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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

SMTX approves third water agreement with Kyle

Itzie Pulido

The city of San Marcos approved a three-year water deal allowing the city of Kyle to purchase rights to draw 500 acre-feet of water from San Marcos.

San Marcos City Council approved the deal in its May 7 meeting, which is set to go in effect from the remainder of 2024 to the end of 2026 with the draw coming from the Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA).

According to the city master plan document,

At the city council meeting, San Marcos Utilities Director Tyler Hjorth said as per the agreement, Kyle has to implement equal or stricter drought restrictions than San Marcos. Kyle is currently under amended Stage 3 drought restrictions, while San Marcos is currently under Stage 2 drought restrictions.

“We passed a similar agreement with [Kyle] at the end of last year and that is absolutely one of the things we put in [the new water agreement],” Hjorth said. “They have been [meeting water restrictions] and have a very aggressive enforcement program.”

In September 2023, San Marcos approved an agreement for Kyle to draw 310-acre-feet of water from the EAA. The approved amount was equivalent to 100 million gallons of water totaling $347,500.

Under the new agreement, the city of Kyle will pay a minimum monthly amount of $22,832, equivalent to the usage of 223,186 gallons per day, according to the city of San Marcos in a written interview with The University Star.

“[The money] will go into the Water/Wastewater Utility Fund to be used for future projects impacting SMTX Utilities customers,” the city of San Marcos said in a written interview with The University Star.

The minimum monthly payments must be made to SMTX Utilities regardless of the actual amount of EAA water the city of Kyle uses each month. According to the city of San Marcos, the city’s drought restrictions will not be impacted by this agreement.

Tim Samford, Kyle’s water utilities assistant director, said Kyle remains under the amended Stage 3 drought restriction from the previous water agreement. However, he said there have been slight improvements since the 2023 water agreement.

“We began to allow the planting of vegetation; there was a long stretch of time where we were not allowing that,” Samford said. “That was even prior to this agreement being executed.”

Under Kyle’s current drought restrictions, the designated water irrigation schedule changed to once every other week with specific watering days depending on addresses. The amended Stage 3 drought restrictions in Kyle also prohibit the installation of new sod, the permitting of new pools and the washing of vehicles outside of commercial car washes.

Aamford said with Kyle’s population growth, the water agreement will help during the upcoming summer months when water demands are expected to peak.

“We are very conservative with what we use with the Edwards Aquifer, we don’t use more than what we need to,” Samford said. “Kyle has continued to restrict water usage and we’ve seen a lot of success doing that, we saw a significant reduction in our water demands.”

According to the water agreement, Kyle must provide daily meter readings of their overall EAA well water usage to San Marcos from Jan. 10, 2025, to March 10, 2027.

“We realize it is a struggle for citizens and our customers with the restrictions we put on them… We are doing everything within our power to obtain a more reliable, more resilient and more abundant supply of water for our future and for the city of Kyle,” Samford said.

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