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.
The pipeline project is expected to cost around $3 billion. SAWS estimates its rates would rise around 16% by the year 2020 to fund the project but the exact number is not set.
“We would either raise the bill over time between now and then or perhaps institute that in 2020 but it will require an investment to ensure that we’ve got water for our city’s future,” Flores added.
Vista Ridge already has a 30-year water rights contract to access the water in aquifers.
The utility is hopeful it can negotiate a contract that is beneficial for the citizens of San Antonio by the fall of this year.
Any future negotiations with the Vista Ridge Consortium will be held under the public eye.
“We want to make sure the community has all the information it needs in terms of evaluating this project and what will be required to make this project a reality,” Flores said.
The next negotiation meeting is Tuesday, July 15.