Sunday, May 04, 2014

Understanding Water Reuse in San Angelo

City Council candidate Elizabeth Grindstaff spoke to KLST about reclaimed water, one subject at this Tuesday's City Council meeting.  She said:

We have communities using effluent water, reclaimed water.  And why the city has not looked at that seriously for the last ten to fifteen years, I don't understand why.  I would love to hear that having worked in other cities where reclaimed water was an important component of the water portfolio.  I would be a proponent of that.

Grindstaff may not have heard why, but she could've read a major factor on this blog.  It concerns her fellow Furniture Fiasco player, Water Chief Will Wilde.

Wilde negotiated the deal that traded irrigation rights to water from Twin Buttes' South Pool for the city's reclaimed water.  Twin Buttes irrigation rights required the lake contain 50,000 acre feet of water and are not useable in times of lingering drought.  So, San Angelo's Water Chief traded a "pig in a poke" for a sure thing, San Angelo's reclaimed water.

This enabled Tom Green County Irrigation and Water Control District farmers to have a predictable supply of water.  Will Wilde is one of those farmers, operating a 300 acre cotton farm.  He successfully defended his deal while Elizabeth Grindstaff served as Assistant City Manager.  Here's Wilde's position in 2011:

According to San Angelo’s water manager Will Wilde, the city is nowhere near actively pursuing the use of wastewater for municipal use.

Surely, someone inside City Hall expressed concern about Will's conflict of interest.  I'm surprised Elizabeth didn't catch wind of it.

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