Texas Cities Partner in $225M Water Pipeline Project

A coalition of rapidly growing cities in Central and South Texas is proceeding with a more than $225 million deal to create a long-term water supply.

The Alliance Regional Water Authority has obtained permits and financing is underway to start construction next year on the 95-mile pipeline to pump groundwater from the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer east of Lockhart. The coalition, formed in 2007, includes Hays County's three largest cities and the Canyon Regional Water Authority, which serves parts of Central and South Texas, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

The pipeline is expected to bring an additional 13 million gallons of water per day to San Marcos, Kyle, Buda and other communities that are part of the coalition by 2023.

"Some entities may only have enough (water) to last five to 10 years. Others could make it 15 years without needing a new supply," said Graham Moore, executive director of the coalition. "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."

The project's cost will be shared by all coalition members in percentages proportionate to use. The first of two phases will cost $12.4 million, which is being paid by members now. The second phase will be paid for through a loan from the Texas Water Development Board.

"We knew that mounting individual projects would be very expensive and that we could achieve economies of scale if we banded together," said Tom Taggart, San Marcos' executive director of public services. "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."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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