With the passage last fall of the constitutional amendment Proposition 6, the state now has $2 billion to dedicate to water infrastructure and conservation.
San Antonio, like all of Texas, has been affected by the long-standing drought, and also stands to gain from the passage of Prop. 6. While water policy experts say that the proposition will have the biggest impact on rural areas that don’t have the money and credit large utilities do, the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) could benefit too.
A SAWS brackish water desalination facility has seen the completion of its first phase, but will look at Prop. 6 for funding help with phases two and three. Those two phases are expected to cost about $115 million.
SAWS has also said that Prop. 6 could help finance added collection and treatment of Carrizo Aquifer water.
The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority is also hoping Prop. 6 could help finance projects. The GBRA is planning a $400 million project to improve infrastructure called the Mid-Basin Project.
Utilities can ask for Prop. 6 money as well, although they will have to submit proposals that 16 regional water planning groups and the Texas Water Development Board will examine.
Smaller groundwater districts in the areas around San Antonio are also trying to make sure their voices are heard and that smaller aquifers are included in the regional planning group’s tally of groundwater supplies.