLY BILL IMPACT OF ABOUT 20 CENTS PER MONTH TO THE AVERAGE RETAIL CUSTOMER, A RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMER, UH, THIS INCREASE WOULD PROVIDE LONG-TERM FUNDING FOR THE MULTI-FAMILY CAP DISCOUNT THROUGH THE CBC FUND.

THE FINANCIAL IMPACT OF PHASE TWO IS CURRENTLY BEING DEVELOPED.

WE'RE NOT SURE EXACTLY HOW MANY MULTI-FAMILY CAP CUSTOMERS RESIDE IN THE APPROXIMATELY 100 MULTI-FAMILY ACCOUNTS OUTSIDE OF THE SERVICE AREA.

WE ANTICIPATE THIS TO BE A MANAGEABLE NUMBER OF CAP CUSTOMERS WITH A MINIMAL FINANCIAL IMPACT COMPARED TO PHASE ONE.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

THE TWO ITEMS

[00:15:01]

ON THE COMMISSION, UM, T UH, ITEMS SNYDER, ITEM EIGHT AND ITEM NINE, UH, ITEM EIGHT IS A FISCAL YEAR 21 BUDGET AMENDMENT TO AUSTIN WATER'S FEE SCHEDULE TO ADD THE MULTIFAMILY CAP CREDIT AMOUNT OF $11 FOR WATER AND $6 FOR WASTEWATER OUT OF NINE IS A FISCAL YEAR 21 BUDGET AMENDMENT TO THE COMMUNITY BENEFIT CHARGE FUND TO ADD A $4 MILLION TRANSFER TO AAE FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF THE MULTIFAMILY CREDIT THEY PROVIDE FOR AUSTIN WATER.

THIS AMOUNT IS FOR A PARTIAL YEAR FUNDING FROM THE IMPLEMENTATION TO THE END OF THIS FISCAL YEAR.

NEXT SLIDE PLEASE.

OKAY.

A LITTLE BIT ABOUT OUR NEXT STEPS.

UH, AUSTIN WATER WILL BE PROVIDING A MEMORANDUM TO MAYOR AND COUNCIL IN EARLY DECEMBER REGARDING OUR MULTIFAMILY CAP PROGRAM RECOMMENDATIONS AND THE ACTIONS THAT Y'ALL TAKE THIS AFTERNOON ON DECEMBER 10TH, THE COUNCIL WILL CONSIDER OUR TWO FISCAL YEAR 21 BUDGET AMENDMENTS, UH, THAT ARE ON YOUR AGENDA TONIGHT.

AUSTIN WATER ANTICIPATES IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PHASE ONE MULTIFAMILY CAP DISCOUNTS THROUGH THE AEC ACCOUNTS DISCOUNT AND THE JANUARY TO MARCH TIMEFRAME, UH, IN FISCAL YEAR 21, UH, AUSTIN WATER AGAIN IN ANTICIPATES IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PHASE TWO MULTIFAMILY CAMP DISCOUNTS, UH, FOR THOSE CUSTOMERS OUTSIDE OF THE SERVICE AREA IN THE MARCH TO SEPTEMBER TIMEFRAME, NO ADDITIONAL COMMISSION OR COUNCIL ACTION WOULD BE NEEDED TO IMPLEMENT PHASE TWO.

NEXT SLIDE PLEASE.

OKAY.

AND WITH THAT, I'VE CONCLUDED MY PRESENTATION AND WE'LL BE HAPPY TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS YOU ALL MIGHT HAVE.

CHARLIE, I FEEL, UM, UNMUTE YOUR MIC, PLEASE.

I MENTIONED

[B.8. Recommend approval of an ordinance to amend the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Fees, Fines, and Other Charges to be set or charged by the City (Ordinance No. 20200812-002), to revise Austin Water Retail Water and Wastewater Service Rates.]

THIS, GO BACK TO ITEM B H AND HE'S GOT ANY QUESTIONS FOR MR. SANDERS.

WE CAN ANSWER, UH, DURING THIS SECTION THAT WE DO EITHER THE AGENDA ITEM FOR RECORD, WE COMMEND APPROVAL OF AN AUDIENCE TO AMEND THE SWEETS GO YEAR 2020 DASH 2021, PLEASE PIES IN OTHER CHARGE IS SET ALL CHARGED BY THE CDO IN SLUMBER 2020, COULD REVISE SPEND A LOT OF RETAIL, WATER AND WASTEWATER ISSUES.

I'VE GOT ANY QUESTIONS FOR MS. FENDERS, MR. CHAIR.

YES, PLEASE.

UH, THANK YOU FOR THE BRIEFING.

UH, NOT A WHOLE LOT OF QUESTIONS, JUST SO A QUICK ONE.

UH, AND THIS IS A GREAT POLICY AND I APPRECIATE STAFF ADVANCING THIS.

UM, THE MAIN ONE IS IN THERE, THERE MIGHT BE SEVERAL APARTMENT COMPLEX THAT QUOTE UNQUOTE, ALL BILL PAY, UH, IS THAT TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT IN THE IMPLEMENTATION STAGE OF THIS? WOW.

I WENT TO THE SAME END UP IN THE, THE, THE TENANT HAND, IF YOU WILL.

YEAH.

IF, IF THE, UM, IF THE TENANT OR, YOU KNOW, IF THE LANDLORDS ARE ALL BILLS PAID AND THEY HANDLE BOTH THE ELECTRIC AND THE WATER AND WASTEWATER, THEN, UH, YOU KNOW, THERE, THERE WOULD BE NO ACCOUNT.

THERE WOULD BE NO CAP CUSTOMERS THAT, UH, AUSTIN ENERGY IS CURRENTLY PROVIDING A DISCOUNT.

AND, AND SO WE WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO HIT THOSE.

UM, UH, BUT, UH, IN THIS WORK THAT WE'VE BEEN DOING WITH AUSTIN ENERGY, THERE ARE A FEW, UH, UH, SORT OF EITHER MASTER METERED OR, UM, YOU KNOW, WHERE THERE'D BE THIS ALL BILL PAID, YOU KNOW, MAINLY, UH, A MASTER METER FROM AUSTIN ENERGY'S PERSPECTIVE THAT WE'RE TRYING TO WORK THROUGH THE PROCESS OF ADDRESSING SOME OF THOSE CUSTOMERS AND REACH OUT TO THOSE CAP CUSTOMERS, UH, EITHER THROUGH AUSTIN ENERGY OR, AND AUSTIN WATER.

SO THAT, THAT COULD BE SOMETHING THAT WOULD BE A PART OF PHASE TWO.

BUT AT THIS POINT, IF THERE IS NOT A AUSTIN ENERGY, UH, IF THEY'RE NOT AN AUSTIN ENERGY CAP CUSTOMER,

[00:20:01]

UH, THEY WOULD NOT GET A CREDIT, UH, UNDER PHASE ONE IMPLEMENTATION.

THANK YOU.

AND TO BUILD ON TOP OF THAT, I WAS GONNA, YOU KNOW, KIND OF, UH, EXPANDING ON THAT, YOU KNOW, RENTAL FOLKS ARE UNFORTUNATELY TEND TO MOVE AROUND A LOT MORE OFTEN THAN HOMEOWNERSHIP.

SO, UH, I JUST WANT TO, I'M SURE YOU ALREADY KNOW THIS, BUT YOU KNOW, IF THERE'S A WAY TO EASILY FOR THOSE FOLKS WHO NEED HELP TO HAVE LIKE A PORTAL WHERE THEY REQUEST ASSISTANCE, BECAUSE I DON'T IMAGINE LANDLORDS ARE VERY QUICK TO REACT TO ONE OR TWO CAP CUSTOMER THAT LIVE IN THEIR COMPLEX TO IMPLEMENT THESE THINGS.

SO THE MORE YOU MOVE FORWARD, IF THERE'S A SIMPLE PORTAL FOR PEOPLE TO REQUEST ASSISTANT, UH, AS THEY MOVE ALMOST, YOU KNOW, THEY COULD MOVE EVERY YEAR.

UH, I THINK THAT WILL GO A LONG WAY IN, AGAIN, HELPING THE PEOPLE THAT NEED HELP THE MOST.

AND I DON'T IMAGINE THAT'S EASY TO IMPLEMENT FROM DAY ONE, BUT I APPRECIATE YOUR WORKING ON THAT.

YEAH.

YOU KNOW, DEFINITELY THE ONES THAT ARE ALL BILLS PAID THAT THAT'S AN ISSUE, BUT, YOU KNOW, JUST TO LET YOU KNOW THAT THOSE THAT ARE ALREADY AUSTIN ENERGY CAP CUSTOMERS, THERE IS A PRETTY EASY METHOD THAT AUSTIN ENERGY PROVIDES THIS ASSISTANCE.

SO THERE IS SORT OF AUTOMATIC ENROLLMENT FOR CUSTOMERS.

SO IF THEY PARTICIPATE, YOU KNOW, A AUSTIN ENERGY CUSTOMER OR AUSTIN WATER CUSTOMER PARTICIPATE IN CERTAIN PROGRAMS, FEDERAL AND STATE PROGRAMS THAT ARE, YOU KNOW, LOW INCOME TYPE PROGRAM, THEN THEY ARE PRETTY MUCH AUTOMATICALLY ENROLLED IN THIS PARTICULAR, UH, CAP PROGRAM.

