Texas aquifers and the springs they supply sustain our cities, rivers, farms, fish, and wildlife. We must ensure these natural “water banks” can continue to provide for all of these needs.

Facts About Texas Water (English & Spanish)

May 2016

The 2nd edition of Facts About Texas Water is available in English and Spanish.  Facts About Texas Water is intended to give all Texans—young and old, urban and rural— basic information about water that will help us understand this important resource and how to use and protect it.  Facts About Texas Water was prepared for the 7th/8th grade student, but is useful to all Texans that want to learn basic information about your water supply and how to appreciate, conserve, and protect this valuable resource.

Download PDF – English

Download PDF – Spanish

We have a limited amount of printed copies available free of charge for educational activities.  Please contact us to inquire about availability.

 

opinion

Water is not a commodity to be pumped to depletion

San Antonio Express News, March 27, 2017

A recent commentary in the Express-News by Simon Sequeira, the CEO of Quadvest Water & Sewer Utility in Magnolia, attempts to blame all of the state’s water issues on groundwater conservation districts, or GCDs.

The commentary (“The next generation of water wars; Governmental greed siphoning dollars, future from Texans,” March 5) states, “Many of these districts were created to prevent the big cities like Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio from coming into their county and taking their water.”

I can agree that many GCDs were created in response to movement of water from rural to urban counties; however, the motives were to prevent the unfettered pillaging of water without any regulatory constraints or concerns about the impact on local landowners and natural resources. In other words, GCDs were created to protect private property rights of every landowner, not just those who want to pump the aquifer to extinction and sell that water for a profit.

 

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Protecting the drops we drink: Who owns Texas water?

The Eagle, January 17, 2017

As Texas population continues to increase, so will demands for water. The answer to the question of who owns Texas water will continue as a point of argument.

Water availability has become such a critical issue that many statewide meetings, legislation and court cases revolve around the subject. A recent state-wide conference, devoted to water, was the Texas Section Society of Range Management annual meeting held in Uvalde. The opening remarks presented by Charles Porter addressed the question of water ownership.

Porter suggested looking at three geological water containers – natural surface, diffused surface and groundwater – to determine ownership. Each container has different ownership and regulations.

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Lawyers Say Ruling Bad For Landowners

Texas Tribune, June 4, 2016

Last week, agriculture and landowner groups heralded a Texas Supreme Court ruling favoring a South Plains ranch as a major win for private property rights, but some lawyers and conservationists are painting the decision as more of a win for developers and water marketers.

The unanimous ruling, issued last Friday, expanded a 45-year-old tenet of oil and gas law that enables “surface” landowners who don’t own the minerals beneath their property to force drillers to accommodate their existing use of the land. The 18-page ruling said the so-called “accommodation doctrine” — established by a 1971 state Supreme Court ruling — also should apply in cases in which landowners don’t own the groundwater under their property.

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What San Antonio should learn from Melbourne

San Antonio Express News, May 29, 2016

San Antonio just made it through one of the worst droughts in Texas history. Climate change means we’ll have more — unpredictably longer and more intense. Is San Antonio prepared? Nope. And the San Antonio Water System is leading us the wrong direction.

Express-News staff writer Brendan Gibbons’ recent front-page article about summer water consumption between 2011 and 2015 gives clues about why. Drought preparedness requires real conservation — ongoing commitment to keeping all the water we have, and guarding our aquifers and their recharge zones.

How well did San Antonians do?

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SAWS drops plan to secure state loan for Vista Ridge pipeline Utility wants control issue settled

San Antonio Express News, May 13, 2016

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 SAWS’ main system, supplying up to 16.3 billion gallons of water per year.

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Vista Ridge Deal Dominates UTSA Water Symposium

Rivard Report, October 22, 2015

San Antonio Water System President and CEO Robert Puente offered a vigorous defense of the Vista Ridge project meeting the city’s long-term water needs at the same time he reaffirmed SAWS continuing commitment to conservation, which has won the water utility national acclaim.

Puente made his remarks Wednesday during the Texas Water Symposium at University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) sponsored by the Hill Country Alliance, the first of two major water policy panels scheduled for late October.

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New Questions Face San Antonio Water Pipeline

Texas Tribune, October 14, 2015

Nearly a year after the San Antonio City Council unanimously approved what could be the most expensive water project in the region’s history, some council members appear to be having doubts.

Dubbed the Vista Ridge Project, the $3 billion-plus venture would pipe in 16 billion gallons of groundwater annually from Burleson County in Central Texas, about 142 miles away. The San Antonio Water System and many of the city’s business leaders say the project is crucial to a secure future, but environmental advocates and other critics hotly dispute that notion, saying the city doesn’t really need the water and that the project is far too costly and financially risky. 

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Texas planners look to aquifers to prepare for next drought

Austin American Statesman, June 14, 2015

The torrential storms of last month essentially ended one of Texas’ worst droughts, but much of the excess water has already flowed into the Gulf of Mexico or will evaporate by year’s end.

With a wary eye toward the next prolonged dry-streak that inevitably will come, some think expanding the use of underground aquifers may help slake the thirst of Texas’ rapidly growing population.

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Key ruling stands in aquifer lawsuit

San Antonio Express News, May 12, 2015

The Texas Supreme Court let stand a ground-breaking decision in favor of a Medina County pecan grower who objected to the Edwards Aquifer Authority’s limits on water pumping permits.

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