As residents of the great city of San Antonio, we are all too familiar with the term “water restrictions.” As our city grows, so does our demand for water. But where we get our water, why do we need to conserve water and how does the city plan to address our water challenges?
If you live in South Central Texas, chances are your water comes from the Edwards Aquifer. This 8,000 square foot source of high-quality water supplies 1.6 million people over 13 counties. Our aquifer pumps an average of 136.5 million gallons a day. However, the aquifer is permitted and susceptible to pumping restrictions. That means we can only have so much water at a time.
Conservation is key – and San Antonio is great at this practice! The revised water ordinances of 2013 upholds and implements programs to conserve without sacrificing residential or commercial landscaping.
The San Antonio Water System, or SAWS, is responsible for creating and adapting programs and projects to ensure and promote water conservation. SAWS believes we must acquire other water sources to meet our growing needs as a thriving city with a booming population. The SAWS plan of attack consists of three strong components:
- Programs – SAWS programs have already saved more than 25% of water since 1980!
- Water Supply – First, SAWS intends to obtain more Edwards Aquifer pumping rights. Next, they plan to build partnerships in the region to share river basin water. Lastly, SAWS is starting new surface water storage projects. These projects can take anywhere from 10 to 30 years to come about.
- Water Recycling – Used water is filtered, cleaned and filtered again. This water is then pumped to commercial properties to use on irrigation and for non-drinking purposes.
While plans are in place to maximize water conservation, some of these plans could take years to come to fruition. In the meantime, SAWS programs encourage water users to start conserving today and keep up good water conservation habits daily.