Water | Texas Public Radio

Water

SAWS

A coalition of environmental groups and community advocates are pushing to delay a city council vote on the San Antonio Water System's Vista Ridge deal until next June when a new Mayor and city council will be in session. Council is slated to take up the issue after a vote by SAWS board this morning.

Eileen Pace

    

Community and environmental groups came together Thursday to question what they say is a rush to approve an expensive pipeline to bring water to San Antonio from the Hill Country.

Members of the Sierra Club, COPS/Metro and concerned ratepayers called a press conference to announce their concerns about the Vista Ridge Pipeline vote that the SAWS board moved to this Monday with short notice.

The San Antonio Water System moved up its board vote on the Vista Ridge Pipeline by a week, saying timing is critical.

SAWS

The Vista Ridge pipeline and water deal is off the drawing board and inhabiting the 300+ pages of a contract that the San Antonio Water System board will have to consider and vote on next Monday.

142 miles of pipe, roughly 5' in diameter would run from Burleson county, Texas bringing with it 16 billion gallons of water annually. It adds nearly 25 percent more water than the city currently consumes. 

Erich Schlegel

Fronteras: Tino Duran, publisher of San Antonio bilingual newspaper La Prensa, just went public with his Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Duran’s daughter Nina joins us on Fronteras to talk about her father and the family’s journey with Alzheimer’s. Imagine traveling the entire Rio Grande, just you, a canoe and some paddles. A couple of journalists are doing just that. We check in on the progress of the Disappearing Rio Grande Expedition.

Expedition Tracking the Disappearing Rio Grande

Texas has never had enough water to go around, and with this ongoing drought and population growth water has never been more precious.

As cities are looking to shore up their long-range water plans they are reaching farther into the rural parts of the state looking to buy up water. But the rural areas are reacting with suspicion and dread as they witness their aquifers being tapped.

EPA

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is threatening to sue the Environmental Protection Agency for a new set of proposed water protections. Abbott wants the EPA to scrap a plan that expands the definition of federal waterways.

The EPA wants to include seasonal and rain-dependent waterways. The agency said it would stiffen penalties for polluting those waterways that supply drinking water.

Paul Flahive / ©

Water conservation advocates are calling on the San Antonio Water System to cease permits for service to new developments over the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone until a plan for growth can be established. The Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance wants to ensure less ground cover for the area that refills our water supply.

Chris Eudaily / TPR News

Last week the San Antonio Water System trustees approved a deal to begin negotiations to pipe in 50,000 acre feet of water from the Bastrop area with the Vista Ridge Consortium.

The deal would increase the city's water supply by more than 20%. The cost per acre foot is expected to be more than twice that of Edwards Aquifer supplies and slightly more than that of the forthcoming desalinization plant.

SAWS

The San Antonio Water System is entering into negotiations on a water plan that would supply one-fifth of the total water the city currently uses.

The proposal from the Vista Ridge Consortium selected by SAWS will allow the pumping of more than 50,000 acre feet of water per year out of the Carrizo and Simsboro Aquifers northeast of Austin in Burleson County.

“San Antonio currently uses about 240,000 acre feet per year so the project would represent about 20% of our annual demand,” said Greg Flores, vice president of public affairs for SAWS.

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

San Antonio Water System's new desalination plant will come online in 2016. Wednesday, leaders with SAWS broke ground to officially kick-off the initiative that will purify salt water from the Wilcox Aquifer.

The salty aquifer is about two Tower of the Americas deep underground in Southern Bexar County. SAWS is building a plant that will clean all of that salt out so people can drink it. SAWS spokesperson Greg Flores said the ocean is about 20 times more salty, but it will still need to be purified.

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