Link

Social

Embed

Disable autoplay on embedded content?

Download

Download
Download Transcript


[00:00:03]

GOOD AFTERNOON,

[CALL TO ORDER]

EVERYBODY.

I'M LESLIE POOLE, CHAIR OF THE AUSTIN WATER OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE.

UH, TODAY IS THURSDAY, MAY 9TH, 2024.

THE TIME IS 1:35 PM I'LL CONVENE THIS MEETING.

WE ARE HERE IN CITY HALL.

WE HAVE A QUORUM OF OUR FOUR MEMBER COMMITTEE WITH US TODAY.

UH, THE TWO ALTARS AND ME, THE MAYOR, IS NOT ABLE TO JOIN US TODAY.

WELCOME EVERYONE.

[Public Communication: General]

WE'LL KICK OFF WITH OUR PUBLIC COMMUNICATION.

WE HAVE THREE FOLKS SIGNED UP.

IS GUS PENA HERE? I DID NOT SEE HIM.

UM, ALRIGHT.

UH, MR. GUTIERREZ, ADRIAN GUTIERREZ, YOU ARE NEXT.

YOU WILL HAVE THREE MINUTES, SIR.

YOU CAN COME TO THE PODIUM RIGHT HERE, AND THAT MICROPHONE SHOULD BE ON.

AND THEN WHEN MR. GUTIERREZ IS DONE, UM, JAMES HILL O'BRIEN.

MR. GUTIERREZ, WELCOME.

THANK YOU.

GOOD AFTERNOON COUNCIL MEMBERS.

THANKS FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK TODAY.

UH, I'M HERE PRIMARILY TO SPEAK TO BUSINESS INTEREST.

I'M A LONGTIME AUSTIN RESIDENT, 1993.

I MOVED HERE OWN A HOUSE IN DISTRICT SEVEN.

I WORKED IN DISTRICT THREE.

THIS IS A WORK RELATED ISSUE THOUGH, AND I RELATED TO PROPERTY ON DIS IN DISTRICT THREE AT 900.

ED BLUESTEIN.

UH, REASON I'M COMING TO YOU GUYS IS BECAUSE WE'VE, UH, WE HAD A WATER LEAK, UH, SITUATION GOING ALL THE WAY BACK TO, UH, JUNE OF, UH, 2022 AND, UH, LEAKED OVER 5 MILLION GALLONS OF WATER.

IT WAS A BIG DEAL.

IT WAS AN UNDERWATER, UNDERWATER LEAK, AND WE TOOK US SOME TIME TO FIND IT.

WE WORKED ON IT, GOT IT FIXED.

AND, UH, MUCH TO MY SURPRISE, ONCE WE GOT IT FIXED, I WAS TOLD BY THE UTILITY COMPANY, GO AHEAD AND SUBMIT, UH, WORK, THE WORK ORDER AND STUFF THAT WE GOT IT FIXED AND STUFF, AND WE'D GET SOME KIND OF BILL MITIGATION.

AND THAT TURNED OUT TO BE NOT THE CASE WITH THE COMMERCIAL ACCOUNTS.

THAT'S WHEN WE DISCOVERED THAT COMMERCIAL ACCOUNTS DON'T QUALIFY FOR THIS KIND OF BILL MITIGATION.

UH, WE WERE PROMPTED THEN BY, UH, LAURA SCHNEIDER, WHO IS A THROUGH THROUGH PO ACTUALLY COUNCIL MEMBER PO GOT US IN CONTACT WITH LAURA SCHNEIDER AND PUT US THROUGH THE PROCESS OF HAVING HEARINGS AND STUFF THAT, UH, WE DISCOVERED THROUGH THE HEARING PROCESS THAT IT'S A COUNCIL, IT'S A COUNCIL DECISION.

AND THERE WAS, ALTHOUGH THEY UNDERSTOOD WHAT OUR CIRCUMSTANCES WERE, THAT THERE WAS A DECISION MADE BY THIS COUNCIL AT SOME POINT YEARS PRIOR THAT NO LONGER ALLOWED COMMERCIAL ACCOUNTS.

UH, ANY KIND OF BILL MITIGATION WHEN IT CAME TO THIS RESIDENTS ARE ALLOWED.

OF COURSE, UH, I'VE HAD IT DONE IN MY OWN HOUSE AND STUFF, BUT A BILL LIKE THIS ONE $32,000, WE ENDED UP IN A PAY PAYMENT PLAN SYSTEM, AND WE'RE ALMOST PAID UP WITH THAT AT THIS POINT.

BUT, UM, MY MAIN ISSUE IN COMING UP HERE BEFORE YOU GUYS IS BECAUSE, UH, ALSO TO DISCUSS THE DIFFICULTIES AND TO BRING UP THE DIFFICULTIES IN TERMS OF ACCESS, UH, JUST TO THE COUNCIL MEMBERS.

OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS, I'VE HAD, UM, LIMITED DEGREES OF SUCCESS IN TERMS OF REACHING OUT TO COUNCIL MEMBERS, HAVING BEEN A, A RESIDENT OF AUSTIN FOR 30 YEARS.

I DON'T THINK I'VE EVER HAD THIS MUCH DIFFICULTY IN TERMS OF REACHING COUNCIL MEMBERS.

I'VE HAD, UH, CONVERSATIONS WITH, UH, COUNCIL MEMBER ALTER'S OFFICE, UH, OF COURSE, UH, VELA OFFICE, UH, EVEN CONTACT WITH MAYOR'S OFFICE AS WELL AS CITY MANAGER.

BUT THERE'S VARIOUS OTHER COUNCIL MEMBERS THAT HAVE JUST NOT GIVEN US THE TIME OF DAY.

AND IT'S DISAPPOINTING.

UH, BUT REALLY WHY I'M HERE IS TO BRING UP THIS ISSUE, BRING IT TO Y'ALL'S ATTENTION, AND HOPEFULLY THERE CAN BE SOME KIND OF CONSIDERATION IN TERMS OF ADDRESSING SOME OF THESE ISSUES WITH THE COMMERCIAL ACCOUNTS VERSUS, UH, UH, RESIDENTIAL ACCOUNTS.

IN TERMS OF REMEDIATION OF THE BILL.

UH, I DON'T KNOW IF THAT'S ANYWHERE ON Y'ALL'S RADAR OR SOMETHING TO CONSIDER, BUT I MEAN, I'M, I'M HERE TO, TO ASK FOR THAT AND SEE IF THERE'S ANYTHING WE CAN DO AS WELL AS HIGHLIGHT THE, THE DIFFICULTIES.

AND I WILL CONTINUE AS I HAVE OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS TRYING TO GET, TRYING TO GET TO, TO THESE MEETINGS IN-PERSON MEETINGS AND OR PHONE CALLS EVEN FROM VARIOUS COUNCIL MEMBERS.

UM, SO THAT'S REALLY MY, MY STATEMENT.

I KNOW I HAVE THREE MINUTES AND STUFF.

I DON'T HAVE MUCH MORE TO ADD, BUT THESE ARE MY, MY MAIN ISSUES AND I'D LIKE TO HOPEFULLY GET YOU GUYS TO CONSIDER RECONSIDER, UH, Y'ALL'S POSITION ON THE COMMERCIAL ACCOUNTS.

THANK YOU, MR. THANK YOU, MR. GUTIERREZ.

THANK YOU MR. O'BRIEN.

YOU ARE NEXT.

YOU HAVE THREE MINUTES GREETING SIZE.

I APPRECIATE YOUR SERVICE.

UM, I AM HERE TO, I BELIEVE, ADDRESS WATER, UH, OVERSIGHT.

UM, I'M NOT EXACTLY SURE, UM, WHAT ALL FALLS UNDERNEATH CONSIDERATION HERE.

UM, UH, BUT I GUESS LIKE, I FEEL PRETTY NERVOUS ABOUT THIS BECAUSE THIS IS A PRETTY COMPLEX TOPIC AND, UH, THREE MINUTES REALLY IS NOT SUFFICE TO ADDRESS.

UM, SO TXDOT IS, UH, HAS PROPOSED A EXPANSION OF I 35, AND ONE OF THOSE ASPECTS THAT'S CRITICAL TO THE PROJECT IS TO,

[00:05:01]

UM, CONTROL STORM WATER OF NEARLY 300 ACRES, UH, TO BE DIVERTED INTO THE COLORADO RIVER.

UM, AND ALL THE DISCUSSIONS I'VE HAD WITH, UH, STAFF, UH, CITY LAWS AND STAFF, UM, WITH VARIOUS, UH, INDIVIDUALS AT FEDERAL AND STATE LEVELS TO NAVIGATE THIS SITUATION.

UM, IT SEEMS TO BE THAT THERE IS, UH, NOT A LOT OF PUSHBACK OR LEVERS OR MECHANISMS FOR CREATING AN ACCOUNTABILITY IN, IN PARTICULAR, ECOLOGICAL JUSTICE.

UM, SO ONE OF THE, THE BIGGEST ISSUES IS WITH REGARD TO DISSOLVED OXYGEN LEVEL.

UM, UH, ONE OF THE STRATEGIES THAT IS OFTEN STATED, UH, HERE IS, UH, WITH STORM WATER IS DAYLIGHTING, UH, A 22 FOOT DIAMETER TUNNEL GOING EAST CAESAR CHAVEZ DOWN TO, UH, THE COLORADO RIVER, UH, DOES NOT O OFFER A LOT OF OPPORTUNITY FOR OXYGEN TO ENTER INTO THAT WATER.

UM, I'M SURE EVERYONE HERE IS AWARE OF THE CONDITION OF, UH, TOWN LAKE AND THE COLORADO RIVER, UM, AND THE CONTINUED DEGRADATION OF THAT ECOSYSTEM, UM, WHETHER IT'S THE ALGAE LACK OF OTHER, UH, FLORA AND FAUNA.

AND, AND SO I KNOW THERE'S SOME PERMITS IN PARTICULAR WHAT'S CALLED NATIONWIDE PERMIT SEVEN, WHICH IS THE US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, UH, WHICH IS ABOUT ENGINEERING, UH, AND OUTFALL INTO THE COLORADO RIVER.

UM, AS FAR AS I'VE PRESENTED TO ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION, UM, WATERSHED PROTECTION, THERE'S NOT A LOT OF, UH, UM, CLARITY ON WHAT TECH STOCK PLANS TO DO, UH, THERE, UM, IN TERMS OF MITIGATING, UH, TRUE ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE THAT WILL OCCUR IF THIS PROJECT MOVES FORWARD AS IT HAS BEEN DRAFTED.

UM, AND I, I RECOGNIZE AND WILL ACKNOWLEDGE THE COMPLEXITIES OF A PROJECT AT THIS SCALE.

UM, AND THE, THE FINANCIAL, UH, BACKING SEEMS TO, SO ALL PUSH TO IT NEEDS TO OCCUR NOW.

