Water

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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