Aquifer Storage and Recovery Documents
The links below provide access to our Aquifer Storage and Recovery-related publications.
A legislative report mandated by the 86th Texas Legislature with the passage of House Bill 722 that surveys aquifer suitability for aquifer storage and recovery projects and aquifer recharge projects.
This legislatively mandated report provides a status update on ASR projects during the 1997-1999 biennium.
In 1995, the 75th Texas Legislature directed TWDB to prepare a biannual report on pilot aquifer storage and recovery projects. The report includes an update on the progress of authorized pilot projects, results of TWDB studies, and anticipated appropriations from general revenues necessary to investigate other aquifers. The report also provides an overview of the ASR process and its historical and potential use in Texas.
Aquifer Storage and Recovery in Texas: 2015, June 2015, Matt Webb, TWDB
The Technical Note compiles historical activities, current facilities, recommended water management strategies and other potential activities related to aquifer storage and recovery in Texas.
Geologic Characterization of and Data Collection in the Corpus Christi Aquifer Storage and Recovery Conservation District and Surrounding Counties, September 2012, John E. Meyer, TWDB
A number of sand layers of varying thicknesses that could potentially serve as reservoirs for aquifer storage and recovery are present in the District. Water quality changes from brackish to saline (total dissolved solids greater than 10,000 milligrams per liter) at approximately 1,000 feet below ground surface in the western third of the District. Arsenic and radionuclides are present in some geologic units. The data collected can be used during the next phase of aquifer storage and recovery evaluation to determine likely well field sites. Drilling test wells will be required to determine site-specific aquifer properties, reservoir lithology and continuity, and water quality.
TWDB-Funded Contract Reports
The statewide survey identified the relative suitability of Texas’ major and minor aquifers for aquifer storage and recovery projects or aquifer recharge projects, produced public data in support of the survey, and a report documenting and providing an overview of the survey. This work helped fulfill a requirement of House Bill 721, passed by the 86th Texas Legislature in 2019.
The Corpus Christi Aquifer Storage and Recovery Conservation District, in partnership with the City of Corpus Christi, performed an exploratory drilling program near the city. They drilled test wells, conducted geochemical analysis of the subsurface environment for aquifer storage and recovery suitability, and groundwater modeling to evaluate potential aquifer storage and recovery operations.
The Victoria County Groundwater Conservation District, in partnership with the City of Victoria, converted an existing groundwater production well to an aquifer storage and recovery well. The well was used for testing recharge, storage, and recovery of treated water from the City's distribution system. Data collected will be used to support developing a full-scale aquifer storage and recovery system.
The Edwards Aquifer Authority, in partnership with New Braunfels Utilities, drilled one wireline core hole and one monitor well into the brackish zone of the Edwards Aquifer. Samples and geophysical logs from the core hole were analyzed for aquifer storage and recovery compatibility. Short duration pump testing of the monitor well was used to evaluate formation hydraulic properties.
The study evaluated the potential to desalinate brackish groundwater from the saline portion of the Edwards Aquifer and store desalinated water in the winter using aquifer storage and recovery. The 30-year life cycle cost for a 5 million gallon per day desalination facility powered by traditional grid sources with concentrate disposal in Trinity Aquifer injection wells is $8.20 per 1,000 gallons. The 30-year cost of an ASR project for water produced by the 5 million gallon per day desalination facility is $0.38 per 1,000 gallons.
The primary objectives of this study were to project potential water demands for a minimum 50-year period and evaluate three different water supply options to meet those future demands. The three water supply options include surface water purchased from the Lower Colorado River Authority, continued groundwater production, and aquifer storage and recovery.
The study evaluated the potential to implement ASR and/or off-channel storage to stretch existing water supplies, improve reliability, and maximize the use of existing surface water rights in the Guadalupe River Basin. The study concludes the City of Victoria has several sites with hydrogeologic characteristics well suited for ASR facilities. The study recommends implementing an ASR testing program at two specific sites: the Victoria Water Treatment Plant and Water Treatment Plant No. 3. For Guadalupe Basin River Authority, the study recommends implementing an ASR testing program at the Port Lavaca Water Treatment Plant.
