Senate Priority Water Infrastructure Legislation Moves from Committee to Floor
Austin, TX, 25 seconds ago — Legislation carried by Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) that aims to address the state’s water infrastructure issues will be heard before the full Senate next week after a committee gave its approval on Monday.
Senate Bill (SB) 28 and its companion Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 75 would establish the “Texas Water Fund” to be administered as grants for local infrastructure projects by the Water Development Board.
In addition to fixing and replacing pipes, the legislation also carries a component that sets a goal to increase the available water supply by 7 million acre-feet, or 2.2 trillion gallons, in 10 years.
This section, deemed the “New Water Supply Fund,” would look to meet this goal by funding projects that expand reserve capacity and create new sources by exploring desalination options and by sourcing water from other states.
Legislative analysis that provides background on the bill explains that long-term planning is needed to meet the needs for future growth.
“Currently, based on population and water usage estimates, the state will have a shortage of 7 million acre-feet per year by 2070,” the analysis states, adding, “Texas’s growth in all areas of the state is putting a strain on the water supply.”
The analysis also says that recent natural disasters have highlighted the problems in the state’s aging infrastructure, and noted enough water is lost from leaky pipes to supply water to most of Texas’ major cities for a year — some 136 billion gallons.
“It has been and will always be my passion to find new water supply for our growing state and existing industry,” Perry stated in a press release on the bill, further adding, “I want to personally commend Lt. Gov Dan Patrick for making this historic piece of legislation a priority. I am excited for what we can do for Texas.”
Patrick made Perry’s bill one of the top 30 priorities for the Senate, where it is currently on the intent calendar to be brought to the floor next week.