City Council approves new water rates to spur conservation

San Antonio City Council Thursday approved a new SAWS rate structure as well as a 6.5 percent rate increase that that will heighten city's water conservation.

“We appreciate the City Council’s support for conservation as a top priority for our community,” said Robert R. Puente, SAWS President/CEO.

The new SAWS rate structure reduces rates for lower water use while raising rates for higher water use. Ninety-three percent of residential customer bills, for example, nev er exceed 17,000 gallons per month, the threshold for higher rates.

“It's not fair to ask all customers to pay more for the lawn-watering desires of a few,” said Puente. “With this combination of new rate structure and rate increase, SAWS will be able to keep rates low for our average customers, and meet infrastructure needs for water and sewer in 2011 so we can provide sustainable, affordable water services for our community.”

The proposed 6.5 percent rate increase will pay for new water supplies and for the repair and replacement of aging infrastructure such as water and sewer mains. With more than 5,000 miles of water mains and 5,100 miles of sewer mains, SAWS plans significant infrastructure investments around our community.

The new rates and rate structure will go into effect Nov. 1, 2010, and will show up on the December bill.  

For more information, or to use the rate calculator to estimate your new bill, visit

To see a video of a SAWS public hearing where officials explained the need for the new rate structure and how the new money will be spent, go to this article on SAWS public hearing on proposed water rates.


Feature photo courtesy of under Creative Commons.