Draft Water Management Plan Available for Public Review
A proposed update to San Antonio's 50-year Water Management Plan was presented April 20 to San Antonio Water System's Board of Trustees for review and comments.
The SAWS Board was first briefed on the proposal in February. However, this was the first public presentation of the 31-page written draft of the plan. The presentation was part of the Board's monthly policy and planning workshop.
Over the past two months, the utility's staff has engaged in an extensive public outreach effort, meeting with more than 79 area organizations and community groups to present the plan and gather feedback.
A draft of the written management plan will be available for public comment beginning April 20 at www.saws.org.
The proposed plan leverages the proven success of SAWS conservation, recycled water and underground storage programs to effectively manage existing Edwards Aquifer and other supplies, while continuing to develop other water sources for further diversification.
The update was developed under the leadership of SAWS President/CEO Robert R. Puente.
In a change from its 2005 update, SAWS is proposing to use the "drought of record" from the 1950s as a worst-case-scenario benchmark. The 2009 plan also acknowledges the difficult regulatory environment surrounding groundwater supply efforts across Texas.
The proposal also advises moving forward with a brackish groundwater desalination program in southern Bexar County, to be expanded in the future. Other projects include Edwards Aquifer recharge enhancement and additional underground storage. Additionally, a feasibility study will explore ocean desalination. The plan also calls for a Request for Proposal to determine the availability of other regional groundwater supplies.
SAWS staff briefed San Antonio City Council on the proposal April 15.
Following the public comment period, the plan is expected to be presented for formal consideration at a May 5 regular meeting of the SAWS Board.
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