SAN ANTONIO – Like the pipeline’s path across the Texas terrain, the Vista Ridge Pipeline project has seen twists and turns.
"From a Texas perspective, this is a unique project,” said Mark Rose, of the Central Texas Regional Water Supply Company, who is overseeing the project.
It is unique, largely because of distance. The pipeline will cover 142 miles, delivering water to San Antonio from Burleson County. Now, after years of planning, the ambitious project is taking shape.
"We're drilling one of the Vista Ridge wells to the Simsboro Aquifer,” said project manager Bill Williams, of Garney Construction.
The well is the first of nine to be drilled into the aquifer, each around 2,500 feet deep. Meanwhile, ground was being cleared nearby for one of three pump stations to be installed.
"We're supposed to deliver water in 2020, so it'll take about three years to build,” Williams said.
That also includes laying miles upon miles of pipe. In order to get the amount of water needed to San Antonio, the pipes measure about 5 feet in diameter, which are projected to provide around 50,000 acre-feet of water per year to San Antonio.
The pipeline will follow roads, electrical easements and private land easements, much of which has been paid for.
"The vast majority of all of the right of way has been done through private negations,” said Rose.
Still, some parcels of land have yet to be secured, leaving some to wonder if imminent domain will be used.
"It’s a possibility, but it's never been our objective,” said Rose.
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The project is one that the state is watching closely as the need for water intensifies.
"I think it’s an indication of what Texas is going to have to do; what cities in Texas are going to have to do, in order to have water sustainability in the future,” added Rose.
The cost of the construction of the pipeline and well field development is $927 million.
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