Staff from the City of Boerne played a prominent role at the inaugural One Water in the Texas Hill Country Conference, held on October 26 at the Cibolo Center. The event, hosted by the Hill Country Alliance, the Cibolo Center, and the City of Boerne, brought together a diverse group of environmental planners, researchers, utility operators, and city and county officials from across the Hill Country.
The central theme of the conference was the concept of "One Water," which advocates for an integrated approach to water stewardship and management. This approach emphasizes the management of all water sources, including drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, and reclaimed water, as a unified resource.
City Manager Ben Thatcher highlighted the City of Boerne's commitment to environmental responsibility, stressing the importance of community collaboration to ensure appropriate water management as the region continues to grow.
One Water's core principle is to recognize the interconnection of all water types across regions and watersheds, with the goal of promoting sustainable and environmentally conscious policy and decision-making.
Boerne Utilities Director Mike Mann and Director of Engineering and Mobility Jeff Carroll were panelists at the conference, participating in a panel titled "Working Towards One Water in Boerne." They were joined by Andria Wisian, Kendall County commissioner (Precinct 2), and Troy Dorman, the director of water resources at Halff Associates.
Mann explained how Boerne Utilities' reclaimed water service aligns with the One Water approach, emphasizing its role in conserving potable water for more critical purposes and encouraging water conservation practices among customers.
Carroll detailed the City of Boerne's adopted ordinances that support low impact development and integrate with overall water and stormwater management. These ordinances prioritize water quality, and the City now enforces some of the most robust regulations in the Texas Hill Country for new development.
The City's Water Dashboard, a valuable resource for educating the public and stakeholders about the origin of their water and its connection to regional sources, was also showcased at the conference.
The event featured opening remarks from City Councilman Dr. Joseph Macaluso and City Manager Ben Thatcher, underscoring the City's commitment to responsible water management and its active role in the One Water movement in the Texas Hill Country. The conference marked the beginning of an annual tradition aimed at fostering collaboration and innovative approaches to water stewardship in the region.