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25th Anniversary Issue

Current 25: How San Antonio got a water conscience


Photo: , License: N/A

Let me put it this way: In the 1990s, SAWS and the city of San Antonio shucked their longstanding reputation as one of the worst water hogs in the west, and became smart, aggressive, and forward thinking. Since that formative decade, however, its innovative energy has flagged. Worse, with the exception of the land purchases over the aquifer recharge zones, it has backslid to such an extent that the time seems ripe for another legal challenge.

Should Sierra Club II occur, the city will lose once again. The federal government will force it to stop pumping paper water and begin piping it in from the Hill Country; the good citizens once more will be compelled to pick up the tab because 10 years ago their political leaders and policy wonks hit the snooze button.

Somewhere, Ronnie Pucek must be laughing.


Char Miller, professor emeritus at Trinity University, is director of the Environmental Analysis Program at Pomona College. He is author of Deep in the Heart of San Antonio: Land and Life in South Texas, and editor of Cities and Nature in the American West and River Basins of the American West.

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