Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

Alex Dropkin

Alex Dropkin is a reporting intern with StateImpact Texas.

  • Email: TX_adropkin@stateimpact.org

Retiring Lawmaker Says Work Remains For Texas Water

State Rep. Bill Callegari spoke about water policy  at this years TAMEST conference.

Mose Buchele

State Rep. Bill Callegari spoke about water policy at this years TAMEST conference.

State Rep. Bill Callegari (R-Houston), more than many lawmakers, knows water. An engineer, he holds “Class A” certifications in water and wastewater management. During his time in the Texas legislature, much of it spent serving on the House Natural Resources Committee, he authored several major bills on water management and water utilities. His office biography calls him “the state’s leading water expert in the Texas Legislature.”

The Katy Republican is also not what you would call an impartial observer. Having served as president of national and international water companies for decades, he hopes to work with two of his sons — also in the water business — after his upcoming retirement from the House. Like so many other state lawmakers in a part-time legislature, he often finds himself weighing in on policy discussions that have a bearing on his business future.

With those disclaimers, we thought it would be interesting to touch base with Rep. Callegari ahead of his retirement. Lawmakers have run plenty of victory laps taken since the passage of Proposition 6, the ballot measure that aims to fund the state water plan with billions in seed money. But even supporters of Prop 6 admit it will not solve all of the state’s problems.

At this year’s conference of The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas (TAMEST),  we talked with Callegari about what remains to be done secure Texas’ water future:

StateImpact Texas: Now that there’s money in the fund for water projects. Are we going to see a lot more action at the regional water planning level?

Rep. Callegari:  The prioritization, in my opinion, is really going to be the most important aspect of this: How do you really determine which project to build first? Continue Reading

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