News Feature | December 7, 2017

Amid Population Boom, Texas Cities Plan $225 Million Water Pipeline

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome,

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Texas cities with booming populations are teaming up on a major water pipeline project.

“The Alliance Regional Water Authority has obtained permits and financing is underway to start construction next year on a 95-mile pipeline to pump groundwater from the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer east of Lockhart,” the Associated Press reported.

“The coalition, formed in 2007, includes Hays County's three largest cities and the Canyon Regional Water Authority, which serves parts of Central and South Texas,” the report said.

By 20212, the pipeline will add 13 million gallons of water per day to the partner cities, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

Graham Moore, executive director of the coalition, weighed in on the urgent nature of the project.

"Some entities may only have enough (water) to last five to 10 years. Others could make it 15 years without needing a new supply," he said, per the report.

"So really it varies, but as a whole, in the next 10 years or so, the area would not have enough water without our project coming online. Our goal is to develop a supply for our sponsors that takes them 50 years and beyond,” he continued.

Coalition members will pay for the first phase of the project, while the Texas Water Development Board will provide a loan for the second phase. The support will be issued through the State Water Implementation Fund of Texas (SWIFT), Community Impact Newspaper reported.

"We knew that mounting individual projects would be very expensive and that we could achieve economies of scale if we banded together," said Tom Taggart, San Marcos' executive director of public services, per the Austin American-Statesman. "This is a success story, I think, of how it's a lot better to work together to reach a common goal for the common good than individually compete against each other for resources."

To read more about how municipalities find access to water visit Water Online’s Water Scarcity Solutions Center.

Image credit: "water faucet," karen nador © 2002, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: