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Study foretold Abengoa woes

Calvin Finch hates to say, “I told you so.” But he feels he should anyway. “Yeah,” Finch said, “and I’m disappointed that I can.” This week, the San Antonio Water System’s board of trustees voted to allow a Kansas City firm to take over the utility’s largest-ever pipeline project, a dramatic turn of events linked to the financial troubles of a firm first enlisted to build the 142-mile pipeline. Last year — months before Abengoa SA, a Spanish firm, fell…

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Austin Water Pipe Leaks Could Fill Lady Bird Lake Twice, In 2015

Austin water pipe leaks could fill Lady Bird Lake twice, in 2015

For three years running, Austin Water Utility has posted an increase in the amount of water leaked from city pipes, and utility officials have not pinpointed exactly why. The city’s latest water loss report shows more than 5.8 billion gallons of treated drinking water seeped from city pipes before reaching customers in 2015—a 23 percent increase over the previous year, according to annual water loss audits submitted to the Texas Water Development Board. “We have not identified or pinpointed why…

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With State Population Growing, Texas Water Board Eyes New Water Plan

With state population growing, Texas water board eyes new water plan

The Texas Water Development Board recently approved the state’s newest water plan, basically a road map for how the state will meet its water demands over the next half-century amid a steady growth in population. The population boom is expected to be especially acute in the Colorado River basin, home to Austin and Travis County, as well as parts or all of Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Fayette, Hays and Williamson counties — some of the fastest-growing areas of the country. Population…

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The Texas Water Development Board adopts 2017 State Water Plan

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) today unanimously voted to adopt the 2017 State Water Plan. “The new state water plan projects that Texas’ population will increase more than 70 percent by the year 2070,” said TWDB Board Chairman Bech Bruun, “and the 2017 State Water Plan is our most comprehensive effort to date to ensure we adequately address the water needs of our growing population. The plan contains more than 5,500 strategies that help us conserve the water we…

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The Texas Water Development Board names Jeff Walker as executive administrator

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) today named Jeff Walker as the new executive administrator. He will begin his service as executive administrator today. Walker currently serves as the deputy executive administrator of Water Supply and Infrastructure. His areas of responsibility include state water planning, project development, financial assistance, project funds disbursement, water use and population projections, and facility needs assessment. He has served in various positions at the TWDB for more than 25 years, including as director of Project…

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SAWS Board Approves Garney Takeover of Vista Ridge Project

The San Antonio Water System board on Wednesday unanimously approved a measure that lets Garney Construction, a Missouri-based construction firm, take over control and 80% equity of the Vista Ridge water pipeline project from financially-troubled Abengoa Vista Ridge, a subsidiary of Spanish energy giant Abengoa Sociedad Anónima that filed for bankruptcy in March. There is some final paperwork that SAWS President and CEO Robert Puente has to finalize, but Garney will officially take over the project by June 10. Abengoa will reimburse SAWS for…

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After SAWS vote, construction firm takes reins on pipeline project

The construction firm originally tapped to build a 142-mile pipeline to deliver water to the San Antonio Water System will now take control of the project. On Wednesday, SAWS’ board of trustees voted unanimously to allow a subsidiary of Spanish conglomerate Abengoa, S.A., to sell 80 percent of its stake in the project to Garney Construction, a Kansas City firm with offices in 11 states that has worked as a contractor on SAWS projects for 30 years. Garney will also…

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Price Of Water 2016: Up 5 Percent In 30 Major U.S. Cities; 48 Percent Increase Since 2010

Price of Water 2016: Up 5 Percent in 30 Major U.S. Cities; 48 Percent Increase Since 2010

America’s water systems were built to last. Philadelphia is one of the older cities on the Atlantic Coast and Northeast that still use pipes that were installed before the Civil War. The pipes have held up remarkably well over 160 years. But without new parts and maintenance these systems will not last forever. The repair bill has come due and water prices are increasing to pay for it. The price of water rose 5 percent last year, according to Circle…

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Share Water: The Other U.S.-Mexico Border Issue

When determining borders, a river is often the clearest delineation between sovereign nations. But that clarity abruptly ends when countries must decide how to use the water that the river provides. Even managing rivers that do not determine borders, but rather travel through multiple countries, is precarious at best. The Rio Grande, which partly establishes the U.S.-Mexico border, is no exception. It has been and will continue to be vital to economic growth in the region, especially in Mexico, where the…

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SAWS drops plan to secure state loan for Vista Ridge pipeline

The San Antonio Water System has decided not to apply for a low-interest state loan to finance part of its work on the Vista Ridge pipeline project. Many people following the proposed 142-mile water pipeline from Burleson County expected SAWS to file a full application for a $127 million loan from the Texas Water Development Board through the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas, or SWIFT, program. The loan would have financed construction and equipment to integrate the pipeline into…

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