Regional Utility Partnership: From Concept to Reality

Round Rock initiated a partnership after completing a study in 2005 that analyzed the costs of accessing various sources of water – from lakes to the north and west to aquifers to the east – with and without partners. The City’s lowest cost option going solo was $78 million more than the lowest cost option with a partner.

The goal of Round Rock's regional utility partnership was to finance and build the $300 million-plus worth of infrastructure necessary to secure long-term water supplies to three of the fastest-growing cities in Texas. Just as important was the goal to achieve significant savings in design and construction costs by building one regional system instead of three stand-alone municipal systems.

The three cities in the partnership are Round Rock, Leander and Cedar Park. Located just north of Austin, the three cities have each secured water rights from the Lower Colorado River Authority to access water in nearby Lake Travis. Leander and Cedar Park already access water from Lake Travis through separate treatment and distribution systems.

Created was the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority (BCRUA), which secured below-market financing from the Texas Water Development Board and the project is now under construction. The total project cost is estimated at $327 million for the design and construction of a 106 million gallon per day water treatment and distribution system. It is estimated that building one regional project instead of three separate municipal projects results in an approximate 33 percent savings, or up to $100 million.

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