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Wimberley ISD Blue Hole One Water Primary School

one water school design

Rendering of Wimberley's "One Water" School

What is One Water?

one water diagram
Courtesy of Carollo Engineering

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.


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