UH, AND I REALLY DON'T THINK THAT THAT IS, UH, THE SOLUTION, UM, AS IT'S BEING DRAFTED NOW.

AND I KNOW IT'S BEEN TWO DECADES PLUS OF ATTEMPTING TO NAVIGATE THIS, THIS ISSUE.

UM, SO I'D REALLY LIKE SOME, SOME MORE CONSIDERATION ON WHAT THAT OUTFALL LOOKS LIKE AND HOW WE CAN.

THANK YOU MR. O'BRIEN, YOUR TIME'S UP.

APPRECIATE IT.

THANKS FOR BEING HERE, COLLEAGUES.

[1. Approve the minutes of the February 8, 2024, regular meeting of the Austin Water Oversight Committee.]

OUR NEXT ITEM IS APPROVAL OF MINUTES.

UM, DO I HAVE A MOTION FROM, UH, COUNCIL MEMBER RYAN ALTER TO APPROVE, UH, SECOND FROM COUNCIL MEMBER ALLISON ALTER ANY CHANGES OR CORRECTIONS? HEARING NONE, UH, AND NO OBJECTIONS.

THE MINUTES ARE APPROVED FOR FEBRUARY 8TH, 2024, REGULAR MEETING OF THE AUSTIN WATER OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE.

WE'LL

[2. Director’s Report on innovations, events and awards, and upcoming recommendations for Council action.]

MOVE NOW TO OUR BRIEFINGS AND INVITE OUR DIRECTOR UP TO MAKE HER REPORT ON INNOVATIONS, EVENTS AND AWARDS AND UPCOMING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR COUNCIL ACTION DIRECTOR ROLSON, WELCOME.

GOOD TO SEE YOU TODAY.

GOOD AFTERNOON, COUNCIL MEMBERS MAYOR PRO TEM.

THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE TODAY.

UM, I'D LIKE TO PROVIDE YOU SOME UPDATES ON ACTIVITIES AT AUSTIN WATER, UH, BEYOND THE SPECIFIC ITEMS WE'LL BE DISCUSSING ON THE AGENDA TODAY.

UM, LAST WEEK, CITY COUNCIL ADOPTED THE, UH, UPDATED WATER CONSERVATION AND DROUGHT CONTINGENCY PLANS.

AS WE DISCUSSED THEN, OUR COMMUNITY'S COMMITMENT TO WATER CONSERVATION IS FOUNDATIONAL TO EVERYTHING WE DO IN NEAR AND LONG TERM, UH, WATER RESOURCES PLANNING.

OUR WORK WITH THE WATER FORWARD TASK FORCE OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS WILL IN MONTHS, WILL INCLUDE IN DEPTH DISCUSSIONS ON HOW TO CONTINUE TO MAKE MEANINGFUL INVESTMENTS IN CONSERVATION AND WATER EFFICIENCY.

THE RAIN LAST WEEK DID GIVE US A LITTLE BUMP IN, UH, STORAGE IN THE LAKES, PUTTING US AT ABOUT THE SAME LEVEL WE WERE GOING INTO LAST SUMMER.

UM, THAT'S GOOD NEWS, BUT AT 48% FULL, WE REMAIN IN A VERY SERIOUS DROUGHT.

ALSO, LAST WEEK WE POSTED THE 2023 WATER QUALITY REPORT TO OUR WEBPAGE, AND NOTIFICATIONS ARE GOING OUT NOW TO ALL OF OUR CUSTOMERS, INCLUDING MAYOR AND COUNCIL.

THE WATER QUALITY REPORT INCLUDES OUR CONSUMER CONFIDENCE REPORT, WHICH IS REQUIRED BY EPA TO BE ISSUED ANNUALLY THAT GOES FAR BEYOND WHAT'S REQUIRED TO PROVIDE OUR CUSTOMERS COMPREHENSIVE INFORMATION ABOUT THE QUALITY OF OUR DRINKING WATER, INCLUDING DETAILS ON HOW WE CONSISTENTLY MEET OR SURPASS REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS IN INDUSTRY NEWS.

THERE ARE NEW EPA REGULATIONS RELATED TO A GROUP OF SYNTHETIC CHEMICALS, COLLECTIVELY KNOWN AS PFAS.

PFAS ARE OFTEN REFERRED TO AS FOREVER CHEMICALS AND HAVE BEEN USED IN INDUSTRY AND CONSUMER PRODUCTS SINCE THE 1940S UNDER A RULE CALLED UCMR FIVE, WHICH STANDS FOR UNREGULATED CONTAMINANT MONITORING.

RULE FIVE EPA REQUIRES DRINKING WATER PROVIDERS

[00:10:01]

LIKE AUSTIN WATER TO SAMPLE FOR 29 SPECIFIC PFAS CHEMICALS.

UH, EPA WILL USE THOSE RESULTS TO DETERMINE FUTURE REGULATIONS AROUND PFAS.

LAST MONTH, THEY FINALIZED REGULATIONS FOR SIX OF THESE COMPOUNDS AND PUBLIC WATER SYSTEMS MUST, MUST COMPLETE INITIAL MONITORING BY 2027.

AND IF THESE SIX PFAS ARE FOUND AT LEVELS EXCEEDING THE REGULATORY LIMITS, IMPLEMENT SOLUTIONS TO REDUCE PFAS BY 2029, UH, AUSTIN IS FORTUNATE TO DRAW OUR WATER FROM THE HIGHLAND LAKES, WHICH HAS HAD MANY DECADES LONG ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTIONS IN PLACE, UH, INCLUDING A BAN PROHIBITING THE DISCHARGE OF POLLUTANTS.

AND SO WE CONDUCTED OUR FIRST ROUND OF QUARTERLY SAMPLING LAST OCTOBER, UH, AND TREATED TAP WATER FROM ALL THREE WATER TREATMENT PLANTS WAS NON-DETECT FOR THE SIX PFAS COMPOUNDS INCLUDED IN THE NEW REGULATIONS, UH, WE DID HAVE ONE PFAS COMPOUND WAS DETECTED AT A LOW LEVEL, ABOUT A FEW DROPS IN 20 OLYMPIC SIZED SWIMMING POOLS.

UH, TO GIVE YOU A, A IDEA OF THE SCALE, UM, UH, AND THAT'S NOT, UH, THAT'S NOT ONE OF THE COMPOUNDS PROPOSED FOR REGULATION AT THIS TIME, AND IT IS ONE THAT IS COMMONLY FOUND.

WE'VE CONDUCTED A SECOND QUARTERLY ROUND OF WATER SAMPLES AND ARE AWAITING TEST RESULTS AND VERIFICATION, AND WE'LL CONTINUE TO TEST QUARTERLY AND REPORT THOSE OUTCOMES TO, TO YOU AND TO THE PUBLIC.

UH, THE COMBINED RESULTS FROM FOUR QUARTERS WILL DETERMINE WHETHER WE NEED TO IMPLEMENT TREATMENT FOR PFAS IN ADDITION TO RULES FOR PFAS AND DRINKING WATER.

EPA HAS DESIGNATED TWO WIDELY USED PFAS COMPOUNDS, PFOA AND PFOS AS HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES UNDER THE COMPREHENSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE COMPENSATION AND LIABILITY ACT, ALSO KNOWN AS SUPERFUND.

UH, WE ARE TRACKING WHAT THIS MAY MEAN FOR WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANTS AND BIOSOLIDS, UH, EPA HAS MADE IT CLEAR THAT THEY WILL FOCUS ENFORCEMENT ON MANUFACTURERS AND USERS OF PFAS CHEMICALS AND NOT PASSIVE RECEIVERS, SUCH AS WATER UTILITIES.

SO MORE TO COME ON THAT.

UH, LAST MONTH, AUSTIN WATER STAFF ATTENDED THE TEXAS WATER CONFERENCE, WHICH IS THE LARGEST REGIONAL WATER AND WASTEWATER CONFERENCE IN THE COUNTRY.

IT'S ACTUALLY MORE DIFFICULT TO GET AN ABSTRACT, UH, SELECTED FOR TEXAS WATER THAN FOR THE NATIONAL CONFERENCES.

THIS YEAR'S CONFERENCE WAS HELD IN FORT WORTH AND ONCE AGAIN, BROKE RECORDS FOR ATTENDANCE STAFF FROM ACROSS AUSTIN WATER, INCLUDING FIELD PERSONNEL, TECHNICAL STAFF, AND EXECUTIVES ATTENDED.

WE HAD 10 TECHNICAL PRESENTATIONS AND SEVEN DIFFERENT TRACKS.

WE HOSTED A BOOTH IN THE EXHIBIT HALL FOR THE FIRST TIME.

WE WON FIRST PLACE FOR TYPE TWO BIOSOLIDS IN THE BIOSOLIDS BEAUTY CONTEST.

UH, OPERATIONS STAFF COMPETED IN THE OPERATIONS CHALLENGE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MANY YEARS.

UH, THIS COMPETITION INCLUDES EVENTS IN PROCESS CONTROL, LABORATORY SAFETY, MAINTENANCE, AND COLLECTIONS.

THE AUSTIN WATER BASIN BANDITS PLACED FORTH OVERALL IN TEXAS, UH, QUALIFYING THEM FOR THE NATIONAL OPERATIONS CHALLENGE IN, UH, NEW ORLEANS.

THIS OCTOBER, TRINITY O'NEILL, ONE OF OUR LABORATORY SERVICES SUPERVISORS, WAS SELECTED BY THE OPERATIONS CHALLENGE COMPETITORS AS, UH, THE RILEY B CROCKER DEDICATED VOLUNTEER THIS YEAR.

HER SECOND IN A ROW, HEATHER COOK, AUSTIN WATERS CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER, RECEIVED THE ARTHUR SIDNEY BEDELL AWARD, WHICH IS A VERY PRESTIGIOUS AWARD ACKNOWLEDGING, ACKNOWLEDGING HER EXTRAORDINARY PERSONAL SERVICE TO THE WATER ENVIRONMENT ASSOCIATION OF TEXAS.

UH, WE ALSO CONTINUED TO DEVELOP OUR EXPERTISE ACROSS THE ORGANIZATION IN EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND PLANNING.

LAST WEEK, OUR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT TEAM HOSTED AT TABLETOP EXERCISE THAT LOOKED AT WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN IF WE HAD A COMMUNICATIONS FAILURE IN A SCADA SYSTEM.

IT INCLUDED MOBILIZING AN INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAM IN OUR DEPARTMENT OPERATIONS CENTER, AND SEVERAL TEAMS IN MULTIPLE LOCATIONS, UH, OUT IN THE FIELD.

OUR EXPERTISE IN THIS AREA IS RECOGNIZED BY OUR PEERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

AS A RECENT EXAMPLE, EPA REGION SIX IS HOSTING A WORKSHOP ON EMERGENCY DRINKING WATER SUPPLIES.

