This series provides readers the opportunity to learn about the unique insight and experiences of the San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) Board of Directors and their personal connection to the San Antonio River in hopes of inspiring stewardship of area creeks and rivers.
Dominic Carvajal, Wilson County Board Member
What experience and skills do you bring to the San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) as a board member?
I'm a lifelong resident of Wilson County and a practicing attorney with 30 years of experience. Over the years, I’ve served on the Floresville Electric Light & Power System Board of Directors and the Floresville Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors. I've also served as counsel for government entities, financial institutions, and other businesses. I am Vice-President and Examining Attorney for Wilson County Abstract Company, and I am the sole shareholder of Carvajal Law Firm.
What value does the River Authority provide to the community?
The River Authority provides many services to the community: flood control, water quality monitoring, wastewater treatment, basin master planning, recreation parks, protection of both surface and groundwater (e.g., Edward Aquifer), ecosystem restoration, and water conservation. Here are some recent examples in Wilson County:
- In Wilson County, the River Authority purchased a faltering water system, the Calico Water System, which provided water service to three subdivisions. The River Authority rehabilitated this water system and in 2016 sold the system to a private water purveyor.
- The River Authority entered into an interlocal agreement with Wilson County to develop, operate, and maintain the Jackson Nature Park, a 50-acre tract on Cibolo Creek and Hwy-97.
- In 1999, the River Authority bought approximately 98 acres in Wilson County along the San Antonio River and FM-775, and created the Helton San Antonio River Nature Park, which hosted the SASPAMCO Showdown & Festival held in March, featuring free attendance, live music, food, and a kayak paddling race.
How can we ensure the San Antonio River is preserved for future generations?
We can help ensure the preservation of the San Antonio River by supporting the River Authority and its initiatives, like it’s Don’t Let Litter Trash Your River initiative. The River Authority constantly works to ensure the sustainability, water safety, and water quality of the San Antonio River. Through projects and initiatives, the River Authority monitors the water quality of the river. The River Authority also manages sewage treatment facilities and provides technical assistance to surrounding municipalities, counties, and organizations concerning wastewater treatment and water conservation.
Through its commitment to water quality, the River Authority has worked with and developed relationships with federal, state, and local government agencies. The River Authority has a long history of being at the forefront of championing the interests of the San Antonio River. The River Authority has received federal, state, and local recognition for its efforts in wastewater treatment.
What is the best way to interact with the San Antonio River?
The best way to interact with the San Antonio River is to visit it and learn about it. The San Antonio River means different things to people. To some, it means riparian rights, helping farmers, ranchers, and oil and gas development. However, to others, it primarily means recreation: fishing, paddling, and hiking. Through the parks it maintains, the initiatives it leads and supports, and the relationships it has fostered with agencies and entities, the River Authority has worked to safeguard and develop these interests.
Name an interesting fact about the San Antonio Watershed that most people might not know.
The San Antonio River Authority website has a whole list of interesting facts about the San Antonio Watershed. But, to me, the most interesting thing about the watershed is its size: 4,180 square miles. It includes parts of Kerr, Medina, Bexar, Wilson, Karnes, Goliad, Bandera, Kendall, Comal, Guadalupe, DeWitt, Atascosa, Victoria, and Refugio counties.
How can I contact you or other River Authority board members?
The River Reach is back!
River Reach is a quarterly, 12-page newsletter that is designed to inform the San Antonio River Authority's constituents about the agency's many projects, serve as a communication vehicle for the board of directors and foster a sense of unity and identity among the residents of Bexar, Wilson, Karnes, and Goliad counties.