Another TWDB loan for SAWS desalination project

The Texas Water Development Board has given a US$ 50 million loan to the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) towards its first-ever groundwater desalination plant in southern Bexar County.

Announcing the loan on 18 October 2012, SAWS said that water would begin flowing from the US$ 229 million brackish-water reverse-osmosis plant in 2016.

The facility will reach its full production capacity of 28,000 acre-feet (34.5 million m³) per year by 2026. Unlike San Antonio’s Edwards Aquifer supply, the salty water in the Wilcox Aquifer is not subject to pumping restrictions during drought.

The US$ 50 million loan is the third round of low‑interest financing to be used for this water supply project. Previous TWDB loans totalling US$ 59 million went toward planning and design, and for drilling wells.

The project is part of San Antonio’s 50‑year water management plan, a roadmap for securing the city’s water future via new supplies and responsible water management. The city is the venue for the American Water Works Association/American Membrane Technology Association joint membrane conference in February 2013.