THEY REACHED OUT TO ASSISTANT DIRECTOR ANNA BRIAN BOHA TO PROVIDE A CASE STUDY ON OUR WATER DISTRIBUTION PLAN TO PROVIDE BOTTLED WATER AND BULK WATER TO OUR COMMUNITY DURING EMERGENCIES.

FINALLY, AS YOU KNOW, WE ARE COMPLETING A COST OF SERVICE STUDY THAT WILL RE THAT WILL RESULT IN RECOMMENDATIONS FOR UPDATED RATES TO BE ADOPTED BY COUNCIL AS PART OF OUR 2025 BUDGET.

OVER THE NEXT SIX WEEKS OR SO, WE WILL BE CONDUCTING COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT EVENTS AND OUTREACH.

THIS OUTREACH INCLUDES AN OPEN HOUSE IN EVERY COUNCIL DISTRICT AND WILL BE SUPPORTED BY AUSTIN WATER'S RESIDENTIAL RATE ADVOCATE.

THE GOAL IS TO GATHER CUSTOMER FEEDBACK ON OUR GOALS FOR BALANCING AFFORDABILITY WITH SYSTEM RESILIENCY, KEEPING PACE WITH A GROWING POPULATION, AND OPTIMIZING THE WATER AND WASTEWATER SYSTEMS. UH, A PRESS RELEASE WITH ALL THE DETAILS IS PLANNED FOR NEXT WEEK, AND SO WE HAVE

[00:15:01]

A PACKED AGENDA FOR YOU TODAY.

AND SO WITH THAT, I'M HAPPY TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

ANY QUESTIONS? YES, COUNCIL MEMBER ALLISON ALTER.

THANK YOU.

IF WE COULD, UM, GET THE DATES, IF YOU HAVE THEM FOR THE MEETINGS IN OUR DISTRICT, WE CAN DO THAT.

UM, THAT WOULD BE GREAT.

YEAH.

UM, AND THEN I WILL SAVE MY QUESTIONS ON, UM, VACANCIES UNTIL WE HAVE THAT WE HAVE THAT DATA IN OUR PRESENTATION.

GREAT.

THANK YOU.

I SAW THE PRESENTATION, BUT I WAS JUST .

ALRIGHT, WE CAN MOVE ON TO, UM, THE

[3. Walnut Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrades and expansion.]

NEXT ITEM, WHICH IS WALNUT CREEK WASTEWATER TREATMENT, PLANT UPGRADES AND EXPANSION.

AND IT LOOKS LIKE IT'S CHARLES SRO.

AM I SAYING YOUR NAME RIGHT, SIR? THAT IS CORRECT.

CHARLES SRO, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF ENGINEERING SERVICES WELCOME WITH AUSTIN WATER, AND I'M PLEASED TO BE HERE.

THANK YOU.

UM, WE, UH, AUSTIN WATERS PUTTING FORTH, UH, SIX RCAS REQUEST FOR CITY COUNCIL ACTIONS FOR THE WALNUT CREEK WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT, WITH ONE BEING A, A GENERATIONAL, UH, UH, RCA FOR THE EXPANSION OF THE PLANT ITSELF TO 100 MILLION GALLONS PER DAY.

UH, WALNUT CREEK IS ONE OF OUR TWO REGIONAL WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANTS.

IT TREATS A LITTLE BIT MORE THAN HALF OF THE CITY, KIND OF MORE THE NORTHERN PART.

AND THEN WE HAVE THE SOUTH AUSTIN REGIONAL RETREATS TO THE SOUTH.

NEXT SLIDE.

UM, TONIGHT, SINCE RCA IS KIND OF LOOKING AT THE FUTURE, I THOUGHT MAYBE WE'D TAKE A LOOK AT, UH, NOT TONIGHT, BUT THIS AFTERNOON, UH, LOOK AT KIND OF THE PLANT, UH, HISTORY, THE RENEWAL PROJECTS THAT WE'VE COMPLETED SINCE THE ORIGINAL CONSTRUCTION OF THE PLANT AND THE FUTURE IMPROVEMENTS.

AND THE FUTURE IMPROVEMENTS ARE SLATED TO BE, UH, CONSTRUCTED BY TWO DIFFERENT CONTRACTS.

ONE FOR THE EXPANSION AND ENHANCEMENTS, AND THE OTHER ONE FOR THE PRIMARY CLARIFIERS AND FLOW EQUALIZATION BASINS.

NEXT SLIDE.

I'LL REVIEW THE PROJECT HISTORY.

UH, THE PLANT ACTUALLY BEGAN IN 1977 WITH A CAPACITY OF 18 MILLION GALLONS PER DAY.

AND THEN IN 1987, WE EXPANDED THE PLANT TO, UH, 40 MILLION GALLONS PER DAY.

AND THEN TWO YEARS LATER, WE ACTUALLY EXPANDED AGAIN TO 60 MILLION GALLONS PER DAY IN 1990.

IN 2005, ABOUT 15 YEARS LATER, WE INCREASED THE CAPACITY OF THE PLANT TO 75 MILLION GALLONS PER DAY, WHICH IS THE CAPACITY AS IT IS TODAY WITH THE COMPLETION OF A PROJECT CALLED HEADWORKS.

NUMBER TWO, THE HEAD WORKS IS THE, UH, WHERE THE IN FLUENT WASTEWATER COMES INTO THE PLANT.

IN OUR FIRST STEP IN OUR WASTEWATER TREATMENT PROCESS, UM, AS WATER, AS A FLOW INCREASED TO THE WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT IN 2019, UH, WE COMMISSIONED AN, UM, OPTIMIZATION FACILITY PLAN TO LOOK AT THE FUTURE OF WALNUT CREEK WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT AND TO, UH, UH, ANALYZE FUTURE ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT ENHANCEMENTS, AS WELL AS FIND OUT WHERE, WHERE THE FACILITIES WOULD GO FOR, FOR THE A HUNDRED MGD EXPANSION, AS WELL AS FUTURE EXPANSIONS IN THE FUTURE.

UM, AS THAT PLANT GOT ABOUT 30 YEARS OLD, UH, AUSTIN WATER BEGAN SOME STRATEGIC REHABILITATION AND RENEWAL PROJECTS TO CONTINUE THE RELIABILITY OF THE, OF THE PLANT AS WELL AS ENHANCED THE TREATMENT.

SHOWN HER ABOUT 10 PROJECTS THAT WE'VE DONE OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS.

THEY'RE NOT, IT'S NOT AN EXCLUSIVE LIST, BUT ONE OF THE MAJORITY OF THE PLANT, UH, PROJECTS THAT WE'VE DONE FOR RENEWAL, IN PARTICULAR IN THE LAST 10 YEARS, WE'VE ACTUALLY DONE ABOUT A HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF PROJECTS AT THE PLANT.

UM, I TRY TO REPRESENT THOSE IN THE GREEN BOXES.

AS YOU COULD SEE, WE BASICALLY HAVE TOUCHED ALMOST EVERY SINGLE PART OF THE PROCESS TREATMENT OF THE PLANT.

NEXT SLIDE.

WHICH BRINGS US TODAY TO THE CURRENT PROJECTS THAT WE'RE, UH, UH, MOVING FORWARD WITH.

UH, THERE ARE FOUR PROJECTS.

THE PRIMARY AND FEB STANDS FOR FLOW EQUALIZATION BASIN AND CLARIFIERS.

THE HEADWORKS NUMBER ONE IN, IN FLUENT LIFT STATION PROJECTS CONTINUE OUR STRATEGIC, UH, RENEWAL AND REHABILITATION OF THE PLANT.

AND THE LAST ONE THERE, THE FOURTH ONE IS THE EXPANSION OF THE PLANT ITSELF, UM, TO A HUNDRED, 100 MILLION GALLONS PER DAY, WHICH WILL ALSO INCLUDE NUTRIENT REMOVAL FOR BOTH THE, THE EXPANSIONS AS WELL AS THE EXISTING PLANT.

I MENTIONED THAT WE WANTED TO GO AHEAD AND, UH, DO TWO DIFFERENT CO CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS.

THOSE CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS ARE GONNA BE DONE, WHAT, WHAT WE'RE CALLING CON CONSTRUCTION MANAGER AT RISK SEAMAR.

UM, THE NORMAL, UH, I GUESS THE, WHAT WE NORMALLY DO IS A DESIGN BID BUILD FOR AUSTIN WATER, WHICH IS KIND OF SHOWN ON THE LEFT THERE, OR MY LEFT OR RIGHT, UM, IS THAT'S WHERE, UM, UH, AND THE C COLLABORATIVE LIBERTY ON THE, ON THE SEYMOUR PROJECT, ON THE, ON, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SCREEN.

THE, THE MAIN DIFFERENCE I WANTED TO POINT OUT FOR THERE IS THAT ON A DESIGN BID BUILD,

[00:20:01]

THE ENGINEER GOES ALL THE WAY THROUGH 100% PLANS, AND THEN WE BID OUT THE PROJECT COMPETITIVELY AND THE CMR CONSTRUCTION MANAGER AT RISK, WE ACTUALLY HIRE THE CONTRACTOR USUALLY AFTER THE ENGINEER FINISHES THE PER AND BEFORE 30% DESIGN IS COMPLETE.

AND THEN THE COLLABORATIVE PART STARTS WHERE THE OWNER, ENGINEER AND CONTRACTOR WORK TOGETHER TO COMPLETE THE FINAL PLANS TO A HUNDRED PERCENT AND THEN BID OUT THE PROJECT.

NEXT SLIDE.

THE FIRST PROJECT THAT WE'VE, WE, WE DID AT SMAR IS THE PRIMARY, UH, CLARIFIER AND FLOW EQUALIZATION BASINS.

UH, WE CHOSE THIS SEYMOUR METHOD, THE CONTRACTORS MGC CONTRACTORS, DUE TO THE CONSTRUCTABILITY CHALLENGES THAT WE FACED WITH THIS.

ON THE LOWER, YOUR LOWER LEFT THERE WHERE THE, YOU CAN SEE THE CLARIFIER IS BELOW LIKE SOME BEAMS. WELL, THAT IS, IT'S TRUE.

IT'S BELOW GROUND.

IT'S LIKE BEING UNDERNEATH THE BRIDGE.

THOSE BEAMS LOOK LIKE A HIGHWAY BEAMS THAT YOU WOULD LOOK AT.

THE COMPLEXITY IS THAT, UH, THE ACCESS TO THOSE ARE SKYLIGHTS.

THE SKYLIGHTS ARE FIVE FEET, FOUR INCHES WIDE AND ABOUT 10 FEET EIGHT INCHES LONG.

AND THE CLARIFIER IS ABOUT 120 FEET LONG.

UH, AND YOU CAN SEE THE PICTURES THERE IN THE MIDDLE ON THE FAR RIGHT.

UM, YOU CAN SEE WHERE I'VE KIND OF NOTED THE CLARIFIERS WITH THE LITTLE RED SQUARES.