UH, ONLY IF THEY HAVE CERTAIN CONDITIONS RELATED TO THE PROPERTY THAT THEY'RE IN, IF THEY'RE RESIDENTIAL AND THOSE KINDS OF THINGS, WOULD, THEY HAVE TO GO THROUGH A LITTLE BIT MORE RIGOROUS, UM, APPLICATION PROCESS, BUT YOU KNOW, MOST OF THESE CUSTOMERS, YOU KNOW, LIKE FOR EXAMPLE, THE COVID INCREASE THAT WE GOT FOR AUSTIN ENERGY AND, AND, UH, THEIR MULTIFAMILY ACCOUNT, YOU KNOW, AS, AS MORE FOOD STAMPS WERE BEING, YOU KNOW, THAT PROGRAM WAS UTILIZED MORE DURING COVID THAN THE NUMBER OF CUSTOMERS THAT WERE AUTOMATICALLY ENROLLED SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASED OVER THE LAST SIX MONTHS.

UM, SO THAT DOES PROVIDE, YOU KNOW, A LEVEL OF SORT OF IMMEDIATE RESPONSE WHEN SOMEONE GETS ONTO A, UH, A PROGRAM THAT THEY MIGHT NOT HAVE ACCESSED BEFORE.

AND IT'S A QUALIFYING PROGRAM THAT THOSE CUSTOMERS CAN BE ADDED FAIRLY QUICKLY.

AND AS THEY MOVE AROUND, IF THEY MOVE FROM ONE, UM, ACCOUNT AND ONE COMPLEX TO ANOTHER COMPLEX, AND AS SOON AS THEY GET IT THAT OTHER COMPLEX, THEN THE SYSTEM WOULD AUTOMATICALLY ENROLL THEM AT THAT NEW ADDRESS.

AND THEY WOULD CONTINUE TO GET THEIR A DISCOUNT.

SO, YOU KNOW, THAT PROCESS IS PRETTY AUTOMATIC, UH, THAT AUSTIN ENERGY, UH, MANAGES FOR AUSTIN WATER.

UH, SO IT WILL PROVIDE THAT, UM, TO ALL THOSE CUSTOMERS THAT ARE DOING THAT.

AND OBVIOUSLY THE, THE ONES THAT ARE EITHER ALL BILLS PAID OR OUTSIDE OF AUSTIN ENERGY SERVICE AREA ARE THE ONES THAT ARE A LITTLE BIT TRICKIER THAT WE'RE CONTINUING TO WORK ON.

THANK YOU.

VERY GOOD.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS.

THANK YOU.

I, CAN YOU HEAR ME? OKAY.

I WILL MAKE A MOTION TO APPROVE THIS STAIR SECOND ON THIS ITEM.

I SECOND.

OKAY.

UH, MS. BRANCA, PLEASE CODE AT ALL.

YES, SIR.

AND CAN YOU CONFIRM, IS THIS FOR B A M B NINE OR, UH, TAKING THEM SEPARATELY? I THINK WE NEED TO TAKE EIGHT SEPARATELY.

YES, SIR.

COMMISSIONER MORIARTY.

YES.

COMMISSIONER HO YOU, UH, YOU SECOND IT, SO I WILL MOVE ON TO, UM, COMMISSIONER CASTLEBERRY.

YES.

COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS. YES.

COMMISSIONER CERITA.

YES.

OKAY.

THAT IS, UH, UNANIMOUS APPROVAL SIX OH FOR ITEM B EIGHT.

THANK YOU, MS. BRANCA.

NOW

[B.9. Recommend approval of an ordinance to amend the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Austin Water Community Benefit Charge (CBC) Fund Budget (Ordinance No. 20200812-001) to increase the transfers out to Austin Energy by $4,000,000 for a net impact of $4,000,000 to the ending balance.]

LET'S MOVE TO ITEM PETE NY TO COME IN APPROVAL OF AN

[00:25:01]

AUDIENCE TO AMEND THE FISCAL YEAR 2020 DASH 2021.

ALSO THE WATER COMMUNITY BENEFITS CHARGE.

SHE CHEAT ON THE BUDGET AUDIENCE NUMBER 20, 2008, 12.

THAT'S FULL ON TO INCREASE THE TRANSFORMERS OUT TO AUSTIN ENERGY BY $4 MILLION NET IMPACT OF 4 MILLION HOURS TO THE PARENTS.

THERE.

ANY QUESTIONS FOR MR. ENTERS COMMISSIONER? IF NOT, WE WALK INTO 10 MOTION.

I BELIEVE.

UH, COMMISSIONER TRIOTA HAS A QUESTION.

YES.

COMMISSIONER, UH, 4 MILLION HOURS.

IT WAS OUT IN OUR ORIGINAL BUDGET THAT WE, THAT WAS ORIGINALLY ACCEPTED OR IS THIS AN ADDITIONAL 4 MILLION COMING FROM ANOTHER? WELL, THE, UM, IT WAS NOT IN OUR ORIGINAL BUDGET.

UH, THIS IS THE BUDGET FOR THE COMMUNITY BENEFIT CHARGE FUNDS.

SO IT'S SEPARATE FROM OUR OPERATING BUDGET, UH, BUT IT WAS NOT INCLUDED IN THE ORIGINAL, UH, FISCAL YEAR 21 BUDGET PROPOSAL.

UH, THIS AMENDMENT THAT WE'RE CONSIDERING IN AN ITEM NINE TO TODAY IS TO ADD A $4 MILLION TRANSFER FROM THE COMMUNITY BENEFIT CHARGE FUND TO AUSTIN ENERGY FOR THE ANTICIPATED DISCOUNTS THAT THEY WILL HAVE DURING THIS YEAR, UH, WAY BACK WHEN WE CREATED THE COMMUNITY BENEFIT CHARGE FIND IN 20, I BELIEVE, 18 OR SO, WE HAD SAID THE RATE OF 15 CENTS PER THOUSAND GALLONS IN ANTICIPATION OF A PORTION OF THOSE FUNDING GOING TO SOME EVENTUAL MULTIFAMILY CAP PROGRAM.

AND, AND SO SINCE WE HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO IMPLEMENT ANYTHING WITH MULTIFAMILY UNTIL THIS ACTION, UM, THEN THE FUNDS HAVE THAT, THAT CPC FUND HAS GROWN, UM, SIGNIFICANTLY OVER THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS, IT HAD GROWN AND WE WERE ABLE TO THIS YEAR AMEND THE BUDGET IN FISCAL YEAR 20 TO ADD THE $5 MILLION IN BILL RELIEF.

SO SOME OF THOSE FUNDS WERE USED FOR THAT, BUT THERE IS SUFFICIENT FUNDING, UH, ASSUME FOR THIS MULTIFAMILY THROUGH THE NEXT COUPLE YEARS.

AND AS I MENTIONED IN THE PRESENTATION, THE PROJECTED RATE INCREASE IN 2023, UH, WOULD BE TO SUPPLEMENT THAT FUNDING TO SORT OF BALANCE THESE, UM, BALANCED THAT FUND TO ENSURE WE HAVE LONG-TERM FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM.

NO MORE QUESTIONS.

OKAY.

UH, THANK YOU, MR. SANDERS.

UM, THAT'S ALL YOUR INFORMATION, UH, COMMISSIONER PANE JUST JOINED US FOR THE MEETING.

OKAY.

UM, ITEM B, IS THERE A MOTION? OKAY.

WHAT WOULD YOU BUY? LET ME SHUT UP.

TONY APAP.

OKAY.

YES, SIR.

COMMISSIONER MORIARTY? YES.

COMMISSIONER PEN.

YES.

COMMISSIONER HO CHAIR LEAD COMMISSIONER CASTLEBERRY.

YES.

COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS. THANK YOU.

UH, COMMISSIONER AND SHARITA.

YES.

ALL RIGHT.

THAT IS A UNANIMOUS, UH, SEVEN ZERO VOTE.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH, COMMISSIONER.

LET'S GO BACK TO APPROVAL MINUTES.

ITEM EIGHT APPROVAL OF MINUTES FOR OCTOBER 14TH, 2021 IN THE WASTEWATER COMMISSION MEETING PERMISSION.

IF YOU'VE GOT ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MINUTES.

OKAY.

MOTION.

I WILL MAKE A MOTION TO APPROVE IT.

IS THERE A SECOND? SECOND, SECOND BY COMMISSIONER PEN.

UH, COMMISSIONER MORIARTY.

[00:30:03]

YES.

COMMISSIONER PEN.

YES.

COMMISSIONER HOE.

YES.

CHAIR LEE.

YES.

COMMISSIONER CASTLEBERRY.

YES.

COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS. THANK YOU.

UH, COMMISSIONER MARIETTA ABSTAIN THERE.

WASN'T AT THAT MEETING.

UH, OKAY.

ARE YOU RECUSING FROM YOUR VOTE? YES.

OKAY.

SO THAT IS, UH, SIX ZERO APPROVED FOR THE MINUTES.

THANK YOU, MS. FRANCA,

[D.1. Update from Joint Sustainability Committee Meeting]

THIS WILL BE TWO ITEM D ONE UPDATE FROM COMMITTEE COMMISSIONER GOAL.

YES, SIR.

I'LL KEEP IT SHORT.

UH, THERE'S A LOT OF EXCITEMENT GOING ON WITH THE COMMUNITY CLIMATE, UH, EQUITY UPDATE.

UH, AS YOU MIGHT NOTICE, THE EQUITY IS NOW FULLY BAKED INTO THE COMMUNITY CLIMATE PLAN AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF EVERY FACET OF CONSIDERATION.

