-- My View -- Our water flows down SA streets
By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer
The complexity of water issues continues to grow more and more murky. It's hard to get even so-called "water experts" to agree to many details. Ten experts in a room will generate at least 10 opinions, if not more.
While taking pictures at the great July 4 parade in Lakehills, I chatted with several lake area residents who were quite upset about a story they had read the week before in the San Antonio Express News.
The article, published June 27 and written by Colin McDonald, described the San Antonio Water System's (SAWS) flushing of some of its lines in the big city.
According to the story, "Millions of gallons of water will be released from 350 to 375 hydrants" and allowed to run down the streets.
"Because the water is clean, residents are urged to capture it for their own use," SAWS spokeswoman Anne Hayden is reported to have said.
Why did perfectly good water running down San Antonio streets upset the good folks in Lakehills? Well, you see, it was Medina Lake water!
The water in Medina Lake has never "belonged" to the people of Bandera County. We understand that.
The dam was built by an irrigation company as a business venture to provide water for irrigation purposes downstream. Since 1950, the irrigation water was managed by BMA, the Bexar Medina Atascosa Counties Water Control and Improvement District.
Several years ago, due to many factors, including poor management, BMA sold a pile of their interest and control of Medina Lake Water to Bexar Metropolitan Water District, a utility district serving portions of San Antonio. This was done purportedly to finance long-over due repairs to the irrigation system.
As an interested party, Bandera County negotiated at that time to set aside some of the lake water for the county.
This year, Bexar Met was absorbed by San Antonio Water System (SAWS), which explains why SAWS could decide to let Medina Lake water to flow like a river down the dusty lanes of the city.
Lakehills residents were appalled at the apparent arrogance of Hayden's statement, which said SA residents could "simply enjoy the stream running down the road."
Hayden explained the need for the line flush because high temperatures were heating up the water in SAWS' storage tanks, leading to a decline in water quality.
We understand the need to follow state rules and regulations, but as the level of Medina Lake continues to go down during this period of drought, it sure seems a shame that millions of gallons must be wasted.
Perhaps the next time SAWS decides to waste millions of gallons of Medina Lake water, they could invite lake area residents to bring their buckets to San Antonio, collect a few gallons and bring it on back to a dry and thirsty Hill Country.