I'VE TRIED TO ACTUALLY DEPICT THOSE GRAPHICALLY AND DIMENSIONALLY.

AND SO WE'RE TRYING TO GET A LOT OF EQUIPMENT OUT THROUGH THOSE LITTLE, UH, THOSE LITTLE RED DOTS, YOU KNOW, UM, SOMEONE, UH, KIND OF TENDED TO, AS YOU WERE REMODELING YOUR HOUSE AND YOU COULD TAKE EVERYTHING OUT AND REBUILD IT AND PUT IT BACK IN THROUGH YOUR CHIMNEY.

SO THAT'S KIND OF WHAT WE'RE DOING HERE.

SO THE, THE CONSTRUCTABILITY CHALLENGES WERE, WERE IMMENSE IN THIS FOR THIS PARTICULAR PROJECT, HENCE, WE CHOSE THE CMA METHOD.

UM, DURING THE COLLABORATION PHASE, AS WE WERE COMPLETING UP THROUGH RIGHT NOW, THE 60% DESIGN, UH, THE DEVELOP AND FINDINGS, UH, FOUND SEVERAL THINGS.

UH, ONE, THE CONSTRUCTABILITY CHALLENGES THAT I, I I JUST DESCRIBED, ONE OF THE, ONE OF THE EFFECTS OF THAT WAS THE PROJECT DURATION INCREASED FROM TWO TO FIVE YEARS.

UH, WE LEARNED THAT, UM, FOR WET WEATHER, FOR WHEN IT RAINS, AND WE DO HAVE AN EXTRA FLOW COMING THROUGH THE WASTEWATER, UH, TO THE PLANT, WE NEEDED A WET WEATHER BYPASS TO BYPASS THE, THE BASINS.

UM, IT'S, AS I MENTIONED, IT'S KIND OF A, IT'S BURIED AND IT'S, IT HAS A ROOF ON IT, AND THE VENTILATION'S VERY, UH, IS, MAKES IT A CONFINED SPACE.

SO WE WANTED TO BE ABLE TO COMPLETE THE WORK IN AN, IN AN, IN AN UNCONFINED SPACE DESIGNATION, MEANING THAT WE COULD GO DOWN THERE NORMALLY AND WE WOULDN'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT, UM, UH, GETTING AIR AND ALL THAT GOOD STUFF FOR THE, UH, FOR THE WORKERS.

SO WE HAVE TEMPORARY AND PERMANENT VENTILATION.

UM, SO THAT WAS A RISING COST.

UH, THE MATERIALS THEMSELVES HAVE RISEN SIGNIFICANTLY, UH, EVEN THROUGH THIS WHOLE PROCESS.

ONCE WE SELECTED THE CMAR CONTRACTOR AND WE HAD SOME ADDITIONAL STRUCTURAL CRACK REPAIR THAT WE, WE NEED TO DO FOR THE BASINS, UH, JUST TO REPAIR THE BASINS TO MAINTAIN THEIR LIFE.

AND THROUGH THAT, THOSE ARE SOME OF THE KEY DRIVERS OF, UH, OF SOME INCREASING COSTS FOR THAT PROJECT.

THE OTHER THING THAT WE DID DO THAT WE, WE DID ADD TO THE SCOPE OF THE PROJECT, UM, WE ADDED THREE, UH, THREE PARTICULAR COMPONENTS.

WE ADDED A METER VAULT.

UH, I KNOW THAT PROBABLY DOESN'T MEAN ANYTHING, BUT BETWEEN THE PRIMARY CLARIFIER BASIN PROJECT, THE HEADWORKS PROJECT AND THE EXPANSION, THEY ALL COME GO.

THEY ALL END UP BEING IN ONE BOX FOR A MINUTE.

AS THE WATER COMES THROUGH, I NEED TO DIRECT IT TO DIFFERENT PLACES.

SO WE'RE GOING TO BUILD A BOX NOW, SO WHICH ARE THERE FOR THE REST OF THE EXPANSION.

SO WE'RE JUST KIND OF MOVING THAT CONSTRUCTION FORWARD.

IT WOULD'VE BEEN DONE EXPANSION WE'RE GONNA DO WITH THIS PROJECT INSTEAD.

THE TWO OTHER ONES ARE MINOR ONES.

SOME SLIDE GATES THAT WE NEED, NEED TO DO FOR THE HEADWORKS TO DIRECT THE FLOW AND TO COORDINATE THE ODOR CONTROL FACILITIES.

WE, WE NEED TO DO SOME DEMOLITION ON THAT PARTS.

NEXT SLIDE.

SO THE TWO RCAS THAT WILL BE COMING TO CITY COUNCIL, THE FIRST ONE IS, UH, AMENDMENT TO AN ENGINEERING CONTRACT THAT IS JUST TO AMEND THE CONTRACT TO ALLOW TO GO TO CONSTRUCTION PHASE SERVICES.

AND THEN THE SECOND ONE FOR MGC CONTRACTORS IS TO AMEND THEIR EXISTING CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT WITH ADDITIONAL AUTHORIZATION.

NEXT SLIDE.

THE SECOND, UM, UH, SEYMOUR PROJECT IS FOR CONSIDERATION IS FOR THE PLAN EXPANSION.

UH, WE CHOSE THE SEYMOUR PROJECT ON THIS TO HAVE, BE ABLE TO HAVE ONE CONTRACTOR TO HANDLE MULTIPLE CONSTRUCTION PACKAGES.

AND OVER THERE ON THE RIGHT SIDE, YOU CAN SEE THE PACKAGES THAT WE, WE HAVE VISION RIGHT NOW.

UH, THE CONTRACTOR MAY HAVE A, HAVE A DIFFERENT VIEW, BUT RIGHT NOW, THOSE ARE THE ONES THAT WE SEE THE HEAD WORKS, NUMBER ONE RENEWAL AND THE FLUENT LIFT STATION CONTINUE OUR, OUR STRATEGIC REHABILITATION OF THE PROJECT.

THE, THE EXPANSION PROJECT INCLUDE THE NEW 25 MGD.

WE NEED TO BRING A, A LINE, UH, THAT GOES INTO THE PLANT.

WE NEED TO INCREASE THAT AS WELL AS THE, THE LINE THAT LEAVES

[00:25:01]

THE PLANT THAT GOES TO THE COLORADO RIVER.

WE NEED TO INCREASE THAT.

WE HAVE SOME TREATMENT CONVERSIONS.

WE HAVE TO, ON THE EXISTING TREATMENT TRAIN, NOW WE HAVE TO CONVERT THAT FOR NUTRIENT REMOVAL, AND WE'LL CHANGE THE DISINFECTION TO UV AND WE NEED TO PROVIDE SOME ADDITIONAL PROTECTIONS OF THE PLANT TO MENTION.

WE HAVE SOME WET WEATHER FLOWS THAT WE HAVE THE TEMPORARY BYPASS FOR.

WE'LL HAVE A WET WEATHER FACILITY TREATMENT FACILITY THERE, AS WELL AS WE'LL HAVE A, A FLOOD WALL THAT GO AROUND THE WHOLE PLANT FOR THE NEW ATLAS 14 FLOODPLAIN.

UM, THE OTHER JUST THINGS WE WANTED TO SEE MORE CONTRACTOR FOR IS THAT, AS YOU CAN IMAGINE, WE'RE GONNA BE TAKING BASINS ON AND OFFLINE.

SO WE NEEDED TO COORDINATIONS WITH THE OPERATION STAFF TO HOW THAT WOULD WORK, AS WELL AS THE TIE-INS AS WE GO FROM THE TRY TO GO FROM THE NEW AND THE OLD PLANTS OF ALL THE DIFFERENT TIE-INS THAT WE HAVE TO DO.

WE HAVE FOUR, UH, RCAS FOR THE CITY COUNCIL TO, FOR REVIEW.

THE FIRST THREE ARE ALL THEIR ENGINEERING CONTRACTS WE'RE REMOVING FROM DESIGN PHASE, AND WE'RE ADDING CONSTRUCTION PHASE SERVICES TO THEIR CONTRACT.

AND THE FOURTH ONE, THE LAST ONE THERE, IS THE ACTUAL SELECTION OF THE NWH CONTRACTORS FOR THE SEYMOUR EXPANSION FOR THE, UH, EXPANSION OF THE PLANT.

SO, UM, I AM PLEASED THAT WE DID GO TO THE WATER AND WASTEWATER COMMISSION LAST NIGHT.

IT DID PASS UNANIMOUSLY.

AND, UH, WITH THAT, I'LL TAKE ANY QUESTIONS.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

UH, QUESTIONS.

UM, IS THIS THE SAME CONTRACTOR THAT WE WERE DISCUSSING SEVERAL MONTHS AGO? NO.

NO.

OKAY.

WHO IS, SO WHO IS THE ORIGINAL CONTRACTOR? UM, WE, UH, THE, UH, THE ORIGINAL, WHEN WE WENT OUT THE, UH, I'M ASSUMING YOU'RE REFERENCING THAT.

THIS IS, WE WENT OUT TO SOLICITATION, THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THE CITY COUNCIL HAS SEEN THIS.

RRCA.

THEY DID SEE IT AT WARREN WASTEWATER COMMISSION MEETING.

THE FIRST TIME WE WENT OUT WAS WITH MCCARTHY CONSTRUCTION.

OKAY.

I DO THINK IT CAME TO US.

I THINK IT WAS POSTPONED, BUT, BUT WE HAVEN'T ADOPTED IT.

OKAY.

AND THEN THE 900, I MEAN, 900 MILLION IS A LOT OF MONEY.

IT IS SIGNIFICANT, YES.

UM, IT'S WHAT IT COSTS .

UM, IT, IT IS, IT'S, WHEN WE BREAK IT DOWN, IT'S NOT QUITE, YOU KNOW, IT'S THE, UM, THE 25 MILLION GALLONS PER DAY IS ABOUT 340 MILLION RIGHT NOW.

I ALSO HAVE TO CONVERT THE WHOLE EXISTING PLANT.

THAT'S ANOTHER ABOUT $250 MILLION.

THE WALL, ANOTHER $40 MILLION.

UM, THE OUTFALL ANOTHER $40 MILLION.

RIGHT? THE WET WEATHER FACILITY TO PROTECT THE I I IS ANOTHER 78 BILLION.

SO WHEN YOU START BREAKING IT DOWN, THE ACTUAL TRUE EXPANSION WE'RE DOING IS ONLY ABOUT A THIRD OF IT, RIGHT? THE 25 NEW 25 MGD.

BUT ALL THE OTHER STUFF THAT WE GOTTA DO, IT'S JUST, JUST KEEPS ADDING UP.

AND HOW ARE WE PAYING FOR THAT? UM, WE'VE HAD, UM, UH, THE, WE'VE HAD THE, THE WALNUT CREEK IN THE SPENDING PLAN FOR A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF TIME.

