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Friday, September 6, 2019

SAWS Proposes a Nearly 10% Rate Increase for 2020

Posted By on Fri, Sep 6, 2019 at 12:21 PM

click to enlarge SAWS CEO Richard R. Puente launches the Vista Ridge Pipeline project in December 2014. - FACEBOOK / SAWS
  • Facebook / SAWS
  • SAWS CEO Richard R. Puente launches the Vista Ridge Pipeline project in December 2014.
San Antonio Water System's unveiled its 2020 budget Wednesday — and a proposed 9.9% rate increase.

SAWS officials made rumblings earlier this year about seeking a lower increase, but nonetheless unveiled the nearly 10% hike with the release of the $929.9 million budget.

The increase would be SAWS's largest since 2016 and requires no city council approval.

The new rates come as SAWS prepares to start making payments on its 140-mile Vista Ridge pipeline, which will ship water to San Antonio from aquifers near Austin. The utility must start making payments on the $2.8 billion project — its largest ever — once the pipeline goes into commission next spring.

Environmental and ratepayer groups opposed construction of Vista Ridge, saying it amounted to "aquifer mining" that would strain the budgets of poor and elderly SAWS customers.

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