The Edwards Aquifer is the primary source of water for Central Texas. It stretches more than 8,000 sq. miles only 500 feet below the surface and supplies more than 1.6 million people with high-quality drinking water. That's why it's so important to increase our efforts in protecting and conserving San Antonio's number one natural resource.
SAWS is a permitted water system with overall regional limits to pumping. Translated into English, this means we're only allowed so much water from the Edwards Aquifer. That's why it's so important to save it.
Conservation is the cheapest source of water. Water we save is water we don't have to buy. So it's important we do everything we can to decrease our water consumption. Plumbing fixture retrofits, watersaver landscapes and improved habits are all things that will help us make low water use a part of every person's everyday life.
How SAWS is Planning for Tomorrow
When it comes to water planning, it's everyone's job to get involved and to be prepared. Long-range water planning is critical because it sometimes takes 30 years to bring about a large water supply project. And now, with regulated limits on how much water can be drawn from the Edwards Aquifer, San Antonio needs to acquire other water resources to meet the needs of our growing community.
Water Conservation Programs
From the early 1980s through the present, San Antonians have reduced their water consumption by more than 25 percent. And by practicing water-saving routines we can save even more. Learn more about our conservation efforts and programs.
What we do is take the waste water from your house or business and filter it, clean it, and filter it again. We then pipe it to businesses, such as hospitals, schools, parks and other places that need non-drinking water, to use on landscapes and for industrial purposes. For more information about SAWS water recycling, click here.
- Groundwater Acquisition – SAWS will obtain limited amount of additional Edwards Aquifer groundwater pumping rights. Non-Edwards groundwater will also be used.
- Existing Surface Water Supplies – SAWS will develop regional partnerships to use available supplies from nearby river basins.
- New Surface Water Supplies – SAWS will begin planning activities for one or more new surface water storage projects in recognition of the 10 to 30 year project development time.
Learn more about our long-term water supply plan here.
Water Quality Program
We plan to continue to watch over and protect the Edwards Aquifer. San Antonio's water quality protection program is one of the most aggressive in the state. We plan to keep it that way. Click here for more information on SAWS water quality efforts.