AND, UH, I GUESS THE, THE EVIDENCE OF THAT IS, IS, UH, THE PRESENTATION WE JUST SAW ON THE BUDGET ADJUSTMENT.

AND I THINK AS A COMMUNITY, WE'RE DOING THE RIGHT THING WITH THE ADDRESSING AFFORDABILITY, EVEN IN THE CUSTOMER CLASS, LIKE MULTIFAMILY, EVEN THOUGH IT'S DIFFICULT AND IT'S MESSY, I THINK IT'S THE RIGHT, RIGHT THING TO DO.

UH, SO THAT'S THE FOCUS OF THE JOINT SUSTAINABILITY AS WELL.

AND, UH, THEY'RE ALSO, THEY, THEY I'M PAYING A LOT ATTENTION TO THE WATER FORWARD THAT WE ARE DOING WITH A LOT OF THE CODE AMENDMENT JAMES.

SO I'M EXCITED TO BRIEF THEM BACK ON THAT.

AND OBVIOUSLY THE FOCUS OF THE LAST MEETING HAS TO DO WITH, UH, PROJECT CONNECT AND A LOT OF CHANGES THAT IS HAPPENING ON THE TRANSIT SIDE.

UH, AND I THINK IT WILL BE HEALTHY FOR US TO LOOK INTO THE HORIZON ON A LOT OF, UH, WORK ALONG CORRIDOR THAT MY EFFECT YEAH.

HOUSING, WATER INFRASTRUCTURE AS WELL.

UH, SO THAT'S, THAT'S THE BULK OF OUR MEETING LAST TIME.

THANK YOU.

COMMISSIONER COMMISSIONER HAS GOT ANY QUESTIONS TO COMMISSIONER HALL.

OKAY.

IF NOT,

[D.2. Update from Austin Integrated Water Resource Planning Community Task Force]

WE ALL MOVE TO ITEM THREE TO UPDATE FROM AUSTIN INTEGRATES.

WHAT DID WE SOURCE? CRANE COMMITTEE TASK FORCE, COMMISSIONER MORIARTY.

UH, WE HAD OUR MEETINGS LAST WEEK.

UH, IS THERE SOMEONE FROM THE STAFF HERE THAT WANTS TO MAKE THAT PRESENTATION? I'M HAPPY TO DO IT, BUT USUALLY SOMEBODY DOES THAT.

YOU CAN GO AHEAD.

THANK YOU.

I'LL PROCEED, UH, TO DISCUSS THE VARIOUS ISSUES RELATED TO WATER FORWARDS, THE CITY IS MOVING FORWARD WITH THE ENGINEERING CONTRACT TO PERFORM THE STUDY OF THE ASR FACILITY, WHICH WILL TAKE MANY, MANY YEARS TO, UH, REACH A CONCLUSION.

BUT, UH, THAT PROCESS IS GOING FORWARD.

THE SECOND ISSUE, WHICH IS CAUSING A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF DISTURBANCE IS THE, UH, SEVERAL OF THE WATER CONSERVATION RULES, UH, THAT WE, UH, DEVELOPED IN THE COURSE OF WATER FORWARD ARE EMBEDDED IN THE LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE BATTLE.

SO RIGHT NOW THE WATER CONSERVATION RULES THAT WE ARE WANTING TO GET IMPLEMENTED ARE STUCK IN A, UH, ARE STUCK IN THE LEGAL BATTLE OVER THE LAND THAT, UH, THERE IS AN EFFORT BY SEVERAL MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL TO EXTRACT

[00:35:01]

THE WATER FORWARD RULES AND PASS THEM SEPARATELY.

AND THE REASONING IS IN THE COURSE OF THE PUBLIC HEARINGS FOR THE LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE, THERE WASN'T ANYBODY OR, OR IS MY UNDERSTANDING NO ONE, NO ONE COMPLAINED ABOUT ANY OF THAT.

SO BY WAITING, WE'RE JUST HAVING MORE AND MORE DEVELOPMENT FLY THROUGH THE SYSTEM WITHOUT THE, UH, PROPER WATER CONSERVATION RULES.

SO, UH, THAT IS, UH, A DEEP CONCERN.

SO, UH, A THIRD ISSUE THAT, UH, WE'LL BE TALKING ABOUT A LITTLE BIT LATER HERE TODAY IS ONE OF THE STRATEGIES IS CALLED INDIRECT POTABLE REUSE, WHICH IS CONSIDERED AN EMERGENCY STRATEGY IN THE EVENT.

THE LAKES GET LOW.

THE IDEA WOULD BE TO TAKE RECLAIMED WATER FROM THE SARS PLANT, PUT IT IN AT LONGHORN DAM AND THEN BUILD A NEW INTAKE AND PUMP STATION NEAR TOM MILLER DAM AND LIFT THE RECLAIMED WATER PLUS LAKE WATER PLUS SPRINGS WATER, UH, FOR TREATMENT AT THE ALL REQUIRED PLANT, I BELIEVE.

AND AS YOU KNOW, THE, THE LAKES ARE INFESTED WITH POISON.

ALGAE HAVE BEEN THE LAST TWO SUMMERS IN FACT, MORE THAN THE SUMMERS.

SO, UH, TH THERE'S A QUESTION WHETHER ANYBODY WOULD GIVE US A PERMIT TO PUT THE NUTRIENT RICH RECLAIM WATER INTO THE LAKE THAT WAS ALREADY, UH, INFESTED WITH TOXIC ALGAE.

SO THAT STRATEGY IS A LITTLE BIT, UH, IN A, UH, DIFFICULT SITUATION RIGHT NOW.

SO, UH, YOU CAN SEE THAT OF OUR THREE PRINCIPLES, STRATEGIES FOR WATER FORWARD.

ASR IS MOVING AHEAD.

THAT'S OKAY.

WATER CONSERVATION RULES ARE TIED UP, BUT WE'RE HOPING TO SPRING THOSE LOOSE BY A CITY COUNCIL ACTION.

AND THIRDLY, THE INDIRECT POTABLE REUSE IS KIND OF, UH, STALLED AT THE MOMENT.

SO, UH, BUT I WANT TO SAY THAT'S A, THAT'S MY REPORT.

WE, WE MEET EVERY TWO MONTHS AS THE WATER FORECAST FORCE.

WE HAVE LOTS OF SUBCOMMITTEE MEETINGS FROM TIME TO TIME, BUT THAT CONCLUDES MY REPORT.

CHAIR.

ANY QUESTIONS? HAPPY TO ANSWER COMMISSIONER SCOTT, A QUESTIONS FOR COMMISSIONER OKAY.

IF NOT, WE'LL MOVE ON.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR REPORT.

COMMISSIONER MONI.

I THINK IT'S

[E.1. COVID-19 – Austin Water Operations, Staff and Financial Impact Update]

MOVE OUT TO ITEM E ONE COVID 19 AUSTIN WATER OPERATIONS STUFF AND THE FINANCIAL IMPACT UPDATE STANDARDS.

GOOD AFTERNOON.

COMMISSIONERS I'M DAVID ANDREWS, UH, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR AUSTIN WATER, ALWAYS PROVIDING A BRIEF UPDATE ON OUR CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE THEY'LL RELEASE PROGRAMS, AS WELL AS OUR COVID 19 FINANCIAL UPDATES.

AS FAR AS OUR CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE UPDATE FOR BILL RELIEF, OUR PLUCKED ONE PROGRAM IN OCTOBER, THE PLUS ONE PROGRAM PROVIDED $1.3 MILLION IN BILL RELIEF TO, UH, 33,662 CUSTOMERS.

THIS AMOUNT IS ABOUT $400,000, LESS THAN THE SEPTEMBER AMOUNT.

SINCE APRIL THE PLUS ONE PROGRAM HAS PROVIDED 7.7 MILLION IN BILL RELIEF TO OVER 22,000 CUSTOMERS, UH, OF AUSTIN ENERGY AND AUSTIN WATER, AS FAR AS OUR FINANCIAL IMPACT FOR COVID-19 THE WATER DEMAND IN OCTOBER, UH, ATTRACT ABOUT 14% HIGHER THAN EXPECTED LEVELS OR ABOUT 587 MILLION GALLONS, MORE THAN WHAT WAS PROJECTED.

UH, THIS WILL BE AN INDICATION OF, UH, NOVEMBER REVENUES, WHICH SHOULD BE, UH, PROBABLY HIGHER THAN BUDGET LEVELS.

AS FAR AS THE REVENUE UPDATE FOR OCTOBER WATER AND WASTEWATER REVENUES ARE $2.2 MILLION ABOVE EXPECTED LEVELS FOR RESIDENTIAL MULTIFAMILY AND COMMERCIAL CLASSES.

RESIDENTIAL WAS ABOUT A HALF A MILLION DOLLARS HIGHER.

THEN THEIR BUDGET MULTIFAMILY WAS OVER $1.2 MILLION ABOVE BUDGET LEVELS.

AND COMMERCIAL WAS ALSO A HALF A MILLION DOLLARS ABOVE, UH, UH, THEIR BUDGET LEVELS.

SO STRONG REVENUES, UM, IN OCTOBER, UH, BASED ON

[00:40:01]

SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER BEING DRYER AND, UH, HOTTER THAN NORMAL AS FAR AS, UH, SPECIFIC COVID RELATED EXPENSES THROUGH NOVEMBER 9TH, UH, AUSTIN WATER HAS EXPENDED ABOUT $3.8 MILLION, UH, IN COVID EXPENSES.

AND WITH THAT, I'LL ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS.

