News Feature | September 23, 2014

San Antonio May Spend $3.3 Billion On Water

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome,


San Antonio is considering a massive investment in its water supply.

The city is negotiating with water treatment and desalination company Abengoa for a $3.3 billion well field and pipeline, according to reports.

"A 30-year contract for 50,000 acre-feet of water annually at $110 million a year may be signed [in September] with final approval by year-end, Greg Flores, a spokesman for the San Antonio Water System, said in a telephone interview. That would supply 162,000 more families so the city can grow, he said," according to Bloomberg

The negotiation comes at a critical time for the water supply in drought-plagued Texas. San Antonio has implemented Stage II water restrictions.

"Under the proposal, San Antonio could receive nearly one-sixth the amount [of water] currently in Canyon Lake," Fox 29 reported

San Antonio has been seeking new water sources to supplement the Edwards Aquifer for years. 

"Now officials at San Antonio Water System, the city's water utility, are negotiating with two private companies — the Austin-based Central Texas water supplier BlueWater and the Spanish company Abengoa — to pipe in 16 billion gallons of water a year from Burleson County in Central Texas. The utility estimates that the project would...boost its water supply by about 20 percent starting in 2019," the Texas Tribune reported

In the meantime, the city is trying to crack down on water wasters. 

"SAWS says with Stage 2 restrictions, San Antonio is saving 45 to 60 million gallons of water a day.  So far this year, SAWS has issued 2,700 citations to homeowners or businesses. That's down from the 2,900 they issued around this time last year. A ticket can cost you $150, and it goes up if you're issued additional citations," FOX 29 reported in a separate article. 

For more on policy and politics, check out Water Online's Regulations & Legislation Solution Center

Image credit: "San Antonio Skyline," Nan Palmero © 2013, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: 

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