Updated: Apr 27, 2022
The purpose of the Rate Advisory Committee of San Antonio Water System (SAWS), San Antonio's public water utility, is to recommend a rate structure for costs of service, affecting nearly 2 million ratepayers. The RAC was suspended early in the 2020 COVID crisis. In January 2022, SAWS finally called them back.
Upon the committee’s return, they were handed a newly revamped set of by-laws that transferred the approval of the Cost of Service from the RAC to the exclusive purview of the Board of Trustees of SAWS. The resulting effect reverses decisions made by the 2019 committee. Who does this?
In December 2020, SAWS CEO Robert Puente was allowed to use public money to conduct a sneak legal action launched to stop a citizen's petition drive for a public vote on the utility's transparency, accountability, and an audit of Vista Ridge. We were petitioning in the midst of COVID months after the RAC had been suspended due to "concerns" for their safety. The rest of us could eat cake!
The Legislature must be made to face the inconvenient truth. It is easily made plain by SAWS' made-up marketing word, "WATERFUL." That's right. They have too much water while landowners and groundwater districts east of Austin, are dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars in damaged wells and a growing debate about the desired future conditions of critical aquifers depended on by hundreds of thousands, if not millions as people flood into the area.
To the millions who live east of Austin, to Austin, to the Hill Country, and to San Antonio who are facing a train wreck in property values, water mismanagement and growth gone wild -- we must work together. We must work together to support our sober politicians and to put the drunks on the wagon.
Join us at next Monday's LIV Forum, May 2, at 8 pm. And, please prepare to come to Austin on May 10th. (Visit out Events Page for more.)
Alfred E. Puente is still not worried. We are.