Water | Texas Public Radio

Water

Spencer Selvidge / Texas Tribune

  A new series from the Texas Tribune examines the lack of clean water on Texas' southern border. The five-part series entitled "Undrinkable" weaves a story of byzantine bureaucratics, misspent millions, and wasted opportunities. 

Paul Flahive / ©

Should the City of San Antonio reauthorize an 1/8th cent sales tax that funds green spaces and linear trails, and more importantly conservation easements that pay property owners to not develop their land in the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone?

$90 million for aquifer protection and easements have run out. The five-year program last authorized in 2010 will continue to help pay landowners to keep the recharge zone undeveloped, but it has to make it to the May ballot first. 

Remember the drought?

Difficult decisions lie ahead as urban areas demand more water, rural areas experience loss of spring flow, and our region faces increased challenges brought by population growth and drought. Are Central Texas’ water planning processes on track to balance the needs of its rural and urban users and protect the natural water resources that sustain our ecologic and economic health?

Just over a year ago, voters approved a special ballot item aimed at funding the next 50 years of water projects through the state. This week, the Texas Water Development Board announced it has begun accepting applications for grants.

Last year, voters, recognizing the region’s long-term water issues, approved signature legislation. They agreed to redirect part of the excess revenue from the oil and gas industry going into Texas’ Rainy Day Fund, up to $2 billiion, for use as seed money for various city, county and nonprofit public utility water projects.

SAWS

Standing in front of the San Antonio City Council, barely able to reach the microphone atop the broad wood podium, Verna Dement carried a stack of papers.

The Lee County woman had come to the Alamo City to ask the council to hold up on voting for the Vista Ridge Pipeline Project, a $3.4 billion, 142-mile pipeline, which would draw water from Dement’s neighboring Burleson County, to provide San Antonio and potentially, other cities along the I-35, water for decades to come.

Imagine Manhattan under almost 300 feet of water. Not water from a hurricane or a tsunami, but purified drinking water — 2.1 trillion gallons of it.

That's the amount of water that researchers estimate is lost each year in this country because of aging and leaky pipes, broken water mains and faulty meters.

Fixing that infrastructure won't be cheap, which is something every water consumer is likely to discover.

SAWS

The future of San Antonio's water supply may be all but assured by a city council vote tomorrow. The deal would secure 50,000 acre feet of water for the city at a cost of $3.4 billion. Vista Ridge, the company with the water rights, will transport the water 142 miles from Burleson County and the Carrizo Wilcox Aquifer.

The Mayor has already voted affirmatively on  it as a San Antonio Water System board member and many on the council have voiced support, including district 9 Council Member Joe Krier. 

A Regional Water Forum On Our Future

Oct 27, 2014
Iris Dimmick / Photo courtesy of the Rivard Report

On Wednesday, October 8, Mission Verde Alliance and KLRN hosted a forum on the future of water use and technology in South Texas, moderated by journalist Robert Rivard. The goal of the forum was for it to be a forceful call to action, to spur new thinking, encourage innovation and creativity, embrace tough issues, and launch bold new initiatives. Major topics covered:

SAWS

The San Antonio Water System has settled on the Abengoa Vista Ridge pipeline and is asking the City Council to confirm their 581-page contract.

A vote would ultimately seal the deal on the public-private partnership; a partnership that would increase the city's water portfolio by more than 20 percent. The 142-mile pipeline, needed to pump the 16 billion gallons of water annually to San Antonio, starts in the Burleson County portion of the Carrizo Aquifer.

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