An Exploratory Analysis of Three Water Conservation Alternatives for San Marcos, TX
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The purpose of this study is to analyze three water conservation methods for San Marcos, TX. After reviewing the relevant literature, three popular water conservation alternatives were chosen, case studies from historic conservation initiatives from the San Antonio Water System (SAWS), rainwater harvesting, and graywater reuse. Water savings data were collected; installation and maintenance costs were calculated, and a comparison of the most cost-effective method through price per acre-foot over a 10 year averaged period. All three methods provided sufficient data to provide appropriate, and characteristically consistent numbers for comparison. This study also provided an analytical approach to the economic disparity between water supply issues in central Texas. All three conservation methods ultimately resulted an average savings of about 40,000 gallons of water annually, per household. The averaged total of SAWS’ three case studies proved to be the most cost-effective method, followed by graywater reuse doubling in overall cost. By far the most costly approach was rainwater harvesting totaling nearly $20,000 per acre-foot. However, despite variation in overall cost, the alternatives compared did give appropriate insight to the realities of our water situation and the future of water policy for San Marcos and surrounding cities under similar stresses.