SAWS and Schertz-Seguin Finalize Largest Non-Edwards Regional Water Project
Culminating years of work, San Antonio Water System (SAWS) today signed a groundbreaking regional water supply agreement with Schertz-Seguin Local Government Corporation (SSLGC) and the cities of Schertz and Seguin to secure the largest non-Edwards supply in SAWS history. SAWS Board of Trustees approved a contract to partner on a project bringing water from the Carrizo Aquifer in Gonzales County to the cities of San Antonio, Schertz and Seguin.
|Schertz Mayor Hal Baldwin, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and Seguin Mayor Betty Ann Matthies sign the historic water supply agreement.|
In July 2010, the Gonzales County Underground Water Conservation District (GCUWCD) approved permits for SAWS to produce and transport up to 11,688 acre-feet per year of Carrizo Aquifer water from Gonzales County. With today’s contract, SAWS is partnering with the SSLGC to utilize the Corporation’s infrastructure to transport water from Gonzales County to San Antonio. Instead of building a new pipeline, SAWS will "rent" available capacity in an existing pipeline owned and operated by SSLGC, saving SAWS ratepayers about $88 million.
"We entered into SSLGC over ten years ago with dreams of having all the water we would need in the immediate future and lowering our water rates to our customers. With the signing of this contract, it looks like we will now be able to do that," said Mayor Hal Baldwin, City of Schertz.
The partnership has reduced the cost per acre-foot of this project by almost 30%, from about $1,500 to $1,100 per acre-foot.
In addition to the water produced with its GCUWCD permits, SAWS plans to purchase water that is surplus to the current needs of its regional neighbors – investing in neighboring communities by becoming a paying customer of regional utilities like SSLGC. Up to 5,000 acre-feet of additional supply per year could be purchased from SSLGC, with the potential of additional supplies from other utilities. San Antonio’s total supply from this project could be up to 17,250 acre-feet per year, or about 5.6 billion gallons of water – about 10 percent of San Antonio’s annual potable demand.
"Seguin is pleased to be a part of the agreement between SAWS and the Schertz Seguin Local Government Corporation. It will benefit both communities as well as SAWS. We look forward to working together as a region in order to supply water to our citizens at the most affordable rates possible," said Mayor Betty Ann Matthies, City of Seguin.
SAWS estimates the Regional Carrizo Aquifer Project will cost $132 million, with water for approximately 60,000 households expected to start flowing to San Antonio in late 2013. Through its partnership with SAWS, SSLGC expects a reduction in future costs for its customers.
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