Uvalde Alternate Groundwater Supply Infrastructure Planning Report, City of Uvalde, Texas
The city and the surrounding areas rely heavily on the Edwards Aquifer for water supplies. The area is under the jurisdiction of the Edwards Aquifer Authority for the Edwards Aquifer and the Uvalde County Underground Water Conservation District for non-Edwards Aquifer sources. The primary benefit of the proposed strategy was to provide additional water supply during drought when pumping from the Edwards Aquifer is curtailed. Potential water sources identified included the Austin Chalk and Buda Limestone formations and storage would be in the Carrizo formation.
The report presents results of a study to determine why ASR has been successful for at least three Texas utilities but has not been implemented to a greater extent in Texas. It makes public policy recommendations and discusses the technical and legal changes needed to advance ASR in Texas.
The goal of this project was to identify regions in Texas that are potentially suitable for groundwater banking. This study only considered recharge from spreading or infiltration basins on the land surface. The first task was a statewide screening analysis that identified broad regions suitable for aquifer recharge based on several factors using geographic information system. The second task evaluated the six regions based on water resources, water storage, conveyance systems, and infiltration rate. Then specific areas potentially suitable for groundwater banking were determined by screening for suitable soil permeability, topographic slope, and proximity to potential source water for infiltration.
The statewide screening analysis yielded 48 counties that (1) projected to have water deficits by 2050, (2) included areas that overlie the outcrop area of one or more major aquifers, and (3) have depths to water in the major aquifers between 40 and 500 feet below land surface. The 48 counties were grouped into six general regions based on regional water planning areas, which included South Central Texas, Regions C, Region F, Ogallala, and Far West Texas. One county from each region was selected for more detailed, site-specific analysis. For each example county, infiltration was calculated for one or two hypothetical basins in the county.
Aquifer Storage Recovery Feasibility Investigation, Step 2, City of Laredo, Texas
This follow up to the City of Laredo Step 1 study provides limited geochemical and hydrogeologic evaluation that indicates the injection of potable water into the Laredo Formation is possible. However, the results of the evaluation indicate that injection will be complicated by low transmissivities. Additionally, the geochemical characteristics of the water and biological activity in the aquifer appear conducive to mineral precipitation in the aquifer. Recommendations to implement a full-scale ASR system are included.
Comprehensive Sabine Watershed Management Plan, Sabine River Authority
The plan considered City of Kilgore and Canton as candidates for ASR facilities. The primary benefit was deferment of surface water treatment plant expansion capital expenditures. Treated water from the Sabine River would be injected into formations of the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer during times of low demand and recovered during peak demand times, reducing necessary peak capacity of the existing surface water treatment plants.
Preliminary Investigation and Feasibility Analysis, Step 1, San Antonio Water System and Bexar Metropolitan Water District, San Antonio, Texas
The findings of the Step 1 investigation indicate that there is a beneficial use for ASR in SAWS' and BexarMet's future water strategy. Potable water can be stored in remote parts of the service areas where distribution systems may be limited in capacity. Preliminary analyses indicate that the maximum use of ASR for SAWS and BexarMet would be 28,000 ac-ft/yr and 9,000 ac-ft/yr, respectively. The cost of ASR stored water ranges from $82 per ac-ft to $398 per ac-ft.
Aquifer Storage Recovery Feasibility Investigation, Step 2, City of Brownsville, Texas
A drilling test program was completed as part of the Step 2 report. Expected well yields range from 500 to 700 gpm. The Step 1 conceptual model was updated. The resulting system proposal consists of three or four wells per site at several sites to support 10 MGD of production capacity. All wells would be completed in the Gravel Zone formation. Further testing and system development is recommended.
Aquifer Storage Recovery Feasibility Investigation, Step 1, City of Laredo, Texas
The results of the Step 1 investigation find that ASR could provide beneficial use to Laredo. These uses include helping to meet peak demand and postponement of water treatment plant expansion. A need for more detailed characterization of the available storage zones is noted. A test drilling program to evaluate the Laredo Formation is recommended.
Aquifer Storage Recovery Feasibility Investigation, Step 1, City of Brownsville, Texas
This preliminary study found that ASR could allow the City of Brownsville to maximize the use of its existing surface water rights. A modular implementation approach was developed using three sites. Local groundwater is generally saline so available data was insufficient to provide full storage zone characterization. Therefore, it was recommended that investigation continue with a test drilling program.