UH, WE HAVE COORDINATED WITH AUSTIN WATER FINANCE, JOSEPH GONZALEZ, AND WE HAVE SHOWN 'EM WHAT, WHAT WE NEEDED TO LAY OUT.

UM, WE, WE EVEN HAVE THE, THE, THE SAR EXPANSION WHERE WE THINK IT'S GONNA GO INTO THE SPENDING PLAN NOW.

SO EVEN FOR AUSTIN WATER FINANCE, THEY SEE IT OUT THERE IN THE FUTURE, WHAT THEY NEED TO MAKE A HOLD OF.

SO WE HAVE KNOWN IT'S COMING FOR A WHILE, AND WE'VE HAVE PRE-POSITIONED OURSELVES FOR IT.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR RAPE PEERS? I WOULD HAVE TO SEE IF JOSEPH GONZALEZ CAN HELP ME WITH THAT QUESTION.

THANK YOU.

GOOD AFTERNOON.

JOSEPH GONZALEZ, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF FINANCIAL SERVICES WITH AUSTIN WATER.

AND AS, AS CHARLES MENTIONED, YOU KNOW, WE'VE BEEN PLANNING THIS PROJECT FOR, FOR MANY YEARS.

IN FACT, WHEN, UH, WHEN I FIRST, UH, CAME TO AUSTIN WATER IN 20 15, 1 OF MY FIRST ASSIGNMENTS WAS TO START TO MODEL THE, THE RATE IMPACT OF THE WALNUT CREEK EXPANSION PROJECT.

UM, YOU KNOW, FROM, FROM A RATE PAYER PERSPECTIVE, WE, WE DO EXPECT, UM, YOU KNOW, IN OUR FORECAST, WE FORECAST IT APPROXIMATELY 30%, UH, YOU KNOW, UH, RATE INCREASES THROUGH THE FORECAST PERIOD, UH, PRIMARILY OVER THE NEXT FOUR YEARS, UH, WITH A SIGNIFICANT PART OF THAT BEING RELATED TO FINANCING, UH, THE WALNUT CREEK EXPANSION.

UM, DOES THAT ANSWER YOUR QUESTION? SO A 30% RATE INCREASE OVER FOUR YEARS, THAT, THAT'S OUR CURRENT FORECAST.

OKAY.

UM, YES.

OKAY.

UM, AND THAT IS HAPPENING, STARTING WHEN? WELL, AS, AS SHAY MENTIONED IN HER OPENING COMMENTS, WE ARE CURRENTLY UNDERTAKING A COST OF SERVICE STUDY.

UM, PART OF, OF THAT PROCESS INVOLVES, UH, UH, PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT COMMITTEE, WHICH INCLUDES REPRESENTATIVES FROM, UM, YOU KNOW, BUSINESS COMMUNITY, ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNITY, OUR MULTIFAMILY, UH, COMMUNITY, AND OUR LARGE VOLUME CUSTOMERS.

UM, AND WE, WE ARE SEEKING INPUT FROM THEM REGARDING, UH, YOU KNOW,

[00:30:01]

WHAT THOSE RATE INCREASES MIGHT LOOK LIKE.

YOU KNOW, IN TERMS OF OUR FORECAST, WE FORECASTED, UH, YOU KNOW, TWO RATE INCREASES FOR FISCAL YEAR 25 OF ABOUT NINE POINT A HALF PERCENT.

UM, AND THEN FOR FY 26 OF A LITTLE OVER 9%, UM, AND THEN STARTING TO, TO TAPER DOWN.

BUT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE ARE ASKING OUR PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT COMMITTEE AND, UM, AS WE START TO DO OUR COMMUNITY OUTREACH IS, YOU KNOW, UH, HOW DOES PUBLIC FEEL ABOUT THAT? HOW DO OUR CUSTOMERS FEEL ABOUT THAT? AND, YOU KNOW, WOULD THEY PREFER, YOU KNOW, MORE LEVELIZED RATE INCREASES, WHICH, WHICH MIGHT REQUIRE, UH, A BIGGER TOTAL CUMULATIVE RATE INCREASE BECAUSE THE EARLIER A RATE INCREASE GOES INTO EFFECT, UH, THE MORE IT BUYS DOWN, FUTURE RATE INCREASES.

UH, BUT, BUT THOSE ARE THE QUESTIONS THAT WE'RE ASKING OUR PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT COMMITTEE.

AND, AND THOSE ARE THE QUESTIONS THAT WE WILL BE ASKING, UM, OUT AT OUR DISTRICT TOWN HALL MEETINGS AND IN OUR FOCUS GROUPS.

THANK YOU.

UH, DIRECTOR, DID YOU WANNA COMMENT? THE ONLY THING I WANTED TO ADD TO JOSEPH'S EXPLANATION WAS THAT THE RATE INCREASES THAT WE'RE PROJECTING ARE TO SUPPORT OUR TOTAL CIP, WHICH OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS IS ANTICIPATED TO BE $2.3 BILLION.

SO WALNUT CREEK IS A PART OF THAT, BUT IT IS NOT THE SOLE DRIVER OF, OF OUR OVERALL CIP AND THE RATE INCREASES REQUIRED TO SUPPORT IT.

THANK YOU.

AND WHEN WAS THE WE HAVEN'T HAD A WATER, I DON'T REMEMBER.

A WATER OR, OR MANY WATER RATE INCREASES SINCE I'VE BEEN ON COUNCIL.

WHEN HAVE WE NO, THAT'S RIGHT.

SO WE HAVE NOT HAD, WE HAD A, A, A MODEST, UH, ABOUT THREE AND CHANGE RATE INCREASE LAST YEAR.

UM, PRIOR TO THAT, THE LAST RATE ACTION WE HAD WAS IN 2018, AND THAT WAS ACTUALLY A RATE DECREASE.

RIGHT.

THAT'S WHAT I WAS REMEMBERING.

THAT'S RIGHT.

SO WE HAVEN'T HAD A RATE INCREASES, CERTAINLY NOT AT THIS LEVEL IN A LONG, LONG TIME.

OKAY.

THANK YOU FOR THE CLARIFICATION.

THANK YOU.

GREAT.

THANKS.

I GOT A COUPLE QUESTIONS FOR Y'ALL.

UM, FIRST, WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON'T MOVE FORWARD WITH THE PROJECT? SO THE, AS THE PLAN INCREASES, WE DO NEED TO REQUIRE TO EXPAND THE PLANT.

AND, UH, THAT'S TIED TO TCEQ STATE REGULATIONS.

ONCE YOU GO PAST 75% OF CAPACITY START PLANNING, AND THEN WHEN YOU GET TO 90%, YOU, YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO START BUILDING.

UM, SO IF WE DON'T EXPAND, WE WILL EXCEED THE 75 MILLION GALLONS PER DAY, AND WE'LL BE OUT OF COMPLIANCE.

ALSO, THE NEW DISCHARGE PERMIT REQUIRES ONCE WE GO OVER 75 MILLION GALLONS PER DAY TO HAVE ENHANCED TREATMENT NUTRIENT REMOVAL.

AND OUR EXISTING PLAN, IF WE DON'T DO IT, WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO DO THAT.

SO WE WOULD HAVE TWO, TWO AREAS OF CONSEQUENCES.

OKAY.

AND NEITHER OF THOSE, UM, ARE REALLY TENABLE, RIGHT? I MEAN, WE, WE HAVE, WE HAVE TO MAKE THESE CHANGES, YES.

OKAY.

UM, ARE THERE GRANTS AVAILABLE, LIKE FROM THE FEDS OR FROM THE STATE? ANY GRANTS, UM, OR ASSISTANCE THAT AUSTIN WATER AND THE CITY WOULD PURSUE? YES, WE ARE PURSUING ALL AVENUES.

UH, WE ARE PURSUING THE WIA LOAN, WHICH IS A, A GRANT PROGRAM FOR THE FLOOD WALL.

WE'VE ACTUALLY, UH, WE'RE ABLE TO GET THAT PROJECT INTO THE TEXAS WATER AVAILABLE BOARD STATE FLOOD PLAIN.

SO IT IS A PROJECT IN THERE.

WE'RE TRYING TO MOVE FORWARD WITH THAT, WITH THE PLANNING.

WE'LL SEE.

NE NEITHER ONE OF THOSE WE'VE BEEN SELECTED AND WE'VE ALSO DONE YET.

EXCUSE ME.

SO, BUT WE ALSO, AND AS WELL AS WE'VE DONE SOME TRADITIONAL STATE REVOLVING FUND LOANS, UH, THEY HAVE NOW CAPPED THOSE LOANS TO LIKE 20 MILLION, $20 MILLION OR SOMETHING.

THEY'VE HAVE CAPPED THEM BEFORE NOW, SO THEY'RE, THEY WERE NOT AS, AS, UH, HELPFUL AS THEY HAVE IN THE PAST.

UNDERSTOOD.

AND THE WFI ALONE, IS THAT SOMETHING WE WERE TALKING ABOUT AT THE LAST COUNCIL MEETING? WE WANTED TO MAKE SURE WE HAD THAT DROUGHT AND THE CONSERVATION PLAN SUBMITTED SO THAT WE WOULD CONTINUE TO BE ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR THE WFI.

SO THE, UM, THE WATER CONSERVATION PLAN AS A REQUIREMENT FOR TEXAS WATER DEVELOPMENT BOARD TO, UM, TO APPROVE ANY OF THEIR FUNDING SOURCES FOR US.

MM-HMM.

, UM, WIA IS ACTUALLY AN EPA LOAN.

OKAY.

UH, SO I'M NOT SURE THAT IT APPLIES TO THAT, BUT WE'RE, WE ARE GETTING READY TO SUBMIT OUR LETTER OF INTEREST FOR WIA.

UM, AND WE'VE BEEN TALKING TO THEM FOR A LONG TIME ABOUT THIS PROJECT.

AND SO WE'RE, WE'RE VERY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT OUR ABILITY TO PARTNER WITH EPA ON, ON THIS PROJECT.

AND SEVERAL OF THE PROJECTS THAT CHARLES POINTED OUT OF, OF OUR REHAB PROJECTS THAT WE'VE DONE OVER THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS, HAVE BEEN OUT OVER THE LAST 10 OR SO YEARS, HAVE BEEN, UH, FUNDED IN PART WITH LOW INTEREST LOANS FROM THE TEXAS WATER DEVELOPMENT BOARD.

SO WE HAVE LEVERAGED A LOT OF, UM, GRANT AND WELL LOW INTEREST LOAN PROGRAMS FOR, FOR OUR WORK ACROSS AUSTIN WATER, INCLUDING AT WALNUT CREEK WASTEWATER PLANT.

GREAT.

UM, AND THEN I GUESS MY LAST QUESTION IS JUST KIND OF A LARGER SCOPE.

