Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas


Texas Water Plan

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New Plan Would Put Water and Roads Funding in Voters’ Hands

Water and roads are hot topics at the Texas legislature this session, as for the first time in several sessions, lawmakers make real efforts to fund new water and road projects for the growing state. While there seems to be a broad consensus that significant new funding is needed; as expected, it’s in the particulars […]

Texas House Passes Major Water Bill

The Texas House approved legislation today that would use $2 billion to fund more water projects in the state. HB 4, by Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederland, would create a water bank that would offer loans for projects like new water reservoirs, pipelines and conservation projects. “As Mother Nature has reminded us in the last couple […]

Major Water Funding Bill Moves One Step Forward, Prioritizes Conservation

Significant new funding for water projects in a dry, thirsty Texas moved one step closer to becoming a reality today. The bill, HB 4, would take money from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to start a loan program for new water projects. It passed unanimously in a committee, and now it heads to the House floor for […]

Lawmakers Hear Support for Funding the State Water Plan

Bills aimed at funding the State Water Plan rolled into two subcommittees today in the State House and Senate.  Lawmakers discussed taking $2 billion from the rainy day fund and giving it to the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) to fund local water projects. They also heard support for the plan from diverse groups from […]

List of Texas Water Projects Draws Concerns Over Conservation

Within days of the announcement earlier this year that the state legislature could get serious about funding new water projects in Texas, folks started having questions. Where will that money go? Why not make more of the water we have instead of building more reservoirs? And what’s to prevent the proposed $2 billion ‘water bank’ […]

With Water in the Spotlight, Texas Agriculture Stakes Its Claim

When the 2013 Texas Ag Water Forum met today, it was no coincidence it met just a few blocks from the State Capitol. As lawmakers grapple with how to fund the State Water Plan, agricultural groups worry that their water needs might be sidelined this legislative session. There is an emerging consensus among legislators that […]

Texas Mayors Stress Need For More Water Conservation and Less Red Tape

“Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting,” said John Cook, Mayor of El Paso, echoing Mark Twain at the House Natural Resources Committee meeting that began early this morning. Mark Twain may have changed his tune, though, if he saw the Capitol meeting room tightly packed with mayors from Texas’ largest cities, lawmakers […]

As Mexico Shares Less Water With Texas, Lawmakers Watch and Worry

State lawmakers and agency heads discussed Mexico’s lack of water contribution to the Rio Grande River, the state of the State Water Plan and invasive species at the House Natural Resources committee meeting at the Capitol yesterday. Carlos Rubinstein, Commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), said Mexico hasn’t been allowing its fair […]

Finding Water Amid Drought: Legislature Considers Options

John Nielson-Gammon, Texas’ State Climatologist, offered a grim forecast to kick off a joint House and Senate Natural Resources Committee meeting today at the Capitol. “There’s still a good chance this will end up being the drought of record for most of the state,” he said. Several officials from state agencies involved with Texas’ water […]

For Texas Legislature, What a Difference No Rain Makes

If you happened to be in Austin last Monday, you may have noticed a sight that would have been strangely unfamiliar just two years ago: three Republican state lawmakers, calling in unison for more spending, higher prices and more restrictions for water. It represents a real about-face for the Republican majority in Texas. Last legislative […]

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