$213 million water project gets Texas Water Development Board funding

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A $213 million project aiming to bring water from Caldwell County to the cities of San Marcos, Kyle, Buda and other areas along the I-35 corridor took a step forward yesterday.

On Thursday, the Texas Water Development Board approved a commitment to provide $213 million of funding through the State Water Implementation Fund of Texas, or SWIFT, to the Alliance Regional Water Authority, formerly known as the Hays Caldwell Public Utility Agency.

The ultimate goal of the project will be to supply up to 27 million gallons of water per day to high-growth areas along the I-35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio. The water authority has groundwater permits to pump the water from the Carrizo Wilcox Aquifer in Caldwell County.

“This is the kind of stuff SWIFT was built to incentivize and encourage,” Board Member Peter Lake said.

The SWIFT loans will be repaid through the water rates of the members of the water authority, including the cities of San Marcos, Kyle and Buda, as well as the Canyon Regional Water Authority.

ARWA General Manager Graham Moore said the TWDB resolution committing funding to the project is an important step. The funding will be supplied to the water authority in three stages over the next four years.

The water authority expects to begin delivering water to the I-35 corridor by 2023. Design and easement acquisition for the pipeline to transmit the water will begin in 2018, Moore said.

What’s in a name? 

During the 85th Legislative Session, a bill was approved and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott rechristening the Hays Caldwell Public Utility Agency as Alliance Regional Water Authority. The change from a utility agency to a water authority clarifies the organization’s powers and abilities on issues related to eminent domain and partnering with non-public entities, ARWA General Manager Graham Moore said.

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Brett Thorne reported on education, business, economic development and city government in San Marcos, Kyle and Buda from 2012 to 2017. Thorne attended Texas State University in San Marcos, where he graduated in 2010. He joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in 2012 and was promoted to editor in 2013.
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