Texas voters approved Proposition 6 earlier this week, an initiative to fund and improve Texas water infrastructure projects.
Proposition 6 and the Texas Water Fund: What is it?
Texas voters will have the opportunity to weigh in on Proposition 6, an initiative to fund and improve different Texas water infrastructure projects.
What is Prop. 6?
Earlier this year, state legislature passed legislation creating the Texas Water Fund and a $1 billion investment into the fund to finance different Texas water infrastructure projects contingent on voter approval November 7.
What is the need?
According to the Texas Water Foundation, it's estimated Texas utilities have at least a $61 billion backlog of work to update and improve drinking water systems. An additional $12 billion worth of backlogged work exists in wastewater and stormwater improvement needs. The $1 billion in state funding would be dedicated to offset some of those costs.
What are the priorities for the funding if approved?
According to the Texas Water Development Board, "of the initial amount appropriated to the Texas Water Fund, the TWDB must allocate no less than 25 percent ($250 million) to the New Water Supply for Texas Fund." A portion of the money will be used for the following projects:
- water infrastructure projects, prioritized by risk or need, for rural political subdivisions and municipalities with a population of less than 150,000
- projects for which all required state of federal permitting has been substantially completed
- the statewide water public awareness program
- water conservation strategies
- water loss mitigation projects
Where will the money for the fund come from?
Should Prop. 6 pass, state legislature has approved a $1 billion appropriation of general revenue to the Texas Water Fund. According to KBTX, the money will come from the state's economic stabilization fund.
How will the funds be dispersed?
The TWDB will prepare rules for each financial assistance program that is eligible to receive funds. Communities and other entities will then apply for financial assistance, and the TWDB will evaluate projects and disburse funds accordingly.
When will it go into effect if approved?
Should Prop. 6 pass, the provisions relating to the Texas Water Fund will take effect Jan. 1, 2024.
Still want to know more? You can read about Prop. 6 from the Texas Water Foundation here.