YOU MIGHT HAVE QUESTIONS FOR MS. SANDERS, IF NOT, WE'LL MOVE ON TO

[E.3. Toxic Algae in Lady Bird Lake Briefing]

ITEM THREE, EDGY WEEPING CHECK CHECK, AND Y'ALL HEAR ME BEAUTIFUL.

UH, WAIT FOR THE PRESENTATION TO COME UP.

UM, IN THE MEANTIME, UM, I JUST LIKE TO SAY THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK TO THIS COMMISSION, UM, FOR ANYONE THAT MAY HAVE, UH, BEEN UNDER PRESENTATION A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO, UH, THIS WILL BE EERILY SIMILAR.

UM, LUCKILY I DON'T PRACTICE VERY MUCH, SO HOPEFULLY THERE'LL BE SOME NEW NUGGETS AND TIDBITS THAT WILL COME OUT.

UM, I WANT TO ALSO, UH, KIND OF TIP MY HAT TO THE DIFFICULT SITUATION THAT Y'ALL ARE IN AND WILLIAM MORIARTY, UH, TO THIS, UH, YOU KNOW, LOOKING AHEAD AND TRYING TO ADDRESS DROUGHT CONDITIONS AND HOW WE ENSURE, UH, THAT THE CITY, UM, MIS MUNICIPALITY HAS ENOUGH WATER IN THE FUTURE AS WE FACE, UH, DROUGHTS, DROUGHTS OF RECORD, UM, AND THESE OTHER DIFFICULT CONDITIONS.

UM, AND I'M VERY PROUD AND, AND, AND GLAD THAT I HAVE BEEN BROUGHT IN, UM, ON SOME OF THESE DIFFERENT SUBCOMMITTEES, LOOKING AT, UH, THE POTENTIAL FOR THE INDIRECT POTABLE REUSE, UH, UTILIZING LADY BIRD LAKE AS A RESERVOIR TO HELP AUGMENT THE WATER SUPPLY AND HOPEFULLY COME UP WITH SOME SOLUTIONS, UH, TO ADDRESS THESE FUTURE ISSUES WITHOUT COMPROMISING, UH, FURTHER THE ECOLOGICAL INTEGRITY OF WHAT IS A TREMENDOUS RESOURCE FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

UM, OBVIOUSLY LADY BIRD LAKE, UH, RECOGNIZED AS A JUUL OF THE CITY GOING THROUGH DOWNTOWN, UM, AND SERVES A LOT OF IMPORTANT ECOSYSTEM SERVICES, UH, TO THE CITY, TO THE REGION.

UM, AND WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE MAINTAINING, UH, AS HIGH WATER QUALITY AS WE CAN.

UH, SO WITH THAT, UM, I WILL SUMMARIZE AGAIN, AS IT WAS ALLUDED TO THIS KIND OF TOXIC EVENT, UH, THAT DEVELOPED, UH, WHAT APPEARS TO BE, UM, IN EARNEST LAST YEAR FOR THE FIRST TIME, UH, WE SAW AGAIN THIS YEAR, UM, SO I WILL GO THROUGH SOME OF THE BACKGROUND, SOME OF OUR FINDINGS, UM, AND WHAT SOME OF THIS MEANS, UH, MOVING INTO THE FUTURE.

UH, NEXT SLIDE PLEASE.

UH, SO JUST A QUICK RECAP OF THE 2019 EVENT.

UM, AT THE END OF JULY, BEGINNING OF AUGUST, THERE WERE SOME THREE, ONE, ONE CALLS THAT CAME IN, UH, TO REPORT THAT AFTER SOME DOGS HAD BEEN SWIMMING, UM, AT THE VERY POPULAR, UH, PARKS, RED BUD AISLE, AUDITORIUM SHORES DOWNTOWN, UM, THAT WITHIN AN HOUR OR SO OF EXPOSURE TO THE WATER THAT SOME DOGS BECAME VIOLENTLY ILL AND A FEW OF THEM UNFORTUNATELY PASSED AWAY.

UM, OUR STAFF VERY QUICKLY WENT OUT, UM, OVER THE WEEKEND, TOOK SOME PICTURES, COLLECTED SOME SAMPLES TO LOOK AT THE SAMPLES.

UH, THE ALLERGY UNDER THE MICROSCOPE, SOME SAMPLES WERE TAKEN TO THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS.

UM, ALL INDICATIONS SUGGESTED THAT, UH, IT WAS TOXIC CYANOBACTERIA THAT HAD CAUSED THE DEATHS.

UM, WE HAD, UH, THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AND TEXAS A AND M CORPUS CHRISTI, UM, INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THAT THERE WAS A POTENT NEUROTOXIN, UH, THE ANTITOXIN, UH, VARIANT THAT WAS PRESENT WITHIN THE ALGAE MATS.

UM, SO IT KIND OF ALL FIT THE PATHOLOGY OF THE OBSERVED SYMPTOMS AND THE DOGS, UH, THE ALGAE THAT WAS PRESENT, THE SPECIES PRESENT, UM, AND THE TOXIN THAT WAS IDENTIFIED, UM, AT THAT POINT, UH, IN COLLABORATION WITH PARD, UM, WE QUICKLY, UH, PUT SIGNAGE UP AROUND THE RESERVOIR.

WE CLOSED DOWN RED BUD AISLE AND MONITORED FOR THE REST OF THE SUMMER AND FALL, UM, THE PRESENCE OF ALGAE, UH, AT THESE SITES.

AND IF THERE WAS ANY TOXINS PRESENT OVER THE WINTER, WE EVALUATED THE DATA.

WE HAD DEVELOPED A ROBUST MONITORING PROGRAM TO GET A BETTER HANDLE ON THE DRIVERS.

UM, THE MAGNITUDE

[00:45:01]

DURATION OF THESE TYPES OF BLOOMS FOR THE 2020 SEASON.

WE WERE ALSO WITH OUR FANTASTIC, UM, EDUCATION AND OUTREACH TEAM, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE.

UH, WE ARE VERY PROACTIVE AND ENGAGING SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE REGULAR TELEVISION MEDIA PRINT MEDIA, UH, AND WE ESTABLISH A KIND OF DRAWING INSPIRATION FROM THE COVID, UH, DASHBOARD THAT THE CITY PUT TOGETHER.

UM, WE ALSO HAD A DASHBOARD TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO THE COMMUNITY ABOUT THE CURRENT STATUS OF LADY BIRD LAKE, IF WE SAW ALGAE, IF WE HAD THE PRESENCE OF TOXINS, UM, AND WE BELIEVE THAT THAT PROACTIVE, COORDINATED EFFORT EDUCATION, THE PERMANENT SIGNAGE WE GOT OUT THERE, UM, HELPED PREVENT, UH, ANY DOG ILLNESSES OR DEATHS IN 2020.

SO THAT'S SOMETHING THAT WAS, UH, GOOD TO SEE, EVEN THOUGH WE HAD, AGAIN, A VERY ROBUST, UH, ALGAE BLOOM PRESENT ACROSS LADY BIRD, LAKE, AND TOXINS HAVE BEEN PRESENT FOR THE PAST, UH, THREE MONTHS.

NOW, NEXT SLIDE.

NOW THERE'S A LOT OF VERNACULAR AND NOMENCLATURE AROUND HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS. UM, I WILL, UH, QUICKLY KIND OF GO OVER A COUPLE OF THESE THINGS WHO ORIENTATE AND, YOU KNOW, JUST TO KINDA GET EVERYBODY A LITTLE BIT MORE ON THE SAME PAGE, THERE'S REALLY TWO MAIN TYPES OF BLOOMS. UH, THE ONE THAT GETS MOST OF THE PRESS THAT YOU HEAR ABOUT OUT OF TOLEDO, OUT OF DES MOINES, UH, OUT OF LAKE OKEECHOBEE, UH, THE EAST AND WEST COAST SIDE OF CHINA ARE THE PLANK TONIC CYANOBACTERIA BLOOMS. UH, YOU SEE, IN THAT TOP LEFT PICTURE IN THAT JAR, UH, WHAT LOOKS LIKE THIS JUST GREEN MESS.

THOSE ARE INDIVIDUAL CYANOBACTERIA CELLS, AND WE'RE TALKING AT CONCENTRATIONS OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS PER LITER, UM, THE TOP RIGHT PICTURE, YOU KNOW, LOOKING OUT OVER AN EXPANSIVE LAKE, UM, AND JUST HOW BROADLY THESE PLAIN TONIC BLOOMS, UH, CAN AFFECT A LAKE ECOSYSTEM.

THE OTHER TYPE OF BLOOM LESS COMMONLY SEEN, UH, BUT NO LESS TOXIC, UM, OBVIOUSLY ARE THE COHESIVE MATTE BLOOMS. SO INSTEAD OF INDIVIDUAL CELLS FLOATING AROUND IN THE WATER COLUMN, DOING THEIR OWN THING, WHAT YOU GET ARE THESE FILAMENTS, UH, THAT DEVELOP ON THE SEDIMENT SURFACE, UH, THEY ALL KIND OF GROW TOGETHER.

THEY SECRETE AN EXTRA CELLULAR MATRIX THAT MAKES THEM STICKY AND SLIMY HELPS THEM STICK TOGETHER.

AS THEY'RE PHOTOSYNTHESIZING OXYGEN GETS BOUND UP IN THE MAT AND THESE MATS LIFT OFF OF THE SEDIMENT SURFACE FLOATS TO THE SURFACE OF THE WATER.

