Public Hearing and Council Agenda item about San Antonio’s water policy Thursday evening
San Antonio City Council will discuss the findings of the highly publicized water policy report this Thursday November the 12th during City Council which begins at 9am. Agenda item number four will be a briefing on the San Antonio Water Policy Study commissioned by the city to study the various aspects of the city’s future water planning and policy including the Vista Ridge project. A public hearing will begin at 6pm on that same report. The public may register to speak to any portion of that study any time between 11am and 6 pm on that day. Read more below:
San Antonio City Council will discuss the findings of a highly publicized water policy report at 9:00 am Thursday November 12 in the Norma S. Rodriguez Council Chamber, Municipal Plaza Building in a Regular “A” Council Meeting. Agenda item number four will be a briefing on the revised San Antonio Water Policy Study commissioned by the city to study the various aspects of the city’s future water planning and policy. The briefing will consist of a presentation by the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources (IRNR) on the final report developed by IRNR. The final 6pm agenda item is listed as a public hearing on that same report. The public may register to speak to any portion of that study any time between 11am and 6 pm on that day.
Council will take additional public comment next Wednesday November 18. Mayor Ivy Taylor issued a statement that a vote on San Antonio’s Water System (SAWS) rate restructuring and adjustment to pay for the Vista Ridge Pipeline will occur between 9am and 6pm at the City Council meeting on Thursday, November 19. SAWS
SAWS has repeatedly demonstrated itself to be a leader in progressive water policy from both a financial and conservation position. Many water security and ratepayer advocates have questioned council’s sudden push to reverse SAWS long-standing policy of managing growth by conservation strategy and locally sourced water supplies. SAWS asserts that the Vista Ridge Pipeline is important for San Antonio because it protects the Edwards Aquifer, provides for drought-free water source, and supports future economic activity. A Vista Ridge Pipeline Q & A page is available on SAWS website.
Hill Country Alliance and UTSA partnered with Texas Public Radio in October in a Vista Ridge oriented Texas Water Symposium to explore the potential financial risks and ecological consequences that the Vista Ridge Pipeline will bring to San Antonio and the region. That event featured among others SAWS CEO Robert Puente, and the author of the San Antonio Water Policy Study, Dr. Calvin Finch.
In addition to rate hike concerns, the residents of the counties that will be “donating” the Vista Ridge Pipeline water point to a recent scientific study by hydrogeologist George Rice that demonstrates the potential effects that the aquifer withdrawals will have on area wells and spring-flow.
The League of Independent Voters has released its 17-minute video “I Oppose the San Antone Hose” (now on its home page at www.StopWaterGrab.org) with an action request for citizens to sign the petition asking that Vista Ridge not be paid for by a SAWS rate increase. The League of Independent Voters chartered a bus to carry concerned citizens and thousands of petitions from the donor aquifer in Central Texas to the San Antonio City Hall on November 10.
To participate and voice your opinion, you may sign up in advance on the “Citizens to be Heard” webpage (before 5:00 p.m.), or in person (between 5 and 6:00) in the foyer of the Council Chamber.