City Council officials gather for Texas Water Symposium

Officials signed a $3.4 billion deal to deliver water to San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO – The Texas Water Symposium included water planners, scientists and a conversation about San Antonio Water System's 142-mile pipeline, known as the Vista Ridge pipeline project.

"The Vista Ridge pipeline is an opportunity for San Antonio to secure water for the future," said SAWS Vice President of Communications Gavino Ramos Jr.

Population growth and demand prompted the project, but water conservation was one of the main concerns for those in attendance and those in counties like Burleson.

"They’re worried they are going to lose access to some of their water," said Calvin Finch, who was formerly with Texas A&M University Institute of Renewable Natural Resources.

Lisa Cervantes, a student at San Antonio College, said she was attending the symposium to learn more about the project.

"It's important for me that I'm being educated on a projected project that they are looking to implement here in San Antonio that affects one of our most precious resources," Cervantes said.

The pipeline will span six counties. SAWS officials estimate the pipeline will increase the city's water supply by 20 percent and provide water to approximately 160,000 families over the next decade.

The cost to customers was also met with mixed emotions and will go to the San Antonio City Council in the coming weeks.

"What we are asking our City Council to do for 2016 is about a 7 1/2 rate adjustment,” said Ramos. “And then the following year, we are looking at 7.9 percent."

The San Antonio City Council has already signed a $3.4 billion deal to deliver almost 16.3 billion gallons of water per year from the Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer in Burleson County to San Antonio for 30 years.