UM, AND THEN THAT'S WHEN YOU UNFORTUNATELY HAVE THE POTENTIAL INTERACTION WITH, UH, WITH HUMANS, KIDS, DOGS, WILDLIFE, UH, THE PICTURES THAT YOU SEE THERE.

THOSE ARE FROM LADY BIRD LAKE, THE BOTTOM RIGHT PICTURE, UH, THAT IS FROM THE WEEKEND WHEN THE DOG DEATHS WERE REPORTED.

UM, THIS WAS IN ONE OF THE COVES, UH, AROUND RED BAY.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

A LITTLE BIT OF BACKGROUND ABOUT CYANOBACTERIA, THE ORGANISM THAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT.

THEY'RE ALSO FREQUENTLY CALLED BLUE GREEN ALGAE.

UH, THE BLUE-GREEN , UH, IT'S A DERIVATIVE OF THAT TERM.

UM, THEY'RE CALLED ALGAE, BUT TECHNICALLY THEY ARE NOT, ALGAE ARE, UH, HIGHER ORGANISMS, UM, FE THEY'RE MORE, UH, DERIVED.

THEY ACTUALLY, UM, HAVE CYANOBACTERIA, UH, WITH, IN THE CELLS.

UM, SO YOU CAN LOOK AT THE GENETICS AND FIND THIS ANCIENT BACTERIA, UM, GENETICS IN ALL OF THE, UM, EXTENT HIGHER ALGAE.

SO THESE ARE INFECT BACTERIA.

PROKARYOTES, UH, THE YEAR VERY, VERY OLD 3 BILLION YEARS OLD, UM, THOUSANDS OF SPECIES OUT THERE, AND WE CAN REALLY, UH, TIP A HAT TO THE SIGN OF BACTERIA.

UH, THEY WERE THE FIRST ONES TO BEGIN PHOTOSYNTHESIZING PRODUCING OXYGEN AS A BY-PRODUCT OF THAT, UH, UH, SUGAR, UH, MAKING PROCESS, OF COURSE, IN THE GLOBAL ECOSYSTEM WHERE THERE WAS NO OXYGEN PRESENT, EVERYTHING WAS AN ANAEROBE.

UH, THE PRESENCE OF OXYGEN LED TO THE VERY FIRST MASS EXTINCTION EVENT, THE GREAT OXYGENATION EVENT.

UH, SO CYANOBACTERIA, UM, THEY'VE BEEN KILLING THINGS UNFORTUNATELY FOR A VERY LONG TIME, UH, EVOLUTION WHERE SOME MYSTERIOUS WAYS NEXT, UM, SANTA BACTERIA BESIDES, UH, THE MUCH MALIGNED TOXINS, UM, THOSE AND THE, UH, WATER AND WASTEWATER AND WATER TREATMENT BUSINESS.

WE'LL ALSO KNOW THAT CYANOBACTERIA BIOMASS IS FREQUENTLY

[00:50:01]

LINKED TO OTHER TASTES AND ODOR ISSUES.

THIS IS, UH, NOT A HEALTH ISSUE.

IT'S MORE OF JUST AN AESTHETICS THING.

YOU DON'T WANT A KIND OF A FUNKY SMELLING WATER COMING OUT OF THE TAP.

AND THE COMPOUNDS RELATED TO THAT ARE JASMINE AND MIB, UM, AUSTIN WATER, UH, FOR YEARS AND YEARS, UH, THEY MONITOR THE RAW AND TREATED, UH, WATER, UH, BEFORE IT GOES, UM, FOR THE PRESENCE OF THESE TASTES AND ODOR COMPOUNDS.

THEY'RE VERY EFFICIENT AT TREATING THE WATER TO REMOVE THIS, TO ENSURE THAT THE CITY OF AUSTIN HAS A GOOD TASTING AND A GOOD SMELLING, UH, WATER SUPPLY.

UM, SO AGAIN, CYANOBACTERIA PRODUCE A LOT OF DIFFERENT SECONDARY METABOLITES, NEXT SLIDE.

ALL RIGHT, NOW WE'LL KIND OF GET INTO THE ECOLOGY A BIT.

UH, FORTUNATELY, UH, CYANOBACTERIA, UH, THEIR POPULATION DYNAMICS ARE PRETTY TYPICAL.

UM, YOU CAN LOOK GLOBALLY AND THERE ARE SOME, UH, VERY TYPICAL DRIVERS AND PATTERNS, UH, WITH THEIR POPULATION DYNAMICS.

UH, THIS FIGURE THAT YOU'RE LOOKING AT HERE, THIS IS ACTUALLY FROM LAKE AUSTIN.

UH, ALL OF THAT, THOSE MASSES OF DOTS, THOSE ARE CELL COUNTS THAT WERE PROVIDED BY AUSTIN WATER, UH, AT THEIR INTAKES.

THE TOP OF BOX IS FOR DIATOMS. THIS IS A BENEFICIAL ALGAE THAT GROWS OUT IN THE PLANKTON.

UM, THESE ARE LITTLE ALLERGY, GOLDEN ALGAE BROWN ALGAE THAT LIVE IN GLASS CASES.

UH, THESE ARE THE ORGANISMS REALLY THAT WE CAN LOOK TO AND THANK FOR THE OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS THAT EVERYBODY TRIES TO GET, UH, IN THEIR DIET.

UH, THEY TEND TO BLOOM EARLY, UH, IN THE SUMMER, LATE SPRING, UH, WATER TEMPERATURES ARE COOLER.

THERE'S AN ABUNDANCE OF SILICA THAT THEY NEED TO PRODUCE THEIR LITTLE GLASS CASES.

AS TEMPERATURES CHANGE AS NUTRIENT DYNAMICS CHANGE, YOU GET A SHIFT IN THIS ASSEMBLAGE THAT'S IN THE PLANKTON, AND THEN WHAT YOU CAN SEE IS IN THE BOTTOM, RIGHT, UH, THAT THE BOTTOM, UH, GRAPH THAT IS FOR CYANOBACTERIA CELL ABUNDANCES AND IN LAKE AUSTIN.

UH, IT IS VERY TYPICAL THAT WE WILL SEE PEAK BIOMASS, UH, IN AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER WHEN THE SUMMER MONTHS ARE WARMEST.

AND WHEN WE HAVE, UH, SOME OTHER HYDROLOGIC CONDITIONS CONDUCIVE FOR CYANOBACTERIA GROWTH.

SO IT'S GOOD.

WE HAVE, UH, WE CAN PRETTY EFFECTIVELY, UH, PREDICT, UH, WHEN CYANOBACTERIA ARE MOST LIKELY TO BECOME A NUISANCE IN THE SYSTEM NEXT NOW, IS THAT A BACTERIA THEY ARE PRESENT IN EVERY WATER BODY GLOBALLY, ARCTIC TO ANTARCTIC.

THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT YOU WOULD NECESSARILY HAVE TOXINS PRESENT.

UH, IT TURNS OUT YOU NEED VERY SPECIFIC CONDITIONS, UH, FOR A BLOOM, FOR THE CYANOBACTERIA BIOMASS TO START PRODUCING THESE TOXINS.

AND THE LITERATURE AND OBSERVATIONS TEND TO FIND THREE, WHAT WE'LL CALL THREE PILLARS TO A TOXIC BLOOM.

UH, IT'S A EXTENDED PERIOD WHERE YOU HAVE LOW FLOWS, A LACK OF RAIN, WHICH ESSENTIALLY LEADS TO MINIMAL TURBULENCE.

YOU GET A STAGNATION OF THE WATER, UH, THE CYANOBACTERIA, LIKE, UH, TO HAVE VERY CALM CONDITIONS FOR EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME SO THAT THEY CAN GROW.

UH, THEY LIKE IT HOT.

UM, THEY, THEY PREFER AGAIN THE LATE SUMMER MONTHS, UH, WHEN IT'S VERY WARM AND THE KEY INGREDIENT TO A BLOOM GOING TOXIC IS THE PRESENCE OF AN ABUNDANCE OF NUTRIENTS.

UH, FOR THE LONGEST TIME, PHOSPHORUS WAS BELIEVED TO BE THE PRIMARY DRIVER.

UH, MORE OF THE RESEARCH NOW IS SEEING THAT THERE'S A SYNERGY BETWEEN, UH, NITROGEN AND PHOSPHORUS AVAILABILITY, UH, THAT, THAT THEN PROMOTES DEVELOPMENT OF A TOXIC BLUE NEXT SLIDE IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF SLIDES, I WILL BREAK DOWN THOSE THREE PILLARS, WHAT WE SAW IN LADY BIRD LAKE IN 2019.

UH, SO WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING AT HERE, UH, THIS IS THE AVERAGE DAILY DISCHARGES FROM THE TOM MILLER DAM, UM, INTO LADY BIRD LAKE, UH, THOSE HATCHED BARS THAT ARE ON THERE.

THOSE WERE PERIODS WHEN WE SAMPLED A TOXIC ALGAE OR WHEN WE HAD REPORTED A DOG ILLNESSES.

AND YOU CAN SEE WHERE THAT HATCHING OCCURS COINCIDES WITH, UH, VERY LOW DISCHARGES, UH, FROM THE TOM MILLER DAM NEXT, UH, SO THIS IS, AGAIN, THIS IS, UH, THIS KIND OF, UH, LOW TURBULENCE IN THE WATER.