IS AUSTIN UNIQUE IN THIS WAY, OR IS THIS HAPPENING IN OTHER LARGE METROPOLITAN AREAS AROUND THE STATE? WITH THE OLDER INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDING TO BE, I MEAN, SOME OF THE WORK THAT HAS TO BE DONE IS BASED ON THE WAY IT WAS CONSTRUCTED IN THE FIRST PLACE,

[00:35:01]

WHICH WAS PROBABLY, YOU KNOW, STATE OF THE ART AT THE TIME.

RIGHT.

MAYBE THAT'S NOT HOW THINGS WOULD HAPPEN IF IT WAS A GREENFIELD TO BEGIN TODAY, BUT THIS IS WHAT WE'VE GOT AND WE HAVE TO RESPOND.

THAT'S RIGHT.

PARTICULARLY ON THE PRIMARY CLARIFIERS BEING UNDERGROUND AND HAVING COVERS THAT'S, THAT'S NOT, THAT'S NOT HOW WE WOULD DO IT TODAY.

UM, BUT WE LOOKED AT ALL THE OPTIONS FOR, UM, YOU KNOW, COULD WE, COULD WE TAKE THE ROOF OFF? COULD YOU KNOW, OR WERE THERE OTHER WAYS TO ADDRESS THESE CONSTRUCTABILITY ISSUES? AND, AND THAT IS A BIG REASON WHY WE WANTED TO HAVE A CONSTRUCTION MANAGER AT RISK DURING DESIGN, SO WE COULD EVALUATE ALL OF THAT, UM, MORE EFFECTIVELY.

AND SO WE, WE FEEL THAT WE HAVE COME TO THE, THE, THE BEST POSSIBLE, UM, SOLUTION HERE.

BUT YES, YOU'RE TO YOUR ORIGINAL QUESTION ABOUT OTHER UTILITIES, CERTAINLY.

UM, THERE ARE A LOT OF WASTEWATER PLANTS THAT WERE BUILT IN THE SEVENTIES THAT ARE, THAT ARE GRAPPLING WITH EXPANSION AND REHABILITATION NEEDS JUST LIKE WE ARE.

UM, AND AS, UH, AS THESE PLANTS, UM, GET LARGER, AND AS TCEQ CONTINUES TO EVALUATE RECEIVING WATER QUALITY, UM, THEN A LOT OF PLANTS ARE IMPLEMENTING, UH, NUTRIENT REMOVAL JUST AS WE ARE.

GREAT.

WELL, AND MAYBE THE LEGISLATURE WILL RECOGNIZE THE, THE BURDENS THAT THE MUNICIPALITIES ARE HAVING TO BEAR AND, AND BE ABLE TO FUND SOME ADDITIONAL GRANT PROGRAMS AND SUPPORT AT THE STATE LEVEL.

THAT'D BE SOME WORK FOR THE NEXT LEGISLATIVE SESSION.

GREAT.

ANY OTHER QUESTIONS HERE? I, I, I'LL JUST SAY, IN CLOSING, I APPRECIATE Y'ALL NOT TRYING TO SUGARCOAT THE COST.

I MEAN, I THINK IT WOULD BE MORE DIFFICULT IF YOU WERE PRETENDING IT WAS SOMETHING OTHER THAN WHAT IT IS.

WE NEED TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THESE ARE BIG PROJECTS AND, AND THEY ARE COMPLICATED, AND THAT USUALLY TRANSLATES INTO COSTLY.

AND I ALSO, UM, AND BECAUSE WE'RE ALL VERY CAREFUL ON HOW WE'RE SPENDING OUR REVENUES, I KNOW THAT WE WILL, UM, WATCH THIS REALLY CAREFULLY AND MAKE SURE THAT ANY AND EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO GET SOME ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE FROM OTHER LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT, WE'LL DIG INTO THOSE AND DO THE BEST WE CAN TO QUALIFY AND, AND SCORE THOSE.

ABSOLUTELY.

YEAH.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, CHAIR.

YES.

I JUST WANTED TO ASK THAT MAYBE WHEN THIS GOES TO COUNCIL, EITHER IF IN A MEMO OR, OR IN SOME WAY, IF WE CAN MAKE SURE THAT OUR COLLEAGUES AWARE THAT THEY CAN WATCH THIS PRESENTATION OR THAT THIS PRESENTATION IS MADE AVAILABLE OR DESCRIBED.

I DON'T KNOW WHETHER IT'S BETTER TO DESCRIBE IT IN A MEMO OR TO, TO, TO REFER 'EM TO THIS, BUT, BUT THERE'S A LOT OF TECHNICAL STUFF, AND I THINK THAT THE TRANSPARENCY ON WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH HERE WOULD BENEFIT EVERYONE ON COUNCIL AS WE TAKE A VOTE ON SUCH A LARGE ITEM, WHICH MAY NOT HAVE BEEN ON PEOPLE'S RADAR IF THEY'RE NOT ON THIS COMMITTEE.

YEAH.

AND IF ANYBODY WANTS A ONE-ON-ONE WITH, WITH Y'ALL, I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT TOO.

WE, WE ARE REACHING OUT TO A NUMBER OF COUNCIL OFFICES TO MAKE SURE THEY'RE AWARE OF THIS PROJECT.

GREAT.

AND TO OFFER, UM, YOU KNOW, TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS THAT THEY MAY HAVE.

AND I, THAT'S A GREAT IDEA TO PROVIDE THE LINK TO THIS MEETING AS WELL FOR THEIR REFERENCE.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

[4. Austin Water’s response to Council Resolution Number 20240307-022 regarding the WaterWise Landscape Rebate Program.]

THE LANDSCAPE REBATE PROGRAM IS THE NEXT ITEM.

YES.

AND WE HAVE, UM, TWO OF OUR DIVISION MANAGERS WILL COME.

UM, WATER CONSERVATION DIVISION MANAGER, KEVIN CLUKEY AND PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE DIVISION MANAGER, AMY PETRI, WILL BE PRESENTING ON THIS.

WELCOME TO YOU BOTH BEHIND YOU.

GOOD AFTERNOON, COUNCIL MEMBERS.

MY NAME IS KEVIN KLEE, WATER CONSERVATION DIVISION MANAGER, AND WE'RE HERE, EXCUSE, EXCUSE ME, UH, WITH YOU TODAY TO TALK ABOUT THE WATERWISE LANDSCAPE REBATE PROGRAM AND OUR RECENT EFFORTS TO A, TO RAISE AWARENESS, UH, OF THIS PROGRAM WITH OUR CUSTOMERS.

UH, FIRST OF ALL, THE WATERWISE LANDSCAPE REBATE PROGRAM IS ONE OF A NUMBER OF PROGRAMS THAT WE HAVE TO HELP AWESOME WATER CUSTOMERS WITH THEIR LANDSCAPE WATER USE.

THE WATERWISE LANDSCAPE PROGRAM HELPS RESIDENTS CONVERT THEIR LANDSCAPES FROM TURF TO BEDS, AND THAT'S REALLY WHAT IT FOCUSES ON.

UH, NATIVE AND ADAPTIVE PLANTS AND BEDS CAN USE HALF AS MUCH WATER AS TURF DOES IN THAT SAME AREA.

SO IT'S IMPORTANT AS WE GO FORWARD TO REALLY MAXIMIZE OUR EFFICIENCY IN OUR LANDSCAPES.

UH, FOR ALL CUSTOMERS.

CURRENT REBATES OFFER $1 PER SQUARE FOOT.

A YEAR AGO, A LITTLE MORE THAN A YEAR AGO, THIS WAS, UH, 30 CENTS.

SO WE'VE SINCE RAISED THAT AMOUNT, UH, TO INCREASED INTEREST IN THIS PROGRAM.

AND IT, AND IT HAS RAISED IN INTEREST IN THIS PROGRAM.

UM, BUT I THINK A LOT OF WHAT WE'VE

[00:40:01]

BEEN DOING RECENTLY HAS ALSO BEEN CONTRIBUTING A LOT TO INCREASED AWARENESS.

BACK IN MARCH, THERE WAS A, A RESOLUTION PASSED BY THE COUNCIL, UM, DIRECTING THE CITY MANAGER IN AUSTIN WATER TO RAISE AWARENESS OF THE PROGRAM, UM, THROUGH A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT, UH, METHODS.

FIRST OF ALL, PROVIDING ADDITIONAL EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS, UH, FOR CUSTOMERS ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF THIS, UH, CREATING DE DESIGNATED SPACE ON THE SAGE WEBSITE, UH, USING MULTILINGUAL AND MULTIMEDIA ADVERTISEMENTS, AS WELL AS PROVIDING ADDITIONAL COMMUNICATION METHODS BEYOND THE TRADITIONAL ADVERTISING MEDIUMS. AND THAT'S WHAT WE'RE HERE TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT IN TERMS OF EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS.

I'LL, I'LL START OFF AND THEN I'LL TURN IT OVER TO AMY.

UH, WE CERTAINLY HAVE OUR TRADITIONAL EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS IN TERMS OF, OF GUIDES FOR OUR PROGRAMS, AND THEN ALL THE ALWAYS POPULAR GROW GREEN GUIDE, UM, THAT YOU'LL OFTEN SEE AROUND NURSERIES, UM, THAT PEOPLE CARRY AROUND.

UM, THESE CONTINUE TO BE VERY POPULAR AND VERY USEFUL TO RAISE AWARENESS OF THE BENEFITS OF WATERWISE LANDSCAPES TO OUR CUSTOMERS.

AND THEN I'LL TURN IT OVER TO AMY TO GO FORWARD AND I'LL HOP IN.

UM, I'M AMY PETRI.

I'M THE DIVISION MANAGER OVER THE PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE AT AUSTIN WATER.

UM, AND SO TO GET TO THE EDUCATIONAL CAMPAIGN THAT WE WERE ASKED TO, UM, TO DO AS PART OF THIS RESOLUTION, UM, PART OF THAT CALLED FOR COMMUNITY OUTREACH AND SHARING THESE EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS WITH THE COMMUNITY.

AND SO, UM, OVER THE COURSE OF THE LAST WEEK OF MARCH, AND THROUGH THE MONTH OF APRIL, WE'VE BEEN PARTICIPATING IN A NUMBER OF COMMUNITY EVENTS THAT HAVE BEEN STAFFED BY WATER CONSERVATION STAFF, WHO CAN, YOU KNOW, ANSWER COMMUNITY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE VARIOUS REBATES THAT THEY HAVE, UH, AVAILABLE FOR THEM, AS WELL AS THIS WATERWISE REBATE.

THIS IS NOT THE END OF THE CAMPAIGN.

IT DIDN'T END IN APRIL.

IT'S GONNA GO WELL INTO MAY AND JUNE.

WE HAVE MORE EVENTS COMING.

THIS IS A BUSY SEASON FOR COMMUNITY EVENTS, AND SO WE ARE OUT THERE SHARING OUR INFORMATION IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH.

