Take Action: Tell San Antonio City Council to Oppose the SAWS Rate Structure

Youth from Southwest Workers' Union demonstrate outside SAWS
Photo by Edmond Ortiz/Courtesy of the Rivard Report

We are at a serious crossroads in San Antonio, and our water utility, SAWS, is about to go down the wrong road.

Our City Council will soon vote on a proposed rate structure that will not only force all San Antonians – even low-income families who conserve water – to pay higher fixed charges. Why? To fund a controversial and unnecessary water pipeline project called Vista Ridge, which is intended not to meet your water needs, but the needs of future residents and businesses.

Click here to tell City Council to oppose SAWS’ proposed rate structure and the Vista Ridge pipeline.

City Council was rushed into approving the Vista Ridge deal ten months ago. Approval of SAWS’ new rate structure will prevent City Council from protecting their constituents against extremely unfair rate increases for the next six years. If City Council adopts the new rate structure now, the Vista Ridge deal might be sealed and we will not be able to do anything about onerous rate increases.

The time for a long, critical look at the proposed rate structure is NOW. If SAWS can’t pay for Vista Ridge without further burdening current residents, then SAWS cannot afford the Vista Ridge water. Click here to urge your City Council member to push the pause button and look critically at the water rate increase SAWS wants.

Our well being is tied to access to affordable water. San Antonians like you and me know this is essential. We need your help to make sure City Council does the right thing.

Can you afford to pay more? Stop SAWS' Vista Ridge Project


"Another water report goes missing" by Brian Chasnoff, SA Express-News writer.



The city commissioned a  Water Policy Study that concludes SAWS' Vista Ridge Project is highly risky.

The water report is an academic study co-authored by researchers at Texas A&M University. A recent article on the San Antonio Express-News written by Brian Chasnoff, "City has suppressed controversial water report," shares some of the findings found in the 235-page report which "bashes the Vista Ridge water project." City officials including Mayor Ivy Taylor have been reluctant to share the study. Click here to find out why.

Speak out against Vista Ridge!

Join other Sierrans on October 28th to speak out against Vista Ridge and the SAWS rate increase to pay for it. The council meeting below will be preceded by a rally at 5 pm.

Citizens to be Heard at the San Antonio City Council meeting
6:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 28th
Council Chamber, Municipal Plaza Bldg., 114 W. Commerce (entrance on Main Plaza, just to the right of San Fernando Cathedral)

To register to speak, sign up in advance on the "Citizens to be Heard" webpage (only between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.), or in person between 5 and 6 p.m. in the foyer of the Council Chamber. You may also want to review the "Appearing Before Council" page. Contact Meredith McGuire for additional information.

Who is really paying for SAWS’ rate structure?

City council is now considering SAWS’ proposed new rate structure. It will determine how the many rate increases (to be proposed for each of the next 5 years) will affect San Antonio residents and businesses. City Council and the Mayor should reject the proposed rate plan. It is extremely unjust to current residents. And it will promote environmentally unsustainable growth of suburban sprawl.

There are many injustices embedded in SAWS’ rates, but the greatest of these has been happening to San Antonio residents for several decades. The proposed rate structure magnifies that injustice and makes it permanent, unless the Vista Ridge deal is cancelled. Now is the time to end that injustice – and even to consider a rate structure with some restorative justice for those who have been harmed. Read more in this op-ed.

SAWS’ proposed rate structure, unfair to residents

The good news about SAWS’ new rate structure has been already proclaimed by Rick Casey, in his column of June 6: The new rate tier structure is a much-improved way of promoting water conservation.

The bad news is that the rate structure is unfair to residents. To understand why, we must look at SAWS’ charges to other customers. Read more in this op-ed.


Sierrans gather for a group shot before the 2014 King William parade

Welcome to the Alamo Group of the Sierra Club

We invite you to join our 2,000 members as we explore, enjoy and protect San Antonio and its surrounding areas. Come to one our monthly general meetings featuring prominent speakers on a vast array of subjects. Enjoy one of our monthly Lion’s Field events which will entertain and edify you with films and speakers on a variety of issues. Come walk, hike, camp or backpack on one of our frequent outings. Get involved in advocacy on local, state or national conservation issues. Help introduce local youngsters to the wonders of the outdoors with the Sierra Club Youth Outdoors program.


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The Sierra Club is all about citizen action on critical issues. Quick citizen input often spells the difference between victory and defeat for important measures at the local and state levels.

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