UM, IF YOU LOOK AT 2019 IN RELATION TO THE PREVIOUS THREE-YEAR PERIOD, SO 2016

[00:55:01]

TO 2018, THIS IS AS WE WERE COMING OUT OF THAT LAST DROUGHT OF RECORD, UM, AND YOU CAN SEE WITHIN THOSE HATCH BARS, ESPECIALLY AT THE END OF JULY INTO AUGUST, BEGINNING OF SEPTEMBER, UH, 2019 HAD LOWER DISCHARGES AVERAGE DAILY DISCHARGES COMPARED TO THAT PREVIOUS THREE-YEAR PERIOD.

SO THIS WAS SOMETHING THAT WAS KIND OF NEW FOR THE SYSTEM, UH, IN 2019 COMPARED TO THE PREVIOUS PERIOD, UH, TEMPERATURES, UH, HERE IN AUSTIN, WE REALLY DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT BEING HOT, UH, HAVING WARM WATER, UH, THOSE WEEKENDS, UH, THAT, THAT INITIAL WEEKEND, UH, WHEN OUR STAFF WENT OUT, SAMPLING WATER, TEMPERATURES WERE OVER 30 DEGREES CENTIGRADE, AND THIS IS SOME SERIOUS BATHWATER GOING ON OUT THERE AGAIN, BUT NOT ATYPICAL FOR AUSTIN.

AND THEN THAT LAST PILLAR, THE NUTRIENTS, YOU KNOW, WAS THERE AVAILABILITY OF NUTRIENTS THAT REALLY KIND OF FLIPPED THIS SYSTEM INTO SOMETHING TOXIC NOW IN THE RESERVOIR SYSTEM, THE CITY OF AUSTIN HAS BEEN MONITORING LADY BIRD LAKE FOR ABOUT 20 YEARS, UM, IN THE TABLE THAT'S PROVIDED HERE.

UM, I SHOW AGAIN, JUST KIND OF THAT POST DROUGHT PERIOD, UM, RELATIVE TO 2019.

SO THAT'S THE PROJECT, THAT'S THE MONITORING PROJECT, AND YOU CAN SEE NH THREE AMMONIA.

YOU CAN SEE NITRATE NITRATE AND TOTAL PHOSPHORUS IN 2019 WERE ALL SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER COMPARED TO THAT PREVIOUS THREE-YEAR PERIOD.

SO WE HAVE A VERY LARGE INCREASE IN NUTRIENTS.

THOSE ARE FROM OUR ROUTINE MONITORING SITES, LOOKING SPECIFICALLY AT THE SITES WHERE WE HAD THE TOXIC ALGAE.

AGAIN, AMMONIA CONCENTRATIONS WERE EVEN HIGHER THAN WHAT WE SAW, UM, FROM OUR SITES, UH, NITRATE, UH, HIGHER THAN THE PREVIOUS THREE-YEAR PERIOD, AS WELL AS TOTAL PHOSPHORUS.

UH, SO 2019, UM, WE SAW THIS DRAMATIC CHANGE IN THE NUTRIENT DYNAMICS IN LADYBIRD LAKE.

UH, NEXT SLIDE.

SO WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE DRIVERS THAT LED TO THIS CHANGE IN 2019? UM, ESPECIALLY IN TERMS OF THE NUTRIENTS.

UM, AND ONE OF THE LIKELY CULPRITS AND DRIVERS ARE ZEBRA MUSSELS.

UH, THESE ARE RECOGNIZED AS AN ECOSYSTEM ENGINEER, UH, BECAUSE OF THEIR IMPACTS ON AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS. THEY BECAME ESTABLISHED IN LADY BIRD LAKE AROUND 2017, AND THEIR POPULATION HAS BEEN INCREASING, UH, THAT PICTURE THAT YOU SEE THERE.

UH, THAT WAS A BOOM THAT I HAD ACCIDENTALLY SNAGGED WITH MY ANCHOR.

IT WAS SITTING ON THE BOTTOM RIGHT OFF THE TIP OF RED BUD AISLE.

UM, AND THIS IS, UM, I BELIEVE FROM 2018.

SO THEIR, THEIR POPULATION, UH, HAS, HAS INCREASED DRAMATICALLY EXPONENTIALLY IN LADY BIRD LAKE.

AND WHAT THIS MEANS IS FOR EACH OF THOSE LITTLE S EACH OF THOSE LITTLE MALAS THAT CAN FILTER A GALLON OF WATER A DAY BY THEMSELVES, YOU'RE REMOVING ALL OF THIS PARTICULATE MATTER, ALGAE, ALL THESE THINGS THAT ARE SEQUESTERING NUTRIENTS IN THE WATER COLUMN, THEY'RE TAKING THAT.

AND THEY'RE, TRANSLOCATING ALL OF THAT MATERIAL TO THE BOTTOM AND EVERYTHING, UH, EXCRETES WASTE.

UM, AND WHAT YOU GET FROM CBRE MUSCLES ARE PSEUDO FECES, BASICALLY THESE LITTLE, UM, FERTILIZER PELLETS THAT THEY DEPOSIT AROUND THE BOTTOM SEDIMENTS.

UH, YOU HAVE AN INCREASE IN LIGHT PENETRATION, UM, AROUND FIRST STREET AROUND RED, BUT I'LL, UH, AUGUST VISIBILITY AND TRANSPARENCY HAS GONE FROM ABOUT THREE FEET TO 15 FEET IN THE SUMMER.

THAT'S THE IMPACT THAT THE ZEBRA MUSCLES HAVE HAD OUT THERE.

AND IT'S WELL ESTABLISHED IN THE LITERATURE THAT SPECIFICALLY REMEMBER TO THE PREVIOUS TABLE, UH, THEY INCREASE THE EXCRETION OF AMMONIA AND PHOSPHATE INTO THE WATER COLUMN.

SO THESE ARE TWO IMPORTANT NUTRIENTS TO FUEL AND FEED CYANOBACTERIA, UH, THAT HAS BEEN RELATED TO YOUR MUSCLES NEXT.

UM, IN THIS SLIDE, UH, MAURA WHAT'S TYPICALLY IN AN ECOSYSTEM AND BETA BY ZEBRA, MUSSELS IS DENSE GROWTH OF GREEN ALGAE, UH, TENDS TO BE , UH, THIS REALLY KIND OF FUZZY, HAIRY ALGAE.

AGAIN, THIS IS A PICTURE, UH, JUST PULLING THE ANCHOR UP IN LADY BIRD LAKE, UM, AND THESE DENSE MATS OF GREEN ALGAE COAT, I WOULD ESTIMATE OVER 90% OF THE RESERVOIR RIGHT NOW.

SO BESIDES THE CYANOBACTERIA, UH, ZEBRA MUSSELS PROMOTE THE GROWTH OF OTHER ALLERGY, UH, NOT NECESSARILY TOXIC, BUT CAN BE A NOXIOUS IF THEY WASH UP ON SHORE AND DECOMPOSE.

UM, SO THESE ARE KNOWN ECOSYSTEM IMPACTS

[01:00:01]

AND THINGS THAT WE'RE SEEING OUT IN LADY BIRD LAKE THAT ARE JUST OCCURRING IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS NEXT, UH, THIS WILL PROBABLY MAKE A FEW PEOPLE CRINGE SEEING THESE PICTURES, THE REMINDER OF THAT FALL 2018, UM, MASSIVE FLOODING EVENT AND TURBIDITY EVENTS, UM, IN THE HIGHLAND LAKES, UH, WE HAD THE BOIL WATER ORDERS IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN, BECAUSE THERE WAS SO MUCH SEDIMENT THAT WAS MOVING THROUGH THE RESERVOIRS.

OF COURSE, THERE'S ALL OF THIS ORGANIC MATERIAL, INORGANIC MATERIALS MAKING ITS WAY INTO EACH RESERVOIR, VELOCITY SLOWED DOWN AND YOU GET PARTICULATES AND PARTICLES DROPPING OUT.

SO WHAT YOU HAD IN 2018 WAS THIS UNPRECEDENTED LOADING OF ORGANIC AND INORGANIC MATERIAL.

THIS IS AGAIN A NEW SOURCE OF NUTRIENTS THAT ARE FUELING ANY LIFE AND GROWTH ON THE BOTTOM.

AND AGAIN, THIS IS THE ALGAE THAT WE WERE SEEING OUT THERE, THEY START AND DEVELOP FROM THE BENZOS.

SO THIS IS AGAIN, JUST ANOTHER, UH, POTENTIAL FUEL, UH, THAT WAS, UH, PUT ONTO THAT FIRE NEXT.

UH, IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING, UH, CLIMATE CHANGE IS SOMETHING THAT IS IMPACTING OUR REGION.

UM, UH, AS, AS WE, OUR SUMMERS, UH, IT GET LONGER AND WARMER AS OUR RAINFALL PATTERNS CHANGE.

UM, ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE GOING TO BE TO THE BENEFIT OF CYANOBACTERIA.

UM, AND AGAIN, GLOBALLY, THE LITERATURE AND STUDIES SUPPORT THAT, UH, THE RAPID EXPANSION AND ACROSS CLIMATES OF TOXIC BLOOMS AS BEING LINKED TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND THESE ALTERED WEATHER PATTERNS.

EXCELLENT.

UH, CAN'T FORGET TO MENTION, UH, THE DOGS, DEATHS AND ILLNESSES DID OCCUR AT DOG PARKS.

UH, WE DID OBSERVE THE TOXIC ALGAE AT DOG PARKS.

THE, OF COURSE, THIS IS WHERE WE WERE LOOKING, UH, BUT THERE IS A LOT OF WASTE GENERATED BY ALL THESE PETS THAT ARE OFF LEASH.

