Austin — The Texas Military Preparedness Commission (TMPC), voted to award $5 million in grant money to help resolve critical water needs at Joint Base San Antonio under the command of Brigadier General Robert D. LaBrutta. The additional support in vital resources will ensure San Antonio's military bases are equipped with the proper foundation to serve military needs locally and nationally.

In a package of water projects built by San Antonio Water System (SAWS), water will be brought to various military bases through infrastructure improvements.  This will provide much-needed resource security for these installations, which currently face acute water challenges.

"This grant affirms the value of strengthening our longstanding partnership with the military," said City Councilman Joe Krier. "When we learned that water scarcity threatened the viability of military bases in our city, we took action, rapidly developing a plan to insure that the taps won't run dry. We are living up to the moniker Military City, USA."

The projects entail running water supply lines and setting up interconnects at Camp Bullis, Lackland, Ft. Sam, Lackland Training Annex, as well as making improvements to Security Hill. The projects have garnered support from a broad base of stakeholders, including the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, AACOG, SAWS, the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, surrounding County and City governmental officials, as well as a number of State legislators, including Texas House Speaker Joe Straus.

"We are thrilled with the decision by the TMPC and grateful for the hard work of the Alamo Area Council of Governments, the San Antonio Water System and the Military Transformation Task Force for developing a winning grant application," said Mayor Ivy R. Taylor. "The funding for an alternative water source addresses Joint Base San Antonio's top priority, and we are hopeful that having access to alternative water makes JBSA significantly more competitive."

Continued Krier, "The City of San Antonio has worked with the other military communities in Texas and House Speaker Joe Straus for the past few years to secure funding in the Legislature to increase the military value of Texas' installations. With this grant, we are now reaping the rewards of those efforts."

"The projects will be done over the next two years and will remove any doubt that water should be a factor in decisions about the future of our military missions," President/CEO Robert R. Puente said of the latest development.

As the official grant applicant, Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) will manage the project and – along with SAWS and with JBSA – will truly be the "cog" in the wheel of the grant. 

"This is truly a community and statewide effort, including the Governor and the TMPC Commissioners, and I could not think of a more exciting mission than to help secure our bases' military missions," noted Diane Rath, Executive Director of AACOG.  "This couldn't have been done without our State and local community partners, and this is truly a regional project that will be beneficial for communities throughout our surrounding counties."