2020 Hindsight: Sustaining the Common Need for Water in Uncommon Times

2020 was an extraordinary year for everyone, your neighbors at San Antonio Water System included. Even with a well-practiced emergency plan already in place, no one could have predicted exactly how a global pandemic would impact our city-owned water utility.SAWS field crew

Yet even as hundreds of office-based employees shifted to working from home, the core mission of SAWS to provide Sustainable, Affordable Water Services to our community 24/7/365 never faltered. The workers who staff our field crews, water production facilities and sewage treatment plants continued as they always have — though with many new safety measures in place.

“As easy as it is to take for granted, people need access to clean water to be able to wash their hands and keep their homes and businesses safe,” said Steve Clouse, chief operating officer. We’ve been very successful in meeting that need.”

In the midst of sustaining the “ordinary” work of keeping your water flowing, SAWS did celebrate a few extraordinary milestones in 2020 as well:

  • Completion of the Vista Ridge pipeline, the largest non-Edwards Aquifer water supply in our city’s history.
  • Beginning construction of San Antonio’s largest sewer project ever on the Southwest Side.
  • Record progress in improving our sewer system citywide.
  • Appointment of Jelynne LeBlanc Burley as the first woman to lead the SAWS Board of Trustees.

Also, in the face of financial hardships brought about by the pandemic, SAWS continues to reach out to our neighbors in need with 14 payment assistance programs. Apply online saws.org/uplift.

Need more time to pay? Set up an extended payment plan today at saws.org/arrangement.

“As we continue to deal with the uncertainties of this pandemic, we have remained focused on providing our vital services to our community,” said Robert R. Puente, SAWS president/CEO. “I am proud of the continued excellence demonstrated by all SAWS employees during this challenging time.”