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What the Texas Water Development Board Means to You

Background

The Texas State Legislature created the Texas Water Development Board in 1957 (by act and by amendment to the state constitution) to manage the state’s water resources in the urgency following the drought of the 1950s. The board has found a new urgency after the drought of 2011. Water supplies are only slowly recovering (if at all), but demand for water is growing.

The board is charged with, “leadership, planning, financial assistance, information, and education for the conservation and responsible development of water for Texas,” according to its mission statement. It’s made up of six members appointed by the governor and meets every third Wednesday of the month in Austin. Their mission includes issuing State Water Plans; the last of nine over the course of its existence was submitted to the governor in January 2012.

The plan includes suggested changes to water management. Debate over the plan will further play out in the 2013 legislative session.

Latest Posts

Now You Can Track Groundwater Levels in Texas

Texans don’t need statistics to tell them what the drought is like – they can feel it in their bones. Residents, manufacturers and farmers all depend on both reservoirs and groundwater in Texas, but up until recently only surface reservoir levels were public in Texas. The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) updates those reservoir levels on their [...]

Ask the Candidates: Should Texas Test Groundwater Before Fracking?

If you know what the water in your wells was like before drilling started on your land, you have a better understanding of whether drilling has changed the water. That’s the basic idea behind “baseline testing” of groundwater before drilling starts. That’s also one reason why some states, like Wyoming, have enacted rules based on recommendations [...]

A Very Mixed Outlook for the Texas Drought

The latest drought monitors and forecasts for Texas are a study in contrast. Take a look at the U.S. Drought Monitor Map for the state and you might feel like jumping for joy: large swaths of the state are drought-free. Less than one percent of the state is in the worst stage of drought. During [...]

How Texas Voted On Prop 6, and What it Could Mean for the Water Plan

How Texas counties voted on Prop 6. Counties in Blue passed the measure; Counties in Red voted against it. Map by Matt Wilson/StateImpact. There wasn’t much nail-biting on either side of the Proposition 6 debate as people watched the votes come in on Tuesday. The measure, which will move $2 billion dollars from the state’s [...]

How Prop 6 Passed, and What’s Up Next for Water Projects in Texas

Texans overwhelmingly passed a constitutional amendment Tuesday to jump-start financing for water projects in the state: Proposition 6. The plan will take $2 billion in surplus state money (from the Rainy Day Fund) to start a low-interest loan program for water projects in Texas. The measure had widespread support from both sides of the aisle as well as business [...]

Everything You Need to Know About Proposition 6, Texas’ Water Fund

Update: Prop 6 passed. Read the full story here. Voters in Texas will have the opportunity Tuesday to weigh in on a proposal to fund water projects in the state. There’s a lot involved that’s not in the ballot language, so we’ve put together an explainer on the amendment. What is Prop 6 Exactly? Proposition 6 [...]

More than Prayer: How Prop 6 Aims to Improve Water Supplies in Texas

Laura Huffman is the Texas state director of the Nature Conservancy.

Update: Prop 6 passed. Read the full story here. 2011 was the driest year in Texas’ recorded history — crops failed, herds were sold off and lakes and reservoirs literally went dry. Some communities, like Spicewood Beach in the Hill Country or Robert Lee in West Texas, had to scramble to find new water supplies. And in [...]

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