WE'VE ALSO, UM, UM, APRIL WAS, UH, ASIAN PACIFIC, UH, UH, HERITAGE CELEBRATION MONTH.

THERE WERE A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT COMMUNITY EVENTS WITH THOSE COMMUNITIES.

AND SO WE'VE, WE'VE ALSO, OUR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT SPECIALIST, UM, HAS BEEN ATTENDING THOSE AND ANSWERING QUESTIONS WITH, UM, UM, THOSE GROUPS.

AND, UM, WE'RE REACHING DIVERSE, UH, COMMUNITY MEMBERS THROUGH OUR OUTREACH EFFORTS.

LET'S SEE.

AND HERE'S THE CLICKER.

OKAY.

AND SO THE SECOND THING THAT WAS ASKED FOR IN THIS RESOLUTION WAS FOR US TO LOOK AT OUR WEBSITE RESOURCES AND MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE DEDICATED EASY TO UNDERSTAND INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE.

AND SO WE REALLY TOOK THE APPROACH OF LOOKING AT IT FROM A, UM, WE NEED TO MAKE IT VERY FUNCTIONAL AND EASY TO FIND, AND WE MAY NEED TO MAKE IT VERY EASY TO UNDERSTAND AND APPLY FOR THESE REBATES.

SO, UM, WE, WHAT YOU'RE SEEING A PICTURE OF IS WHAT WE PUT ON OUR, OUR LANDING PAGE.

ANYONE WHO'S COMING TO OUR WEBSITE FOR ANY REASON WOULD SEE THIS WATERWISE LANDSCAPES AT THE VERY TOP BANNER THAT TAKES THEM DIRECTLY TO THE INFORMATION ABOUT THAT REBATE PROGRAM, AS WELL AS ALL OF OUR CONSERVATION REBATES.

SO, YOU KNOW, IF YOU'RE JUST COMING TO OUR WEBSITE, YOU SEE IT.

BUT ALL OF OUR EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS AND ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS AND ALL OF THE OTHER THINGS THAT WE'VE BEEN PUSHING OUT INTO THE COMMUNITY OVER THE MONTHS OF APRIL AND INTO MAY AND JUNE, ARE TAKING PEOPLE DIRECTLY TO THE REBATE PAGE.

ONE LESS CLICK IS ONE LESS CLICK.

ALL OF THE STUFF JUST GETS THEM THERE FASTER AND GETS THEM TO THE INFORMATION THAT THEY'RE LOOKING FOR.

AND SO, TO THAT POINT, UM, ALL OF OUR ADS ARE TAKING PEOPLE DIRECTLY TO OUR, OUR REBATE PAGE.

WE HAVE THE APPLICATION LINK AT THE TOP.

THERE'S NO SCROLLING.

WE'VE GOT MORE GRAPHICS AND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ALL OF THE VARIOUS REBATES THAT INCLUDE LANDSCAPE IRRIGATION, POOL COVERS, ALL THE THINGS THAT WE OFFER.

AND THE APPLICATION, UM, HAS BEEN, HAS BEEN, UM, DEVELOPED IN A WAY THAT PEOPLE CAN APPLY FROM THEIR PHONE.

WE KNOW THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE COMING TO OUR WEBPAGES FROM THEIR MOBILE PHONE.

WE WANTED ALL OF THIS TO BE MOBILE FRIENDLY.

SO WE'VE TRIED TO CREATE RESOURCES THAT ARE INFORMATIVE, BUT ALSO FUNCTIONAL AND EASY TO GET TO WHAT THEY NEED TO DO.

UM, UH, THE, THE LAST THING I WOULD SAY IS WE DID CREATE A DEDICATED FAQ PAGE, SPECIFICALLY ABOUT WATERWISE AND THAT PROGRAM.

AND IT AS HAS A LOT OF COMMON COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW YOU REPLACE TURF, HOW YOU ADJUST YOUR IRRIGATION SYSTEMS, ALL THE THINGS THAT PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HOW TO DO, WHAT THEY NEED TO DO TO IMPLEMENT THIS PROGRAM.

UM, THE THIRD THING THAT WAS ASKED FOR WAS, UM, ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.

AND SO WE LEVERAGED OUR, UM, OUR, OUR ADVERTISING CONTRACTS WITH OUR VENDORS.

WE, WE, UM, WE HAVE ONGOING PRINT,

[00:45:01]

DIGITAL AND, UM, RADIO SPOT ADS THAT ARE PART OF OUR REGULAR, UM, UM, ADVERTISING, UH, ACTIVITIES FROM MONTH TO MONTH.

EVERYTHING WAS FOCUSED ON WATERWISE AS WELL AS, AGAIN, ALL OF OUR REBATES, BECAUSE THERE'S A LOT OF WAYS THAT PEOPLE CAN CONSERVE WATER.

WE REALLY TRIED TO HIGHLIGHT WATERWISE IN THESE.

UM, YOU'RE LOOKING AT A TWO PAGE AD THAT WE PUT IN COMMUNITY IMPACT.

WE'VE TRANSLATED THINGS TO SPANISH.

THE ADS DIDN'T END IN APRIL.

THERE WILL BE MORE COMING IN MAY.

WE'LL BE PLACING A LOT MORE SPANISH ADS IN MAY AND JUNE AND BEYOND ALL OF OUR DIGITAL ADS THAT ARE PLACED WITH OUR VENDORS TAKE PEOPLE DIRECTLY TO THAT REBATES PAGE.

SO THEY'RE GOING AGAIN, RIGHT TO WHERE THEY NEED TO GO TO FIND INFORMATION TO APPLY.

AND SO THOSE ARE SOME OF OUR, UM, DIGITAL ADS THAT WE PLACED.

AND THEN FINALLY, UM, THE, THE RESOLUTION CALLED FOR ADDITIONAL COMMUNICATION.

UM, I'M GONNA FLIP TO THE SOCIAL EXAMPLES IN A MINUTE, BUT, UM, ON THIS PAGE, WE, UM, WE DID SOME PAID CONTENT AND COMMUNITY IMPACT.

WE DID A FEATURE ARTICLE WITH ONE OF OUR WATER CONSERVATION STAFF WHO TALKED ABOUT THIS PROGRAM, TRIED TO, YOU KNOW, PROVIDE SOME GOOD INFORMATION.

SO THAT'S THE SCREENSHOT THAT YOU SEE IS FROM OUR COMMUNITY IMPACT, UM, CONTENT.

WE'VE HOSTED, UM, THREE LUNCH AND LEARN SESSIONS, UM, LED BY OUR WATER CONSERVATION STAFF.

WE'VE HAD ABOUT 40 PEOPLE SIGN UP FOR EACH OF THOSE LUNCH AND LEARN SESSIONS WHERE THEY CAN LEARN EVERYTHING ABOUT WATERWISE OR RAIN SCAPES OR HOW TO PROGRAM THEIR IRRIGATION PROGRAMMERS.

SO LOTS OF GOOD INFORMATION OUT THERE TO HELP OUR COMMUNITY.

AND THEN THIS WEEK WE RELEASED A MEDIA RELEASE.

UH, KEVIN JUST CAME IN FROM DOING AN INTERVIEW WITH KVU ABOUT THAT.

SO WE'RE GONNA GET SOME MEDIA COVERAGE ABOUT ALL OF THIS.

UM, BUT CLICKING AHEAD TO OUR, OUR SOCIAL MEDIA, UM, AGAIN, WE DID POST IN ENGLISH AND IN SPANISH ABOUT THIS.

THESE HAVEN'T ENDED.

THEY'RE CONTINUING TO RUN.

WE'LL BE, WE'LL BE PROMOTING THIS INFORMATION, YOU KNOW, THROUGH THE SPRING MONTHS.

AND THEN WE'LL ALSO PICK UP AGAIN IN THE FALL WHEN PLANNING SEASON BEGINS AGAIN.

SO, UM, YOU KNOW, THIS IS, THIS IS NOT THE END OF THE CAMPAIGN.

SO TO GIVE YOU A LITTLE BIT OF A SNAPSHOT OF WHAT WE WERE ABLE TO ACHIEVE, UM, BASICALLY APRIL THROUGH JUNE, WE'VE GOT 20 EVENTS THAT WE'VE EITHER ATTENDED OR PLAN TO ATTEND.

THAT NUMBER MAY GO UP.

WE GET REQUESTS ALL THE TIME TO COME TO COMMUNITY EVENTS.

WE WILL, UM, CONTINUE TO PUT THIS INFORMATION OUT THERE.

UM, COMING UP IN JUNE, WE WILL BE PARTNERING WITH AUSTIN ENERGY AT THE UTILITY BILL PAYMENT CENTERS.

WE DO SEASONAL CAMPAIGNS.

UM, EACH YEAR WE DO WINTER PREPAREDNESS IN THE WINTER, AND WE DO CONSERVATION IN THE SPRING AND SUMMER.

SO, UM, WE'LL BE BACK OUT THERE IN JUNE.

THOSE ARE HEAVILY ATTENDED.

WE, WE EXPECT TO GET GOOD ATTENDANCE THIS YEAR AS WELL.

THE SECOND BULLET I WANNA, UM, CALL YOUR ATTENTION TO, 'CAUSE THIS IS A GOOD METRIC FOR US.

UM, WE LOOKED AT OUR WEBPAGE VISITS OVER THE LAST MONTH TO SEE IF THEY HAD INCREASE THAT WOULD INDICATE THAT PEOPLE ARE GETTING THE MESSAGE AND GOING TO CHECK IT OUT.

IT DID INCREASE.

UM, WE GOT ABOUT 1300 UNIQUE WEBPAGE VISITS, UM, BETWEEN APRIL 1ST AND APRIL 25TH.

UM, ONE THING THAT WE'RE SEEING OUT OF THOSE ANALYTICS IS THAT THE, EACH OF THOSE VISITS IS INTERACTING WITH THE PAGE ABOUT 12 TIMES.

SO THEY'RE, THEY'RE SCROLLING, THEY'RE CLICKING ON THINGS, THEY'RE, THEY'RE GOING TO LINKS, THEY'RE LOOKING AT DIFFERENT INFORMATION, THEY'RE OPENING UP THE APPLICATION.

THIS IS ONE WAY THAT WE TRY TO FIGURE OUT ARE THEY ENGAGED WITH WHAT WE'VE PUT THERE? IF THEY GO THERE AND THEN THEY IMMEDIATELY LEAVE, THEY'RE PROBABLY NOT THAT ENGAGED.

SO WE THINK THAT THERE'S A HIGH LEVEL OF, UM, ENGAGEMENT WITH THIS CAMPAIGN.

SO THAT MAKES US FEEL GREAT.

UM, WE ARE PROJECTING THAT WE'LL HAVE ABOUT 4 MILLION AD IMPRESSIONS FROM OUR AD CAMPAIGNS THAT WE'VE RUN.

