Uvalde businessman Jared Capt on Tuesday presented a proposed water management plan to city council that could save the city $145,000 this year, but entails close management of the city water supply.
The Edwards Aquifer Authority allows water to be classified in one of two ways, municipal water, the public water supply including drinking water provided by city utilities, and water used for irrigation.
Mayor Don McLaughlin said he and assistant city manager Joe Cardenas had met with Capt, who suggested the city be more strategic with water allocation, as unused water earmarked for irrigation incurs no fee, while water classified for city municipal use incurs an aquifer management fee of $84 per acre-foot whether or not it is used.
Capt presented figures from 2009-2018 showing that, on a five-year average, the city has 3,272 acre-feet of unused municipal water per year. Though fees have already been incurred for 2019 through September, by re-classifying that water for irrigation use the city can save approximately $145,000 in permit fees this year, and up to $275,000 next year.
If the water is later required for municipal use, it may be reclassified with no penalty.
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