UH, WE KNOW THAT NOT EVERY DOG OWNER IS A RESPONSIBLE STEWARD.

UH, THIS IS OBVIOUSLY SOMETHING AT THESE PARKS DOGS BEEN AROUND FOR A WHILE.

UM, BUT IS IT AGAIN, JUST THAT LITTLE EXTRA SOMETHING TO HELP PUSH THE SYSTEM OVER THE EDGE NEXT? UM, AND THEN FINALLY AGAIN, I MENTIONED THE DISCHARGES THAT ARE COMING FROM THE TOM MILLER DAM AND HOW 2019 LOOKED DIFFERENT FROM 2016 TO 2018.

BUT IF YOU COMPARE 2019, THE SOLID CIRCLES TO THE DROUGHT PERIOD, UH, WHEN FLOWS ARE BEING DRAMATICALLY REDUCED TO TRY TO PROTECT THE WATER SUPPLY IN LAKE TRAVIS 2019 WAS NOT EXCEPTIONAL.

UH, 2012, 2015 AVERAGE DISCHARGES WERE EVEN LOWER.

UH, BUT WE DID NOT HAVE THESE TYPES OF PROLIFERATIONS.

UH, BUT AGAIN, YOU HAVE JUST A LOT OF NEW STRESSORS, THE ZEBRA MUSSELS, THE FLOODING EVENTS, AND A NEW CLIMATE THAT LADY BIRD LAKE DID NOT EXPERIENCE, UH, DURING THE LAST DROUGHT OF RECORD.

NEXT SLIDE.

SO WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN? UH, THIS WAS, UH, THIS QUOTE, UH, IS TAKEN FROM, UH, AN IOC AND ESCO REPORT THAT WAS PUBLISHED A FEW YEARS AGO.

UM, I'LL LET Y'ALL READ IT ON YOUR OWN, UH, BUT ESSENTIALLY ONCE YOUR SYSTEM KIND OF GOES TOXIC, IT'S REALLY DIFFICULT TO MOVE IT BACK THE OTHER WAY.

UH, YOU GET A HISTORY SIS, UH, THAT MAKES IT EVEN MORE EXPENSIVE AND DIFFICULT.

YOU HAVE TO GO ABOVE AND BEYOND WHAT YOUR INITIAL STRESSORS WERE TO TRY TO GET YOUR SYSTEM TO FLIP BACK.

SO THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO IS PREVENT THE SYSTEM FROM DEVELOPING TOXIC CYANOBACTERIA BLOOMS. OTHERWISE, WHAT YOU'RE DOING THEN IS YOU'RE TRYING TO MONITOR AND TRYING TO PROTECT HUMAN HEALTH NEXT TO THAT END.

THIS IS WHAT, AGAIN, WHAT WE'VE BEEN ACTIVELY DOING THIS YEAR.

UH, WE HAVE A CONTRACT IN PLACE WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS, UM, WHERE, UH, TRYING TO DEVELOP COLLABORATIONS WITH PRIVATE INDUSTRY, UH, WITH USDS, UH, NASA ACTUALLY REACHED OUT TO, TO US ALSO, UH, BUT IT'S TO TRY TO UNDERSTAND EVERY ASPECT OF THE RESERVOIR, UH, OF NUTRIENT LOADINGS OF NUTRIENT DYNAMICS, WATER TEMPERATURES, FLOWS TO SEE HOW ALL OF THIS GOES TOGETHER TO PROMOTE, UH, THOSE FEW SIGN OF BACTERIA THAT ARE PRESENT THAT ARE PRODUCING THE TOXINS.

SO THIS IS WE'RE COLLECTING A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF DATA, SO WE CAN DEVELOP THESE MODELS, UH, TO REFINE OUR PREDICTIONS, AND AGAIN, PROVIDE THE BEST INFORMATION TO THE COMMUNITY

[01:05:01]

TO TRY TO KEEP EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING SAFE NEXT.

AND AS WE GET A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE SYSTEM, AS WE BETTER UNDERSTAND THE DRIVERS, UM, OBVIOUSLY WE'RE KIND OF LIMITED IN WHAT WE TO DO IN TERMS OF CONTROLLING CLIMATE CHANGE, OUR HOT SUMMERS RAINFALL PATTERNS.

UM, BUT THERE'S THINGS THAT WE CAN DO TO REALLY TRY TO GO AFTER THAT KEY DRIVER OF NUTRIENTS.

UH, WE CAN TRY TO PREVENT AND REDUCE LOADINGS COMING INTO LADY BIRD LAKE, AND WE CAN TRY TO SEQUESTER AND BIND THOSE NUTRIENTS THAT ARE PRESENT ALREADY IN THE RESERVOIR.

UH, ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES FOR ANY AQUATIC SYSTEM IS LEGACY PHOSPHORUS.

UH, ONCE IT GETS INTO THE SEDIMENTS, UM, IT'S THERE FOR A LONG TIME UNTIL IT GETS BURIED OR FLUSHED OUT OF A SYSTEM.

IT'S NOT LIKE NITROGEN WHERE THROUGH , YOU CAN OFF GAS, UH, EXCESS NITROGEN AS, AS, UM, AS, AND TO SO PHOSPHOROUS IS REALLY A CHALLENGE.

SO WE'RE EXPLORING WAYS TO TRY TO MAKE THAT PHOSPHOROUS UNAVAILABLE TO THE ALGAE.

UM, AND YOU KNOW, AND THEN WHAT ARE SOME OTHER POSSIBLE, UH, MANAGEMENT OPTIONS THAT WE HAVE AVAILABLE, AGAIN, BEING A VERY PUBLIC, VERY POPULAR RECREATIONAL RESOURCE.

UH, WE ARE SOMEWHAT LIMITED IN WHAT WE CAN DO OUT THERE.

UM, AND, YOU KNOW, IF THIS EVER DID BECOME PART OF THE DRINKING WATER SUPPLY CHAIN AGAIN, IS, WOULD, UM, ALSO LIMIT WHAT COULD BE DONE, BUT WE'RE HOPING TO TRY TO GET AHEAD OF THAT OVER THESE NEXT YEARS AS WE DEVELOP MORE MODELS.

YEP.

AND THERE'S JUST THAT LITTLE CAVEAT.

A LOT OF THESE TREATMENTS AND OPTIONS, UH, HAVE BEEN SHOWN EFFECTIVE, BUT USUALLY IN SMALL PONDS GOLF COURSE PONDS OR IN WATER BODIES WHERE THERE'S A VERY, UM, JUST PROBABLY MORE NATURAL LAKES, I GUESS, FOR, FOR LACK OF A BETTER WORD BEING PASSED THROUGH RESERVOIRS, UM, ALSO PRESENTS A LOT OF CHALLENGES.

SO HOW EFFECTIVE THESE METHODS WOULD BE, UM, IS ALSO, UH, A VERY LARGE QUESTION, UH, BEING GIVEN THE NATURE OF THESE RESERVOIRS.

AND NEXT SLIDE WILL TAKE US TO ANY QUESTIONS, ANY QUESTIONS, UH, WILLIAM, I SEE YOUR HAND UP.

THANK YOU.

UH, DR.

BRENT, I MUST COMMEND YOU ON A, A VERY GOOD PIECE OF VACATION.

I KNOW THAT YOU'RE WORKING HARD TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM.

CAN YOU HEAR ME OKAY.

I'M HEARING YOU JUST FINE.

THANK YOU, SIR.

UM, I, UH, I'M VERY CONCERNED WITH THIS ISSUE AND A COUPLE OF POINTS I'D LIKE TO MAKE, AND PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I MISUNDERSTOOD ANYTHING, THIS TOXIC ALGAE IN BEZ, INF INFESTATION NOT ONLY EXISTS IN LADY BIRD LAKE, BUT ALSO THE OTHER LAKES IN OUR REGION.

IS THAT TRUE? UH, AS OF RIGHT NOW, WE HAVE NOT HEARD OR MEASURED, UM, ANY INCIDENTS THAN IN ANY OTHER RESERVOIRS.

UM, SO AS OF RIGHT NOW, LADY BIRD LAKE IS THE ONLY ONE THAT APPEARS TO BE SUFFERING.

UH, THIS MALADY LCRA HAS ESTABLISHED A REPORTING WEBSITE, UH, SO THAT ANYONE THAT'S CONCERNED, THEY THINK THAT THERE MIGHT BE TOXIC ALGAE.

UH, SOMEWHERE ELSE IN THE HIGHLAND LAKE CHAIN CAN REPORT IT, THEY'LL GO OUT COLLECT SAMPLES AND TESTS.

UM, BUT TO MY KNOWLEDGE, ASIDE FROM WAY HIGH, UP IN THE COLORADO RIVER BASIN, WHERE THEY HAVE TOXIC GOLDEN ALGAE, UH, WHICH IS A DIFFERENT BEAST, UM, I DON'T BELIEVE ANY OF THE IMMEDIATE RESERVOIRS IN THE AREA HAVE IT.

I WOULD ADD THAT, UH, AUSTIN WATER TEST FOR CYTOTOXINS IN, UH, IN IT'S TWO DRINKING WATER LAKES, AND WE HAVE NOT REGISTERED, UH, ANYTHING OF CONCERN, ALTHOUGH WE'RE MINDFUL OF THE RISK, WE'RE ALSO TAKING STEPS TO, UH, INCREASE OUR ABILITY TO DO INTERNAL PLAN ATTACKS AND TESTING.

