Photo by Charles Kruvand
City of Pasadena
Total Score: 57 out of 100
Improvement: 2 points
City of Pasadena score has increased because of an increase in points on the following questions:
  • Total Percent (%) Water Loss

City of Pasadena


Pasadena reports in its 2015 WCP a fairly low annual average water use of 125 GPCD during 2009-2013, and the City’s Utility Profile shows only 114 GPCD for 2014; but the City’s WCP sets an unambitious target of 115.5 GPCD per year by 2025. Pasadena has made a very minimal effort on water conservation, primarily relying on phase-in over time of state and federal mandated water efficient fixtures such as high-efficiency toilets and on some limited public education. Pasadena has a high (17%) rate of water loss (as of 2014) although that rate has declined from 24% in 2011.


The City of Pasadena, located in southeastern Harris County, reported in its 2015 WCP that as of 2014 the City provided water and wastewater service to a population of over 151,000. It also serves as a small wholesale supplier to the City of Seabrook, Clear Lake Water Authority, the Port of Houston Authority, and two industrial operations. The City projects its population to grow by only about 5000 by 2020. Pasadena is in the Region H water planning area.


The major source of Pasadena’s water supply is surface water provided under contract with the City of Houston through the Southeast Water Purification Plant (Pasadena’s share of the capacity of that plant is 40 MGD), but Pasadena also has seven groundwater wells into the Gulf Coast Aquifer that are capable of producing 14.9 MGD. The City’s 2014 Utility Profile, however, indicates that on average the City is using less than a third of its current water supply capacity.


The City of Pasadena’s 2015 WCP is a short, bare-bones document that has some estimated projected reductions in gallons per capita per day for various water use categories – “unmetered” use, indoor use, seasonal use, and irrigation use – and estimated projected reductions due to public education programs; but there is no explanation of how these estimates were derived and no specific set of activities showing how these reductions may be achieved over the next five to ten years. The City’s 2015 WCP gives the impression that water utility officials prepared it only for the purpose of submitting it to the State of Texas to fulfill a state legal requirement and not because it is a well-thought-out blueprint for achieving greater water conservation and efficiency. The City’s drought contingency plan, which is included with the 2015 WCP submitted to the State, is more detailed, but that plan is only for short-term use in dry periods and not a long-term conservation program.


The City of Pasadena has no rebate or retrofit program for water efficient fixtures, no lawn irrigation or other water use audit services for residential customers, no special programs for commercial and institutional water customers, nor any other special initiatives for promoting water conservation that are found in cities in Texas that are considered leaders in the water conservation field. The City’s relatively large water supply capacity and relatively low water use per capita seem to have provided little incentive for Pasadena to make water conservation a priority for its water utility.