Water Resources

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As long-time landowners and new residents alike know, the Texas Hill Country is a special place. The people are friendly, the air is clean and the landscape is beautiful. But that is true of much of rural Texas. What gives the Hill Country its very special character are its extraordinary water resources: its magical hidden springs, crystal-clear swimming holes, peacefully wandering creeks, and clear, swiftly flowing rivers.

Taking care of the region’s water supply is a complex challenge. Many believe our rivers and aquifers are already over-allocated. It is time for a very conservative approach to planning and a new way of thinking about water use. Conservation is key.

The following pages are intended to serve as timely, up-to-date, scientifically accurate resources about water supply in the Texas Hill Country region.


The Texas Hill Country is no stranger to severe drought conditions broken up by times of intense flash flooding. In both situations, it is important we manage our water supply for a resilient future.

Water Quality and its Threats

We are fortunate to enjoy drinking water from our rivers and aquifers that is largely high quality – clear, clean and safe for swimming and fishing. However, we must ensure that the water quality standards that are in place are enforced.
Wimberley's One Water School - Blue Hole Elementary

One Water in the Texas Hill Country

There is a growing practice of integrated water management known as One Water that offers a way for us to grow as a region while protecting and respecting water resources at the same time.

Groundwater Resources

Our groundwater supply is limited and under increasing pressure from a growing population. If this resource is to sustain our communities and environmental treasures, it must be carefully managed.

Water Catchment Areas (Watersheds)

River Basins – often referred to as watersheds – are widely recognized as the most effective management unit for the protection of water resources, both water quality and supply. A river basin is an area of land where all water flows to a single stream, river, lake or even ocean.

Water Conservation

The least expensive, most efficient source of new water is water we save through conservation. State water planners expect conservation methods to account for nearly 23% of needed water supplies over the next 50 years.

Water Planning

Where our future water supply will come from and how and where it will be used will have significant effects on the Hill Country’s quality of life. Our creeks and streams are an undeniable part of the Hill Country’s heritage.

Texas Water Symposium

The Texas Water Symposium Series provides perspectives from policy makers, scientists, water resource experts and regional leaders. Join us as we explore the complex issues and challenges in providing water for Texans.

Explore Recent Water Resources

Water-wise Landscaping Ordinances

In the Texas Hill Country, up to 70% of potable water is used for landscaping, especially in the summer. This presents a huge opportunity to conserve water by shifting landscaping practices in the region. By implementing landscaping ordinances that promote water-wise landscapes, cities can achieve huge water savings and maximize the long-term sustainability of the community’s water resources and outdoor spaces.

Tools for Managing Groundwater in the Texas Hill Country

This resource from the Hill Country Alliance – created in May 2023 – is meant to demystify the available tools for groundwater management and make groundwater planning and management more accessible across the Hill Country.

Wondrous Wicking Gardens

Now is a great time to point out how awesome a wicking garden can be! Wicking gardens allow you to conserve time and water while letting your plants thrive. Learn about the wonders of wicking gardens and get some tips on how to spice up your own backyard garden in this special feature.

One Water Guidebook

A Guidebook for Connecting Communities with Projects and Professionals

The Hill Country Alliance is working with National Wildlife Federation and partners to promote and educate on One Water throughout the Hill County. This guidebook, a joint project of our organizations, is intended to connect Hill Country communities facing growth and increased demands for water with water professionals experienced with One Water strategies, planning, implementation, design and construction. We interviewed engineers, architects, planners and landscape designers to gain insight into the realities of One Water projects, and within these pages feature the 14 selected professionals along with an example project each completed in Texas.

Water Resource Myths and Truths

Water resources are among the Hill Country’s most fragile assets and they are in jeopardy. Thousands of free-flowing springs feed our creeks and rivers with clean, cool water — contributing to the long-term health, quality of life and economic vitality of this region. As more people move to the Texas Hill Country, it is important to dispel the common and long-held misperceptions relating to Central Texas’ water resources and to keep our attention on the importance of clean, flowing water.

Seizing the Moment

In November 2021, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was signed into law resulting in $2.9 billion specifically for Texas' water infrastructure improvements. This video shares 5 things you should to know and explains why your community should take advantage of this opportunity!

Navigating the TCEQ Wastewater Permitting Process

Wastewater is one of the biggest challenges facing the Hill Country. In this recording, from a February 2023 event with Hill Country Alliance, Save Barton Creek Association, and the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, attorney Lauren Ice joined us for an interactive conversation on how to navigate the TCEQ wastewater permitting process.