It’s hot. This summer has seen record-breaking temperatures, and we’re still under drought restrictions. As the city struggles to stay cool, those behind the scenes at San Antonio Water System (SAWS) have been hard at work developing, implementing, and planning to ensure quality water continues to be readily available in times of drought. In fact, SAWS is already thinking and planning 50 years ahead to be ready to manage and maintain an abundant water supply.
Throughout the years, SAWS water experts have overseen the development of diversified water supply projects, advanced water conservation efforts, forward-thinking modeling and technology, and the efficient management of its water supplies to ensure San Antonio will have water security in the driest of dry times through at least 2070. And soon, SAWS will have 16 water projects from nine sources, most of them groundwater, which eliminates evaporation as a threat.
A big part of accomplishing this is investing in drought management technologies such as the Aquifer Storage & Recovery (ASR), which is located on the same H2Oaks campus as its new desalination plant. The ASR is a critical component in supplying the additional water that may be needed to get through drought times. With the ASR, SAWS stores excess water during rainy times underground in the Carrizo Aquifer and accesses it when needed during times of drought. This environmentally friendly technology is relatively new and a main part of the SAWS 2017 Water Management Plan, which projects our future populations and calculates water needs and conservation goals to keep us water secure.
Water innovations like the ASR, coupled with a continued laser-focus on conservation programs, provide a one-two punch for the community when it comes to weathering drought periods.
“As new technology becomes available, SAWS will continue to evaluate it, with an eye toward securing our water future,” said Gavino Ramos, SAWS vice president of communications and external affairs. “Investing in innovative water technology is key to helping address the city’s water challenges during dry times.”
SAWS’ achievements to implement a long-term, sustainable water supply for its customers and community are not only showcased by the hard work of its employees but also recognized by water leaders across the state and nation.
Last year, SAWS’ President and CEO Robert R. Puente was awarded “Innovator of the Year” by AccelerateH20, a Texas-based nonprofit that seeks to overcome limitations and boundaries of implementing new technologies to address critical water challenges.
“Water innovation is a win-win for the community, but so are the planning models that have been put in place from anticipating water main breaks to forecasting the amount of water our customers need to infrastructure upgrades,” Ramos added. “We’re all working together to drive advancement and water innovative technologies to ensure that San Antonio always has reliable and sustainable water for generations.”
SAWS is focused on today, with a constant eye on the future, so that the residents of San Antonio receive the plentiful and high-quality water supply they need. Through forecasting and innovative planning strategies, SAWS intends to ensure water not just for your family today, but also for your grandchildren in generations to come.
For more information on drought management projects, water technology, conservation tips and more waterful solutions, visit SAWS.org/waterful.