|To unscrupulous water "brokers", this hydrant may spell $$$$$$ !|
Perhaps you might have seen a famous postcard from Laredo's past that depicts a hard-working "barrilero" in his mule-drawn wagon selling water to denizens of our historic city. Well, the image might have changed but the idea remains the same. At tonight's Laredo city council meeting, waterworks director Tomas Rodriguez mentioned the possibility that some unscrupulous tanker trailer drivers might be filling up on city water hydrants and then re-selling it to oil & gas operators for fracking purposes.
According to Rodriguez, the city does authorize the sale of water to about 51 different customers primarily for construction purposes. The city charges about $4 for 1,000 gallons of water. In the meantime, oil and gas interests are willing to pay about $11 or $12 for the same 1,000 gallons. This means that if water is indeed being stolen from the city's water hydrants, a profit of 200 per cent can be realized by turning around and selling it to the fracking industry.
City Manager Carlos Villarreal asked the council to give Rodriguez 30 days to come up with further information on the situation. Villarreal mention that although the city wants to encourage oil and gas exploration in our area, it will not tolerate unauthorized water usage and profiteering by "water brokers".