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The Source: Dueling Plans & Shortfall Scares, San Antonio's Water Future

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A study paid for by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce details the impacts of water shortages on the city's future growth. Jobs, spending, migration are all affected drastically if the city continues to grow without making proper accommodations, argues the study.

“So the bottom line -- as measured in dollars -- if you have an 11 percent shortage of water for a certain period of time, you’d lose about 6,700 jobs here in the San Antonio economy. If you had a 24 percent shortage of water, the level of job loss jumps up to about 34,000. And if you get up to above 43 percent shortage of water, then all of a sudden you see the real spike in the level of lost jobs, it’s 135,000 according to our estimates.” - Study Principle, Jon Hokenyos

The study enters the middle of an already heated discussion of how SAWS will quench San Antonio's thirst. A plan to pump fresh water from other counties met resistance, was shelved in favor of one to expand desalinization efforts, which was then changed to revisit freshwater pumping at the criticism of the mayor, council and other city leaders.

District 8 City Counciman Ron Nirenberg has called for a city-wide plan for water. It would include taking a second look at people building over the aquifer recharge zone. 

What will the future hold for San Antonio water?


  • Ron Nirenberg, city councilman, District 8
  • Annalisa Peace, executive director of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance
Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive