As climate change and fast-paced growth proceeds in Austin, there is growing concern to both secure water supply for the future while conserving a finite resource for our region. Will you pledge to support an Austin future that prioritizes conservation, reuse, and local water supplies, and to oppose actions that would require pumping of groundwater in either the Edwards Aquifer or the Carrizo/Simsboro aquifers east of Austin beyond a sustainable level that matches rates of recharge? Rate your support on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the most support and 1 being the least.

Linda O’Neal

City Council, District 9

I’ve been here long enough to remember when our water tasted GOOD. It came from Edward’s Aquifer, but then the LRCA sold our water and now we got that treated water lake water. We have to protect the environment. We are nothing without water. Another major issue is the quality of our water. The Flint water crisis is not an isolated situation. This is a nationwide problem that our current administration is ignoring. During Trump’s campaign, he did mention our aging infrastructure system, but it seemed that he cared more about our airports than our aging pipes.

Currently, nine schools in AISD have been tested positive of low levels of lead. A lot of that has to deal with our aging water pipes, but some of that comes from demolition. District 9 has the most amount of demolitions and many of the homes that have been demolished are older than 1978 with high levels of lead and asbestos. There are several different types of demolitions. The most common and least expensive demotion that is practiced is a dry demolition. Lead dust can travel up to a 650 radius. While this is the cheapest type of demolition, it is the most dangerous and thus more costly in the long run. The other type of demolition is a wet demolition, where a house is “wet down” so that the lead dust and asbestos travel less. In a wet demolition, lead dust travel is cut nearly in half. The safest demolition is a Baltimore demolition, this is when the house is covered in a sheath; lead dust only travels a 65 radius. Wet demolitions for houses that are older than 1978 need to be mandatory, and we need to give incentives for those who are using Baltimore demolitions, like free inspections.

We need to get funds to repair our aging pipe infrastructure and we need to adopt safer demolition practices. Austin offers a rebate for harvesting rainwater. The benefits to harvesting can help with drought and water supply by reducing erosion, controls storm run-off, reduces flooding, reduces water bills, reduces the demand for ground water, and can improve plant growth. COA should market this rebate more successfully.

Also, we need to always assume that we are in a drought. Restaurants should only provide water if requested.

Rate your support: 10