Water of the Future
A new desalination project will soon transform salty water right in our backyard into millions of gallons of drinkable water – further securing our city's water future.
A SAWS desal production well being drilled in southern Bexar County.
In just a few months, San Antonians will have a new source of water coming out of their taps. And it'll come from an unlikely source – brackish water from the Wilcox Aquifer in southern Bexar County.
The once-overlooked pool of groundwater will be made drinkable using a reverse osmosis water treatment facilty. That plant will be located at the existing SAWS Twin Oaks Aquifer Storage and Recovery site, and draw brackish water from 13 production wells more than 1,500 feet deep.
With the first phase of the project scheduled to come on line in October 2016, the facility will produce about 10 million gallons of new water each day.
"Utilizing brackish water allows our community to make the most of a previously untapped resource," said Robert R. Puente, SAWS President/CEO. "San Antonio continues to invest in new sources to help us meet the city's water needs over the next 50 years while reducing dependency on the Edwards Aquifer."
The second phase, projected to come on line in 2021, will bring another 10 million gallons per day to San Antonio, and the final phase in 2026 will provide an additional 5 million gallons per day – for a grand total of 25 million gallons per day.
SAWS is already ahead of schedule on implementation of the 50-year Water Management Plan. Last year, an agreement was signed with the Schertz-Seguin Local Government Corporation to "rent" available capacity in their pipeline to bring water from the Carrizo Aquifer in Gonzales County to San Antonio. The Regional Carrizo project is expected to bring water for about 60,000 households beginning in late 2013.