Council Approves Agreement to Temporarily Transfer Water Rights to City of Kyle

On Tuesday, September 19, the San Marcos City Council unanimously approved an agreement allowing the City of San Marcos to temporarily transfer Edwards Aquifer Water rights to the City of Kyle. Under the agreement, the City of Kyle will receive the City of San Marcos’ water rights for up to 310 acre-feet of water, which equals about 100 million gallons.

The agreement with the City of Kyle will not impact the amount of water available to SMTX Utilities water customers and will not impact customers’ water rates. There is no financial cost to the City of San Marcos for temporarily transferring the water rights.

“We have adequate capacity to meet their request without having a strain on our system,” said Utilities Director Tyler Hjorth. “Allowing the City of Kyle to receive our Edwards Aquifer Water rights will not impact water capacity available to SMTX Utilities customers.”

The agreement will not change the net impact to the Edwards Aquifer. Instead, it gives the City of Kyle authorization to draw the same amount of water from the Edwards Aquifer that would otherwise be used to meet demands without violating its annual permitted capacity or reaching an agreement with another neighboring municipality while generating additional revenue for SMTX Utilities. 

“The net effect to the aquifer is the same,” said Hjorth. “This is water they’re going to draw whether they borrow rights from us or find some other mechanism. It’s just a question of whether or not they come through the City of San Marcos to acquire those rights or find other means.”

As part of the agreement, the City of Kyle is required to enforce drought restrictions that meet or exceed restrictions in place for SMTX Utilities customers. Based on system performance projections, SMTX Utilities does not expect the City of Kyle to use all 310 acre-feet of water available to them through the agreement.

“We’re giving them a little bit of cushion in this agreement,” said Hjorth. “We don’t anticipate they’ll take the full amount if their system performance is the same as last year at this time.”

The agreement totals $347,500 and expires December 31, 2023.