July 25, 2011

Endangered Species Act leads to tripling of water rates for San Antonio

By Endangered Species Act leads to tripling of water rates for San Antonio

Author: Brandon Middleton

From KSAT 12:

Ever since a federal judge threatened to seize control of the Edwards Aquifer to force compliance of the Endangered Species Act, resolving the issue has eluded public officials for two decades.

That is, until now.

"What we're talking about is a habitat conservation plan that would do that over the long term, but this plan will cost money," said Roland Ruiz, spokesman for the Edwards Aquifer Authority.

Ruiz said it may cost up to $20 million a year to maintain projects and programs meant to protect endangered species in Comal and San Marcos Springs, while still providing for the region's growing commercial, industrial and residential water needs.

To cover the cost, he said the EAA board will propose in October to triple the fee it charges to pump from the area's primary source of water, from the current $39 per acre foot to $116 per acre foot. If approved, public hearings will follow with a final vote in November.

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