UM, THE SOCIAL POSTS THAT WE'VE DONE, YOU KNOW, BETWEEN APRIL 1ST AND APRIL 25TH, REACHED OVER 12,000 PEOPLE ON OUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS. AND AGAIN, THOSE LINKS ARE DRIVING PEOPLE DIRECTLY TO THAT WEBPAGE.

SO, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, WE'RE KIND OF SEEING THAT IT WAS PUSHING PEOPLE THERE.

AND I'M GONNA HAND IT BACK OVER TO KEVIN TO TAKE US TO THE END.

ALL RIGHT.

AND JUST AT, ON THAT LAST BULLET POINT I WANTED TO NOTE, UM, WE RECEIVED SIX COMPLETED APPLICATIONS IN APRIL, UH, SINCE THAT THE RESOLUTION, BUT THAT REALLY DOES REPRESENT ALL THE INTERESTS THAT WE'VE GOT.

UH, WHILE WE ARE TRYING TO STREAMLINE THE APPLICATIONS, THEY DO REQUIRE SOME THOUGHT, UM, TO SUBMIT THOSE IN TERMS OF WHAT TYPE OF PLANTS, HOW MUCH AREA.

SO, UM, PEOPLE DO HAVE TO THINK ABOUT THIS, BUT WE'VE RECEIVED A LOT OF INTEREST CONVERSATIONS, EMAIL, UH, PHONE WITH STAFF WONDERING HOW TO DO THIS, WHAT TO DO, AND WHAT HAVE YOU.

SO, AND A LOT OF 'EM ARE REFERENCING THE, THE EFFORTS THAT WE'VE MADE IN THE PAST.

AND I JUST TO TAG ON TO, TO, TO THAT IS, YOU KNOW, BASED ON THAT LEVEL OF ENGAGEMENT THAT WE'RE SEEING ON OUR WEBPAGE, UM, THAT THAT MAY NOT ALWAYS RESULT IN A REBATE APPLICATION, BUT OUR HOPE IS THAT PEOPLE ARE GETTING THAT INFORMATION AND LEARNING ABOUT HOW TO CONSERVE WATER WITH THEIR LANDSCAPE.

UM, AND

[00:50:01]

SO, YOU KNOW, MY HOPE IS THAT IF, IF THEY'RE READING ALL OF THIS INFORMATION THAT, THAT THEY'RE GOING OUT AND, AND CONSERVING, UH, IN A, IN A BETTER WAY THAN MAYBE THEY DID BEFORE THEY VISITED OUR WEBPAGE WITH THAT WE'RE AVAILABLE FOR ANY QUESTIONS.

THAT'S GREAT.

I KNOW, UM, THE FIRST TIME I SAW THE WATERWISE, UM, THAT WAS ONE OF MY FAVORITE, UM, LITTLE BOOKS THAT'S OUT THERE.

DO YOU HAVE ANY EXTRAS? YEAH, I DON'T HAVE ONE FROM THIS YEAR.

UM, I USED TO SAVE THEM.

YEAH.

YOU KNOW, AT ANY RATE IT DOESN'T MATTER, BUT IT SEEMS LIKE IT WAS YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS AGO.

REMIND ME, WHEN DID THE WATERWISE PROGRAM BEGIN? WAS IT, WELL, THIS WATERWISE PROGRAM ACTUALLY BEGAN BACK IN 2010.

UM, IT CHANGED THE NAME IN 2011 TO, UH, WATERWISE LANDSCAPE OR THE GREEN GROW, I GUESS THE GREEN GROW.

GOD GREEN.

THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT.

OH, OKAY.

SORRY ABOUT THAT.

YEAH.

I HAVE TO ADMIT, I CANNOT REMEMBER WHEN GREEN, AS LONG AS I'VE BEEN IN AUSTIN THAT'S BEEN OUT THERE, IT'S BEEN THERE.

I'M THINKING THE NINETIES.

BUT, UM, THAT'S REALLY DATING ME.

.

IT MIGHT EVEN BE OLDER THAN THAT.

WE SHOULD CHECK.

KEVIN, DO YOU KNOW? YEAH, THIS SHOULD BE, IT'S BEEN A TRIVIA QUESTION.

YEAH, WE'RE GONNA HAVE A TRIVIA.

TRIVIA EXAM.

OKAY.

I'M REALLY GRATEFUL FOR THIS WORK.

UM, AND I AGREE THAT EVEN IF PEOPLE DON'T GO FOR THE REBATES, THEY'RE GETTING REALLY USEFUL INFORMATION ON HOW, WHAT PLANTS TO PUT IN THEIR YARD AND HOW TO PUT 'EM IN THEIR YARD TO MAKE SURE THEY DON'T DIE.

BECAUSE THAT'S PROBABLY THE HARDEST THING EMOTIONALLY WHEN YOU'RE PUTTING THAT BED IN THERE.

AND THEN THE, IT JUST DOESN'T, YOU KNOW, IT DOESN'T TAKE, AND YOU'RE LIKE, WHY HASN'T IT TAKEN? AND SO WE OFFER SOME REALLY GOOD TIPS FOR HOW TO, TO MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE SUCCESSFUL.

GARDENERS.

ANY QUESTIONS? YES.

UH, COUNCIL MEMBER RYAN AL ALTER, THANK Y'ALL, UH, VERY MUCH FOR THIS PRESENTATION AND THE WORK Y'ALL ARE DOING IT.

I, I ACTUALLY SAW THAT FULL PAGE AD IN CUNY IMPACT, AND I THOUGHT, HEY, GOOD.

I KNOW WHY THEY'RE DOING THIS.

GOOD.

UM, ONE SUGGESTION OR QUESTION, YOU KNOW, I THINK IN TALKING WITH SOME PEOPLE, THERE IS A HURDLE IN THEIR MIND OF, YOU KNOW, I WOULD LOVE TO CONVERT MY LAWN, BUT I'M NOT A LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT.

I HAVE NO CLUE, EVEN WITH THE, THE GUIDE OF, YOU KNOW, THIS IS A NICE FLOWER, OR THIS, YOU KNOW, I'M UNABLE TO VISUALIZE, OR I DON'T REALLY KNOW WHAT GOES WELL TOGETHER AND HOW, AND SO I DON'T KNOW IF THERE'S ANY WAY, KIND OF LIKE WE HAVE WITH THE AUSTIN ENERGY, UM, YOU KNOW, PARTNERS THAT IF YOU'RE GONNA GO DO SOMETHING, THERE'S A LIST OF, OF CONTRACTORS THAT YOU CAN GO REACH OUT TO.

IF THERE WAS A WAY EITHER FOR US TO, UM, HAVE INDIVIDUALS WHO, AND IT'D BE GREAT IF THEY DO IT AT, YOU KNOW, A DISCOUNT, BUT LIKE, HERE'S SOMEONE WHO CAN HELP YOU THINK ABOUT, OR PUT TOGETHER A, A ROUGH MOCKUP OF WHAT THAT MIGHT LOOK LIKE JUST TO, TO HELP OR KIND OF THE, THE OTHER STEP OF LIKE A, A VERY LOW TECH, BUT KIND OF TOOL WHERE YOU CAN KIND OF DRAW OUT YOUR LAWN AND DROP IN SOME, SOME PLANTS AND JUST KIND OF GET A, A GENERAL IDEA OF WHAT IT IS THAT I'M, YOU KNOW, CONVERTING TO.

JUST, I THINK THAT THE PLANNING ELEMENT SCARES A LOT OF PEOPLE.

MM-HMM.

.

UM, AND SO I KNOW I'M ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO CAN'T VISUALIZE IT IN MY MIND.

I HAVE, I'M FORTUNATE MY WIFE CAN, SO SHE DOES ALL THE GREAT DRAWING WHEN WE'RE PLANTING.

BUT, UM, THAT'S JUST A, A FOOD FOR THOUGHT AS Y'ALL LOOKING FORWARD.

AND THE OTHER KIND OF QUESTION, YOU KNOW, BEFORE YOU GO ANY FURTHER, I JUST WANNA, I, I, I'LL JUMP IN AND SAY, I THINK THE MASTER GARDENERS IS EXACTLY THE, UM, AND THAT'S THE GROUP OF VOLUNTEERS THAT, UM, WOULD BE REALLY GOOD TO CONNECT TO JUST KIND OF AMPLIFY THEIR EXISTENCE.

UM, BECAUSE WE WOULDN'T NECESSARILY RECOMMEND PARTICULAR VENDORS.

WE, YOU KNOW, WE WOULD RECOMMEND ALL VENDORS, BUT THE MASTER GARDENERS PROGRAMS A REALLY GOOD ONE.

UM, JUST MIND.

YEAH, I'M OKAY.

SORRY TO NO, NO, PLEASE.

I'M GLAD YOU DID.

THAT'S, THAT'S GREAT.

UM, THE OTHER IS, I KNOW IN THE FUTURE THERE ARE PLANS WITHIN WATER FORWARD ABOUT NEW BUILDING, NEW CONSTRUCTION, WHAT KIND OF TURF, IF AT ALL THEY CAN PUT IN.

AND JUST KIND OF THINKING ABOUT THE EFFORT WE'RE PUTTING INTO THIS VERSUS, YOU KNOW, HOW WE BALANCE, MAYBE WE INCENTIVIZE NEW BUILD TO NOT PUT TURF IN AT ALL.

KIND OF SIMILAR TO HERE.

YOU KNOW, THIS INCENTIVE IS A CONVERSION, BUT IF SOMEONE'S NEVER DOING IT FROM DAY ONE, THAT'S A, AN

[00:55:01]

EASIER, UH, SELL.

AND YOU KNOW, FROM THE DEVELOPER SIDE, THEY'RE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR WAYS TO OFFSET COSTS.

AND SO IF THERE'S A, A WAY TO TO CONSIDER THAT, IT, IT SEEMS LIKE IT COULD BE SUCCESSFUL.

SO, BUT I, I AM EXCITED TO SEE WHERE THIS GOES.

UH, HOPEFULLY GOING TO BE A PARTICIPANT MYSELF.

WE'RE, WE'RE CONSIDERING JUST HOW, HOW BIG WE WANT TO GO, BUT, UH, I APPRECIATE Y'ALL'S Y'ALL'S EFFORTS.

GREAT.

VERY GOOD.

THANK YOU.

ANY OTHER QUESTIONS? THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE PRESENTATION.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

AND,

[5. My ATX Water update.]

UH, LET'S SEE.

MY A TX WATER UPDATE AND I LOVE THIS, THIS PICTURE HERE, ANDY, SHE'S ADORABLE.

AUSTIN SMART METERING SYSTEM.

GOOD AFTERNOON, MAYOR PRO TIM AND COUNCIL MEMBERS.

RANDY JENKINS, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AT AUSTIN WATER.

AND AS YOU MENTIONED, I'M HERE TO PROVIDE AN UPDATE ON MY