Texas legislators negotiate state's water plan - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Texas legislators negotiate state's water plan

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Amarillo, TX - Water is taking a high priority in Austin, as our legislators work to hash out the final price tag for the Texas State Water Plan, and their decision will have a trickle-down effect in our area. 
  
The Texas Water Development Board creates plans to maximize the state's shrinking water supply through conservation and development.  The board also provides funds for major municipal projects, like the Potter and Roberts County well fields.   The Potter County well field carried a total cost of about $86 million, most of which was funded through low-interest and no-interest loans from the TWDB.

The board's current 50-year plan has a total price tag of $53 billion, about half of which would be for municipal projects.  And out of that $53 billion, the plan recommends $793 million in investment in the Texas panhandle area and pushes for conservation, especially in agriculture.

The board may be banking on emerging technologies and changing planting methods to reduce water use in the agricultural sector, which is by far the biggest user of water in west Texas.  Consequently (and interestingly), the population of the panhandle is projected to grow by about 72% by 2060, but the demand for water is actually projected to decrease by about 26%.

So now legislators are looking at  several plans and recommending taking anywhere from one to three billion from the Rainy Day Fund to pay for them.  In other words, what's being discussed in the Capitol isn't so much whether, but how to fund the plan.

If you'd like to learn more about the issue, our own water department, or delve into the plan for yourself, follow the links attached to this story.