Late this spring, water began flowing through a new pipeline to central San Antonio that was built to diversify the city’s water supply. At a cost of $927 million, San Antonio Water System’s (SAWS) Vista Ridge is the largest water public-private partnership in U.S. history, according to Garney Construction, the private entity that served as both concessionaire and EPC on the project. The new pipeline will convey approximately 50,000 acre-ft per year of groundwater from the two previously under utilized aquifers, increasing San Antonio’s water supply by 20%. The project will reduce reliance on the over-taxed Edwards Aquifer as a source of drinking water. The Edwards Aquifer’s water supply drops by 44% during droughts, SAWS says. The partnership calls for SAWS to purchase water over the next 30 years from more than 3,400 local landowners who have rights to the water in the Burleson County aquifers. The construction team built 142 miles of 54- and 60-in. pipeline and also constructed three pump stations, one cooling tower, 18 wells, seven miles of well collection lines, three 4-million-gallon concrete tanks and one 10-million-gallon concrete tank, all to deliver 50,000 acre-ft of water per year. 


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