Texas Has A $2 Billion Water Plan
With Governor Rick Perry’s signature, Texas faces one more hurdle before drawing $2 billion from its Rainy Day Fund to improve water infrastructure for the drought stricken state, a public vote.
After a finalized budget arises from the Texas House and Senate, voters will decide in November whether or not to amend the constitution, which would create two new water accounts.
StateImpact describes the accounts in the bill, Senate Joint Resolution 1, like this:
The accounts would be used to give out low-interest loans for regional water projects in Texas. The projects would be chosen by the Texas Water Development Board, which would also manage the accounts. That board was overhauled by a different piece of legislation, HB4, that passed out of the legislature earlier this session.
If passed, there would be “shake-up” at the Texas Water Development Board, which will manage how money is allocated. Here’s an example, that State Sen. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) gave The Texas Tribune:
As a hypothetical example, “If Dallas is going to be out of water in 20 years and they want to build a reservoir,” Fraser said he wants the new board members out visiting the site and talking to people.
Drought conditions across the Southwest have hit Texas and New Mexico especially hard.
In April, the Mexican government sidestepped a 79-year old water rights treaty to release additional water into the Rio Grande — a response to the difficult drought.