Texas Prop 6 passes, $2 billion in water conservation funding

SMITH COUNTY (KYTX) - Voters have passed Texas Proposition 6, which means $2 billion will be pulled from the Rainy Day Fund to finance water projects across the state.


By 2060, the Texas population is expected to nearly double, and existing water supplies are projected to decrease by ten percent.  If the state cannot conserve enough water now, economic losses could hit $116 billion and 1.1 million people could lose their jobs.

These are the fears that led voters to push prop 6 through. 

"Hopefully this prop 6 will provide the funds to successfully and efficiently route water to where it needs to be," Ashley Pellerin with the Smith County AgriLife Extension Office.

$2 billion from the Texas Rainy Day fund will help finance water projects all over Texas.
The state's 16 regional water planning groups will come up with water projects needed for their areas. Groups will use the prop 6 money as a low interest loan that they will eventually pay back.

A lot of those projects will build infrastructure like pipelines, pumping stations, and possibly some reservoirs. 

"A lot of municipalities have pipelines but they have leaks in them and stuff but they don't have the money to fix the leaks so they're wasting a lot of water," says Bob Cartwright. He's the president of Ran Pro farms in Smith County.

The success of his large nursery depends solely on water.

"Fortunately we have two deep wells we can pump out," Cartwright says.

When drought hits rural areas, ground water dries and those wells are useless. That's why Cartwright says conservation is necessary.  

One part of Prop 6 that's great for producers like Ran Pro is that 10 percent of that $2 billion must go to rural areas and agriculture.

At least 20 percent of the money will be used for water reuse projects, urging Texans to take part in conserving not only water but the future of our state's economy.

Communities and water utilities across the state can apply for financial assistance through the Texas Water Development Board.

For more information, frequently asked questions, and more, click here: http://www.twdb.state.tx.us/newsmedia/swift/faq.asp



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