Wimberley ISD Blue Hole One Water Primary School
What is One Water?
One Water is an intentionally integrated approach to water that promotes the management of all water—drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, greywater—as a single resource. This integrated water management approach can help communities achieve long-term resiliency and reliability, for the benefit of both the environment and the economy.
A One Water approach rethinks how water moves through and is used in a community; it brings stakeholders like developers, community leaders, urban planners, water managers and engineers together with the goal of utilizing water as thoughtfully and efficiently as possible.
One Water School: Wimberley Independent School District
The Wimberley Independent School District (WISD) has built first One Water school in Texas. The Blue Hole Primary School's One Water design acknowledges the importance of protecting Wimberley’s sensitive water resources, such as Jacob’s Well and Blue Hole, both of which are popular swimming spots whose water source comes from the Trinity Aquifer. The unique campus reduces its water consumption footprint by approximately 90 percent through implementation of water-wise strategies such as:
Collecting rainwater and AC condensate for plumbing and irrigation
- Constructing an onsite treatment and reuse system that will allow gray and black water to be recycled
- Installing best management practices (BMPs) such as rain gardens containing native plants, permeable pavers, and other stormwater mitigation strategies to slow down runoff, encourage groundwater recharge, and reduce nonpoint source pollution
- Creating an educational experience for the students with clear pipes and signage
Not only does the one water campus design save water, it also saves the school district money:
- Annual cost savings relative to standard construction and centralized water/wastewater service is expected to be between $29,000 and $48,000 per year.
- Total cost savings over 30 years to exceed $1,000,000 in 2018 dollars.
- Conservation of 237 acre-feet of groundwater over 30 years. Enough to keep Jacob’s Well Spring flowing at a healthy rate for 143 days!
- An expected rate of 1.5 gallons of water per day per student, compared to 15 gallons per day per student at a standard construction campus.
A One Water Story – Realizing the Environmental and Economic Value of One Water for the Texas Hill Country. Presented at the 2019 EPA Region 6 Stormwater Conference on July 28, 2019 – Denton, Texas.
A New Primary School for Wimberley ISD. Presented to the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority on March 19, 2019 – Seguin, Texas.
One Water Wimberley Regenerative Development for WISD –Connected by Living Waters (2018).
Documents & Reports
Preferred Wastewater Systems for the Texas Hill Country and Over the Edwards Aquifer: Economic and Environmental Considerations
One Water Resources
To learn more about the concept of One Water, we have provided several resources below:
WISD One Water School in the News
Wimberley ISD's One Water School - Blue Hole Primary Texas Rain Catcher Award page (Texas Water Development Board)
Texas Water Development Board announces the 2020 Texas Rain Catcher Award recipients September 3, 2020 (View Texas Rain Catcher Award wepage)
Wimberley ISD Press Release – “New Primary School Gets Green Go Ahead” November 28, 2018
KVUE – “Wimberley School to Make History as First One Water School” December 3, 2018
Spectrum News – “Wimberley ISD Votes to Build Water Smart Primary School” December 3, 2018
Hays Free Press – “Becoming One With Nature: New Wimberley ISD Campus to include Self-Sustaining Technologies” December 18, 2018
Texas Living Waters – “One Water in Action” May 28, 2019
Hays Free Press – “New Wimberley School Designed to be Water Wise” June 26, 2019
KXAN – “Water Recycling System at New Elementary School Will Cut Use by 90 percent” July 3, 2019
San Marcos Daily Record – “One Water School Gets Final Approval” July 5, 2019
The Texas Standard – “New Wimberley School Aims to Take Water Conservation to the Next Level” July 11, 2019
Wimberley ISD Press Release – “Historic One Water Campus Project is Officially Underway” July 29, 2019