Worried About Water? Read On.

July 31, 2023 9:00 pm

The Central Texas area of Georgetown, Leander, and Liberty Hill is booming, and this is a good news/bad news scenario. The U.S. Census figures released in May noted that from July 2020 to July 2021, Georgetown’s population increased by 10.5%—a rate of growth that would reportedly double the city’s population in less than seven years. Its 2021 population was estimated at 75,420. The community of Leander, located a few minutes from Georgetown, was the second fastest-growing city in the nation, with a growth rate of 10.1%.

For residents of Morningstar Liberty Hill, this is great news. With the influx of new people employed by the fast-growing tech industry, property values will most likely continue to increase. And, as more people discover the tranquility and natural beauty of the Texas Hill Country, master-planned communities like Morningstar, with its resort-like amenities, great schools, and mass transit to employment centers, will continue to flourish. 

There is, however, a downside to this rapid growth. There is a steady rumble of concern from residents of some cities such as Georgetown and Liberty Hill about water. Some worry that this precious commodity is running low and becoming very expensive. Fortunately, the community of Morningstar is not affected by the dwindling water supplies of these other municipalities.

Is Georgetown Running Out of Water?

This was the headline of a report from the city of Georgetown about concerns its citizens have about their water supply. The report noted. “No. But the City does promote water conservation. Georgetown’s current water supply comes from groundwater as well as surface water in Lake Georgetown and in Stillhouse Hollow Lake. The untreated water from Stillhouse Hollow is pumped through a pipeline. The current projection in the Water Master Plan, given population growth, is that these water sources will meet demand through 2052. With additional conservation measures, our water sources can meet demand through 2057. 

“The City uses a just-in-time approach to building new water infrastructure to meet demand. Our goal is to deliver new water treatment, distribution, and supply capacity only when it is needed so that customers pay for capital expenses only when necessary.

The City also promotes water conservation to reduce our overall consumption to meet the needs of future residents and extend our current water supply through 2057. To accomplish this, we need to reduce water use by 20 percent. Meeting that goal involves limits on irrigation, promoting drought-tolerant grasses, and reducing the irrigated lawn area for new homes.”

Restrictions on water consumption are becoming the norm for cities throughout the US and as demand continues, the price for watering a lawn or drinking will continue to rise.

How Did Morningstar Avoid This Water Issue?

Foresight beats hindsight, almost every time. When planning this community, the developers of Morningstar decided to form a Municipal Utility District (MUD). “The property is part of the approved and operational Williamson County MUD #23. Qualified water, wastewater, and drainage infrastructure for the project will be applicable for reimbursement through future bond sales.”

As this source suggests, a new development or neighborhood will elect to create a MUD because it does not receive basic utilities from the nearest city. This circumstance creates the need for another entity to provide the services that would typically be provided by the city, such as drinking water and sewage. Because neighborhoods need these services, but the city is not able to offer them, MUDs establish themselves as taxing entities to pay for utilities through property taxes.

The situation usually occurs with neighborhoods or communities that are not within city governance because of either their rapid expansion or their rural location. In either case, it is often too expensive for the city to annex these communities or provide services right away; therefore, the residents elect to form a MUD. MUDs work by issuing bonds to pay for initial costs for infrastructure that are then serviced through property taxes by residents in the future.

The MUD Board of Directors is charged with making decisions for the MUD district. The highest priority for the board is improving residents’ quality of life. Because the board is concerned primarily with the district it governs, it can make decisions that align with the priorities of its residents.

Morningstar Liberty Hill controls its water and other infrastructure, and this means whatever growth occurs, this community will be insulated from population growth demands placed on surrounding cities.

The Water Is Cool Here

If you’re new to the Austin area, or if you’re just ready to enjoy a more peaceful lifestyle, come take a look at Morningstar Liberty Hill. The views are great and the water is cool.

Click here to set an appointment.