The future of Texas’ water supply will start to take shape on Tuesday afternoon when the Texas Water Development Board releases draft rules for funding major water projects over the next several decades.
Amid the continuing drought, voters approved Proposition 6 in November, authorizing the Legislature to provide the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas with $2 billion from the state’s Rainy Day Fund.
The infusion of funds is intended to be self-sustaining, with the board only allowed to make loans instead of grants. But competition for the money will be fierce: The 2012 State Water Plan outlined $53 billion worth of potential water projects, such as pipelines and reservoirs.
The online release of the rules will offer clues for which projects will become top priorities. Though a law passed last year, House Bill 4, provides some parameters for the allocation of funds, the board has significant leeway to set its own standards. As required by law, 16 regional groups have submitted their own rankings of projects, but it is unclear how they will translate to the statewide prioritization process.
Though there is a board meeting on Wednesday, the draft rules won’t be discussed by the board until the June 26 meeting at 8:15 a.m. Read the rest of the story from the Texas Tribune