San Antonio’s Water Plan was last updated in 2009, but changes in demographics and population have made it necessary to update the plan now instead of waiting the usual five years.
The San Antonio Water System is planning for a 1.2 percent annual population growth; an increase of 20,000 people a year. Vice President Greg Flores said SAWS has begun its investment in a new desalination plant for Bexar County’s future.
"We will be pumping salty water out of the ground and desalinating that water," said Flores. "We have invested about $50 million already in that plant - drilling new wells, acquiring land for the plant - and it's going to require another investment of about $150 million to finish the plant."
SAWS has also been pumping water from the Edwards to the Carrizo Springs Aquifer, where it is stored until needed for use in times of drought.
"And in fact, we've drawn from it the last two years as the Edwards Aquifer has gotten low, and that has allowed us to avoid having to impose stage three watering restrictions on our customers here," explained Flores.
Other options will be presented at the community meetings. Flores said the city is at a decision point – to invest now for the future, or continue to acquire water from outside sources as we need it.
- Details of the water plan are available online at: www.saws.org
Wednesday night's meeting is at the Pan American Branch Library at 1122 West Pyron Ave. Thursday night’s meeting is at St. Mary's University's AT&T Center for Information Technology.