Water issues are high priority as the 83rd Regular Session gets underway. Speaker of the House Joe Straus has called on the House of Representatives to address the state's water needs, and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst has voiced his support for using money from the Rainy Day Fund to spend on water projects. More recently, Governor Rick Perry discussed the State Water Plan in his State of the State speech.
The following list of resources provides information on the State Water Plan and can assist you in tracking legislative activity on this issue.
State Water Plan:
The current State Water Plan was developed between 2006 and 2011 and is available online.
State water plans going back to 1961 are available on the Texas Water Development Board's website.
For a history of water funding in Texas, please visit the Library's Texas Water Law Timeline.
As of January 30, the following bills have been filed to address funding of the State Water Plan:
- HB 4 by Representative Allan Ritter. Relating to the creation and funding of the state water implementation fund for Texas to assist the Texas Water Development Board in the funding of certain water-related projects.
- HB 11 by Representative Allan Ritter. Relating to the appropriation of money from the economic stabilization fund to finance certain water-related projects.
- HB 227 by Representatives Lyle Larson and Paul Workman. Relating to the appropriation of money from the economic stabilization fund to be used for the purposes of the water infrastructure fund during the next state fiscal biennium.
- SB 4 by Senator Troy Fraser. Relating to the administration and functions of the Texas Water Development Board.
- SB 22 by Senator Troy Fraser. Relating to the administration of the Texas Water Development Board; making an appropriation from the economic stabilization fund to finance certain water-related projects.
- SB 224 by Senator Kel Seliger. Relating to the availability of money from the economic stabilization fund to be used for the purposes of projects in the state water plan.
- SB 235 by Senator Troy Fraser. Relating to the creation of regional authorities for water infrastructure projects.
The House Natural Resources Committee studied water issues during the interim and recently released a set of recommendations: Report to the 83rd Texas Legislature
The Senate Natural Resources Committee also examined water issues during the interim; video of their interim hearings can be viewed at: http://www.senate.state.tx.us/avarchive/
Earlier interim reports about the State Water Plan are available, as well as interim reports about water planning in general.
Additional sources of information:
Texas drought information Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
Drinking water, water quality, and other water-related topics Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
Texas Water Development Board Find resources on water planning, groundwater, water innovation, and more.
News and other state legislation
Energy and environment legislation tracking database National Conference of State Legislatures
State rainwater harvesting statutes, programs and legislation National Conference of State Legislatures
Your guide to water issues in Texas StateImpact Texas