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The Source: Some Critique On A SAWS, Vista Ridge Deal


The San Antonio Water System's deal to pipe in 16 billion gallons of water a year from the Corrizo Acquifer through a 142-mile pipeline has a lot of people worried. The 30-year deal valued at over $2.5 billion dollars at times thought dead was resurrected at the behest of Mayor Castro and the business community and is in very real negotiations.

Chief among the concerns are the unintended consequences of the immediate addition of 50,000 acre feet in 2019. Will it cause the conservation movement here in San Antonio to die on the vine? Will it turn the utility, once prized for its forward-thinking on water, into one desperate to sell the valuable commodity to make ratepayers' money back?

What will the cost of the rate increase be to pay for this expensive water, and what discussion will go on about it ahead of the signing? The answer to a lot of these questions is "We don't know."


  • Amy Hardberger, professor of law at St. Mary's University, expert in water law, and Mayor Castro's representative for SAWS' Capital Improvement Advisory Committee
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Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive