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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.