Last week, the Chamber’s Water Committee hosted San Antonio Water System (SAWS) to present their proposed 2017 Water Management Plan. Darren Thompson, Director of Natural Resources, briefed members on efforts to maintain a sustainable water supply through 2070. This plan is vital in helping us sustain a vibrant economy in San Antonio, especially given the expected population boom of 1.1 million additional residents by 2040.
The plan presents four basic principles: Conservation, Technology, Diversified Water Sources, and Regional Partnerships. SAWS promotes conservation as a business model, identifying 15 water supply projects from eight diverse water sources. SAWS has one of the most diversified and innovative water supply portfolios in the country. Such conservation efforts have earned SAWS international recognition.
The plan proposes efforts to maintain and expand water security to San Antonio’s military bases, which is essential to conduct their military exercises. SAWS is already supplying a sustainable, affordable water supply to Camp Bullis.
SAWS proposes extensive community engagement and education on the importance of water conservation, the use of technology, and best practices for new development. They have already launched a website http://www.watercitysa.org/ to help with these efforts.
The development of the 2017 water management plan included extensive community engagement. In fact, SAWS has held numerous community meetings and had more than 2,400 people tuned into the information session that was broadcast on Facebook Live on March 30, 2017. SAWS will continue its outreach efforts in order to further engage key stakeholders and seek public input. The proposed plan was presented to City Council during their B-Session on August 2 and will be taken before the SAWS Board of Directors on September 12.
To learn more about SAWS proposed 2017 Water Management Plan or submit public comments, visit http://www.saws.org/Your_Water/WaterResources/2017_wmp/