Aquifer Storage Recovery Feasibility Investigation, Phase IIB - Full-Scale Testing and Evaluation, Upper Guadalupe River Authority, Kerrville, Texas
Following up on preliminary studies, this report summarizes work performed for the Upper Guadalupe River Authority in 1990 and 1991 to determine the feasibility of ASR in Kerrville. The test results were positive, and the report discusses the development of an implementation plan.
Aquifer Storage Recovery Feasibility Investigation, Phase IIA, Volume I, Upper Guadalupe River Authority, Kerrville, Texas
A Phase I Feasibility Study, completed in April 1988, for the Upper Guadalupe River Authority identified the Hosston-Sligo Sand as showing the highest potential for storing water. However, additional geological data was needed to confirm the preliminary conclusions. This current study was conducted to provide this information. The study included the construction and testing of a 7-inch-diameter production zone monitor well in the Hosston-Sligo Sand at the plant site. Construction methods, testing, and recommendations for future work are presented in the report.
Aquifer Storage Recovery Feasibility Investigation, Phase IIA, Volume II (Appendices), Upper Guadalupe River Authority, Kerrville, Texas
Appendices to accompany the 1989 Phase IIA ASR report for the Upper Guadalupe River Authority.
Aquifer Storage Recovery Feasibility Investigation, Phase I Preliminary Assessment, Upper Guadalupe River Authority, Kerrville, Texas
This feasibility investigation is the first of a three-phase ASR study and development program for the Upper Guadalupe River Authority. The results of this investigation show that an aquifer storage recovery program appears feasible in Kerrville. Indicators are all positive in the areas of aquifer performance, cost, and institutional/legal concerns. The report recommends a Phase II field investigation to confirm feasibility in a prototype ASR well.
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Andrea Croskrey, TWDB | Groundwater Protection Council webinar, virtual, July 27, 2021
Recording of this presentation found here
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Andrea Croskrey, TWDB | ASR for Texas!, virtual, May 5, 2021
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Temple McKinnon, TWDB | ASR for Texas!, virtual, May 5, 2021
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James Golab, TWDB | Austin Geological Society Meeting, virtual, December 7, 2020
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Andrea Croskrey, TWDB | Texas Tech University Guest Lecture, virtual, October 14, 2020
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Andrea Croskrey, TWDB | Groundwater Protection Council Underground Injection Control Conference, San Antonio, Texas, February 18, 2020
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Matthew Webb, TWDB | Texas Aquifer Conference, Austin, Texas, June 6, 2018
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Matthew Webb, TWDB | ASR for Texas! Seminar, Austin, Texas, April 12, 2018
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Matthew Webb, TWDB | CIGMAT – 2018, 23rd Annual Conference, Houston, Texas, March 2, 2018
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Matthew Webb, TWDB | 31st Annual Surface Water Quality Monitoring Workshop, Austin, Texas, November 8, 2017
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Matthew Webb, TWDB | ASR for Texas Seminar, Austin, Texas, May 4, 2017
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Matthew Webb, TWDB | Groundwater Protection Council Underground Injection Control Conference, Austin, Texas, February 11-14, 2017
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Matthew Webb, TWDB | Bell County Water Symposium, Killeen, Texas, November 16, 2016
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Matthew Webb, TWDB | American Groundwater Protection Council Annual Forum, Orlando, Florida, September 13, 2016
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Matthew Webb, TWDB | Texas Groundwater Protection Committee, Austin, Texas, July 20, 2016
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Matthew Webb, TWDB | Texas Aquifer Conference, Austin, Texas, June 9, 2016
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Matthew Webb, TWDB | Austin Geological Society, Austin, Texas, April 4, 2016
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Matthew Webb, TWDB | Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 Five State Meeting, Dallas, Texas, January 27, 2016
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Matthew Webb, TWDB | Texas A&M American Water Resources Association, College Station, Texas, October 15, 2015
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Matthew Webb, TWDB | Capital Area Chapter Texas American Water Works Association, Austin, Texas, August 21, 2015
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Matthew Webb, TWDB | City of Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, Texas, July 9, 2015
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Matthew Webb, TWDB | Texas Aquifer Conference, Austin, Texas, June 26, 2015