AND SO WE'LL STAY ON TOP OF THAT PART OF IT.

AND I GUESS JUST TO PUT A FINE POINT ON THIS, DR.

BRENT, YOU'RE NOT ACTIVELY LOOKING FOR IT IN THE OTHER LAKES.

UH, SO THE SYSTEM NOW IS SOMEBODY GOT TO REPORT IT TO LCRA.

LCRA IS NOT HUNTING THE STUFF GREG IS TESTING AT THE INTAKES ONLY, RIGHT.

GREG? YES.

IN AND AROUND THE INTAKES, BUT WE DON'T, WE DON'T CANVAS, YOU KNOW, THE ENTIRE HIGHLAND

[01:10:01]

LAKE SYSTEM.

YEAH.

OKAY.

SO IT'S POSSIBLE THAT IT COULD BE IN THE OTHER LAKES.

UH, I'VE HEARD REPORTS THAT IT IS IN THE OTHER LAKES.

UH, SECONDLY, UH, DR.

BRENT, UM, THIS, UH, TOXIC ALGAE COULD BE HARMFUL TO HUMANS.

TRUE.

UH, THAT IS TRUE.

UM, FORTUNATELY, UH, THE MEANS OF, UM, UH, OF BECOMING SICK ARE VERY SPECIFIC.

UH, AS, AS GREG MENTIONED, YOU KNOW, THEY'RE LOOKING AT, UH, THE RAW TREATED WATER FOR, FOR LAKE AUSTIN.

WE'VE BEEN COLLECTING WATER SAMPLES FOR LADY BIRD LAKE, AND WE HAVEN'T MEASURED THIS VERY POTENT TOXIN JUST FREE AND THE WATER, UH, IT'S REALLY STAYS WITHIN THE CELLS, WHICH IS, WHICH IS A CR, WHICH IS A GOOD THING.

UM, WHAT YOU TYPICALLY HAVE WITH THE PLANK TONIC BLOOMS, UM, IT'S WHEN THE TOXINS TEND TO STAY INSIDE OF THE CELLS UNTIL YOU GET A LARGE, UH, DIE OFF OF THE BLOOM, JUST KIND OF THE NATURAL LIFE CYCLE OF THINGS.

AND AS YOU GET THIS MASSIVE DIE OFF OF ALL THIS ALGAE, THE CELLS RUPTURE, AND THEY RELEASE THE TOXINS INTO THE WATER, THAT'S WHEN YOU GET THE DRINKING WATER ISSUES, THEY'RE BRINGING IN, UM, ALL OF THIS FOLLOWED WATER.

SO WE'VE BEEN MONITORING LADY BIRD LAKE CLOSELY, UM, BECAUSE IT IS AGAIN AN IMPORTANT RECTOR OF RESOURCE RECREATIONAL RESOURCE.

WE WANT TO PROTECT HUMAN HEALTH.

UM, AND SO AS LONG AS WE'RE NOT SEEING TOXINS AND APPRECIABLE AMOUNTS IN THE WATER, THERE, THERE'S A FEW FEDERAL AND STATE GUIDELINES.

SO WE HAVEN'T HAD TO CLOSE DOWN THE RESERVOIR.

YOU KNOW, WE JUST TELL PEOPLE DON'T EAT THE LT, YOU KNOW, DOGS.

THEY, UNFORTUNATELY THEY SEE AND SMELL THESE NASTY LITTLE THINGS.

THEY LIKE TO EAT THINGS.

UM, BUT HUMANS TEND TO NOT HAVE THOSE SAME PROCLIVITIES, BUT IF A KID FELL OFF, I ACT INTO THE ALGAE AND INGESTED IT, IT COULD KILL A KID.

RIGHT.

YOU KNOW, TH THOSE LD FIFTIES, UM, I DON'T KNOW HOW, YOU KNOW, WHAT, WHAT THAT WOULD LOOK LIKE FOR A CHILD, YOU KNOW, IT'S ALWAYS POSSIBLE, UM, THE HOPE WOULD BE, AND WE'VE, WE'VE TELL PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, IF YOU'RE GOING TO UTILIZE THE RESERVOIR, STAY AWAY FROM THE ALGAE MATS, THEY TEND TO ACCUMULATE NEARSHORE.

UM, YOU KNOW, SO IF YOU'RE OUT ON YOUR STAND-UP PADDLEBOARD OR YOUR KAYAK, UM, OUT IN THE OPEN WATER WHERE THE WIND IS, KEEPING THINGS CLEAR, YOUR CHANCES OF EXPOSURE ARE VERY, VERY LOW.

UH, BUT THAT IS OBVIOUSLY SOMETHING THAT IS OF CONCERN.

AND YOU KNOW WHY WE'VE TRIED TO TAILOR OUR MESSAGE MESSAGING TO DON'T INTERACT WITH THE ALGAE AT ALL, BUT IN LADY, BIRD LAKE, EVEN THOUGH IT'S POSTED FOR NO SWIMMING, PEOPLE SWIM IN THAT LAKE ALL THE TIME.

THAT IS TRUE.

UM, AND IT'S, IT'S ONE OF THOSE, IT'S ONE OF THOSE CHALLENGES THAT ARE FACED, UM, YOU KNOW, THAT, UH, THAT, YOU KNOW, WE TRY TO DO OUR BEST WITH THAT.

AND I GUESS MY QUESTION WAS I WAS LOOKING AT YOUR WEBSITE THE OTHER DAY, AND YOU'VE REALLY PUT THIS AS A DOG ISSUE.

RIGHT.

IT SAYS NOTHING THAT I CAN SEE ABOUT ANY HARM TO HUMANS.

AND I WONDER IF THE CITY WOULD BE SMART TO PUT THE KIND OF INFORMATION OUT THERE THAT EVEN THOUGH YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO SWIM, PEOPLE DO SWIM, EVEN THOUGH KIDS AREN'T SUPPOSED TO EAT THE ALGAE, GOD KNOWS IF YOU'VE EVER HAD KIDS, THEY DO THINGS.

THEY DON'T ALWAYS DO EVERYTHING YOU TELL THEM.

SO, UH, I WOULD BE, UH, A LITTLE CONCERNED.

SURE.

THAT'S A FAIR POINT.

I WILL, I WILL MENTION REAL QUICK, UH, FOR ANTITOXIN, UH, SPECIFICALLY THERE HAS NOT, AND, UH, YOU KNOW, I'LL JINX IT RIGHT OUT WITH, THERE HAS NOT BEEN A REPORTED HUMAN DEATH GLOBALLY LINKED TO THIS PARTICULAR TOXIN.

SO AGAIN, IT'S, UH, FOR SOME REASON, LIVESTOCK AND DOGS SEEM TO REALLY BE SUSCEPTIBLE TO IT.

UM, AND IT'S, IT'S MOST LIKELY LINKED TO THAT MODE OF INGESTION AND, UH, HUMANS JUST DON'T GET THAT MUCH EXPOSURE AS YOU WOULD GET FOR POLICE OTHER ANIMALS, BUT IT'S A VERY FAIR POINT.

UM, AND, AND IT'S ABSOLUTELY SOMETHING THAT WE PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE ON OUR, ON OUR WEBSITE IF THIS MATERIAL WAS IN THE WATER COLUMN AND IT DID ENTER THE WATER TREATMENT PLANTS, COULD SOMEONE WITH AUSTIN WATER DESCRIBE HOW IT WOULD BE DEACTIVATED DURING THE TREATMENT PROCESS.

I'M GOING TO ASSUME THAT'S A QUESTION FOR SOMEONE FROM AUSTIN WATER.

YES.

UNLESS YOU HAVE TO DO IT FOR DO NOT.

YOU DO THAT WELL, IN OUR PRESUME THE WATER PLANTS WOULD HAVE THE ABILITY TO DEACTIVATE THIS STUFF.

I'M JUST CURIOUS EXACTLY THE MECHANICS OF HOW THAT WOULD WORK WELL

[01:15:01]

AT, AT CERTAIN LIBERALS, OUR PRIMARY TOOLS WOULD BE A POWDER ACTIVATED CARBON, UH, THAT WE USE TO, UH, ABSORB, UH, VARIOUS ORGANICS AND INORGANICS AND YOUR ALL WATER SYSTEM.

UH, AND WE ARE STUDYING, UH, DIFFERENT CONFIGURATIONS OF PACK THAT COULD BE USED TO TAILOR TO A SINO TOXIN, UH, RISK.

UH, THERE'S ALSO A NEED TO DELIVER MORE PACK THEN, UH, THAN WHAT WE CURRENTLY, UH, COULD DO.

AND THAT'S SOMETHING THAT WE'RE EVALUATING, ALTHOUGH AS YOU KNOW, COMMISSIONER IN TREATMENT PROCESSES, UH, YOU KNOW, UH, DOWNSTREAM, UH, CHANGE CAN HAVE, UH, UH, UPSTREAM, UH, ISSUES TOO.

SO WE HAVE TO KIND OF LOOK AT THE WHOLE TREATMENT TRAIN.

IF YOU ADD A LOT OF POWDER ACTIVATED CARBON IN THE FRONT END, YOU'LL THAT CREATES A PROBLEM, UH, FARTHER DOWN IN THE TREATMENT PROCESS.

WE'RE ALSO DOING, UH, AWW SELF-ASSESSMENTS AND OTHER, UH, UH, ANALYSIS TO DETERMINE AND MANAGE RISK.

ALTHOUGH RIGHT NOW WE SEE