San Antonio Water System leaders toasted Friday to a 10-year water deal which guarantees 5.2 billion gallons of water from the Carrizo Aquifer.
The SAWS executives led negotiations to lease more than 50 miles worth of existing pipeline from Schertz and Sequin.
"By renting existing pipeline space from Shertz and Sequin, [we] avoid having to pay $88-million for our own pipeline. That's a huge cost avoidance to our rate payers,” Greg Flores, SAWS’ vice president of communications, said.
SAWS built another 30 miles of flow space tied to each end of the old pipeline, bringing water from wells in Gonzalez County to a thirsty San Antonio.
But the longer straw doesn't mean it’s a free-for-all when it comes to the new flow.
"What's the biggest thing to keep in mind as you turn on the spigot? Water conservation,” Alan Cocker, Schertz/Seguin Local Government Corporation GM, said. “Even though we have a non-Edwards supply here, it's still very important that the average home owner conserves water."
A new lift station will pump water from the Schertz/Seguin treatment facility.
Officials say people at home won't even taste the difference.
"We now have currently 10 million gallons a day coming in through this pipeline up to more than 17 million gallons a day eventually once all that water is coming through,” Flores said. “That's enough for 50-60 thousand new homes.
Total cost for the lift station and pipeline infrastructure came in at $150 million dollars. SAWS provides water for more than 1.5 million people in San Antonio.