SAWS, Abengoa officials celebrate launch of major new water project for San Antonio
The San Antonio Water System and Abengoa officials have officially signed a 54-inch-diameter pipe to celebrate the launch of the new Vista Ridge water project, which will be a game changer for water supplies in San Antonio.
|SAWS Board Chairman Berto Guerra signs the commemorative 54-inch pipe as San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor looks on.|
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, Dec. 5, 2014 -- On Wednesday, Dec. 3, the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) and Abengoa officials signed a 54-inch-diameter pipe to celebrate the launch of the new Vista Ridge water project, which will be a game changer for water supplies in San Antonio.
The pipe represents the width of the actual pipe used in the first part of the 142-mile pipeline running from Burleson County to San Antonio. The Vista Ridge project will convey 16.3 billion gallons of new non-Edwards Aquifer water annually to the city.
This marks the beginning of the first phase of the project, which will primarily involve arranging financing for the project and design work for the pipeline. The contract, between SAWS and the Vista Ridge Consortium, was approved in September by SAWS Board and October by San Antonio City Council (see "Major water distribution contract approved in city of San Antonio").
The Vista Ridge Consortium is a partnership between Abengoa and BlueWater Systems, which has assembled 3,400 leases for water rights with local landowners in Burleson and Milam counties. Under the terms of the contract, San Antonio will not pay for any water that is not made available for delivery.
SAWS set new benchmarks for transparency with a series of posted negotiation meetings that were open to the public and attended by the news media, elected officials, environmental groups, and the general public. Contract terms have been a matter of public record since late July. SAWS provided public information on 188 different occasions, including community presentations, meetings and tours.