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95-Mile Water Pipeline Project In the Works for Central and South Texas

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A rapidly growing group of cities throughout Central and South Texas is going ahead with a deal worth over $225 million for the creation of a long-term water supply. Obtaining their permits and financing for commencing construction in 2018, the Alliance Regional Water Authority proposed to build a 95-mile pipeline pumping groundwater from the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer. According to a report by NBC DFW, the source, located east of Lockhart, is proposed to be tapped by this coalition which formed in 2007 and includes the three largest cities in Hays County together with the Canyon Regional Water Authority.

Anticipated to run an added 13 million gallons of water per day to Kyle, San Marcos, and Buda (as well as other smaller communities expected to become part of the coalition by the year 2023), the pipeline is in response to what planners in the Texas Hill Country have deemed to be a recognizable shortage. According to Graham Moore, executive director of the group, “Some entities may only have enough (water) to last five to 10 years. Others could make it 15 years without needing a new supply. So really it varies, but as a whole, in the next 10 years or so, the area would not have enough water without our project coming online. … Our goal is to develop a supply for our sponsors that takes them 50 years and beyond.”

95-Mile Water Pipeline Project In Development for Central and South Texas

Photo: Pixabay

Each member of the coalition will share in the overall project cost in percentages that align with their share of use. The first of the two-phase project is presently budgeted at $12.4 million, which is presently being paid for by members of the group. The second phase is anticipated to be paid for through financing (in the form of a loan) from the Texas Water Development Board. Tom Saggart, executive director of public services for San Marcos, identified, “We knew that mounting individual projects would be very expensive and that we could achieve economies of scale if we banded together. This is a success story, I think, of how it’s a lot better to work together to reach a common goal for the common good than individually compete against each other for resources.”

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