(New Braunfels, TX – August 15, 2023) – Today, at the Headwaters at the Comal, New Braunfels Utilities (NBU), the City of New Braunfels (CoNB), and the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) launched One Water New Braunfels, a collaborative interagency program designed to ensure water remains a celebrated and protected feature of our community.
The program’s launch comes after several years of planning by the three agencies and additional partners who identified the primary challenges facing New Braunfels’ water resources and the strategic and actionable ways the agencies could work together, and with the community, to address these challenges. This work is captured in the One Water New Braunfels Roadmap and additional details are provided in the One Water New Braunfels Roadmap Report.
“My predecessor, Ian Taylor, learned that communities across the nation were embracing the holistic approach to water management and reached out to the City of New Braunfels and Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority, who shared our interest in this approach, and together, we began to form a roadmap to bring One Water New Braunfels to fruition,” said Interim Chief Executive Officer Ryan Kelso. “I am honored to continue NBU’s leadership on this important effort. As the current drought conditions highlight, ensuring the resilience of our water resources is of the utmost importance to the community, our water supplies, and our economy.”
“The Comal River, Comal Springs and Landa Lake are the lifeblood of New Braunfels, and the city is proud to participate in this journey that will have lasting benefits to our community,” said City of New Braunfels Mayor Neal Linnartz.
One Water is a globally recognized integrated approach to water planning that is being adopted by communities across the country. The Water Research Foundation defines One Water as an integrated planning and implementation approach to managing finite water resources for long-term resilience and reliability, meeting not only the economic needs but also community and ecosystem needs. The One Water methodology requires thinking of water as a single system and recognizes that all water flows – including stormwater, rainwaters, and wastewater – are viable water resources.
“Water management typically takes place in silos, even though our water resources are interconnected. One Water New Braunfels breaks through these barriers, creating a partnership with the resources and expertise necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of the water supply for this region. For GBRA, our participation in One Water New Braunfels underscores our commitment to the entire Guadalupe-River watershed as it not only supports the local water resources, but will have lasting benefits downstream and to the Gulf of Mexico,” said GBRA General Manager and CEO Darrell Nichols.
One Water New Braunfels was launched today as the result of committed leadership, a common purpose, and dedication by NBU, the CoNB, GBRA and additional collaborators, and was made official through action by NBU Board of Trustees and GBRA Board of Directors earlier this summer and last night’s vote by City Council to approve an interagency agreement. The agreement outlines the governance and management of the One Water New Braunfels program and establishes an advisory council and a working group responsible for continued development and implementation of the New Braunfels One Water Roadmap. A Program Coordinator will manage day to day operations of the program, support the efforts of the advisory council and working group, and serve as primary liaison with the community at large.
“The One Water New Braunfels program gives us the important foundation we need to achieve our ambitious vison for New Braunfels’ watersheds, waterways, and groundwater,” added NBU Board President Judith Hoffmann. “And importantly, the program recognizes that our citizens will play an important role in achieving success as we move forward.”
Community involvement will be vital to the program’s success. Community members are encouraged to follow announcements of upcoming workshops and learning sessions by visiting nbutexas.com/one-water.
To commemorate the program launch and to kick off community engagement, the program partners today announced the launch of a One Water New Braunfels program logo design contest. The contest is now open to all New Braunfels residents to create an original logo design that captures the beauty and importance of New Braunfels water resources. The contest will be open through October 16th. To learn more and to download the form to enter the contest, go to nbutexas.com/one-water-logo.
About New Braunfels Utilities:
New Braunfels Utilities (NBU) strives to be a trusted community partner dedicated to excellence in service and is one of 2,000 community-owned, nonprofit public power electric utilities in the nation. With a mission of strengthening our community by providing resilient essential services, NBU is governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of residents appointed by the New Braunfels City Council. New Braunfels Utilities provides electric, water, and wastewater services. Utility revenues are continually invested back into the systems of the customers, which benefits the community. New Braunfels Utilities makes an annual transfer to the City of New Braunfels, which in turn helps to pay for services such as fire, police, and parks. Follow NBU on Facebook at facebook.com/newbraunfelsutilities, on Twitter at @nbutexas, and to learn more, visit nbutexas.com.