Author: Ken Kramer

Heading to a Conclusion? Or Heading Back to Court?

The Executive Administrator of the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) has made a final recommendation regarding the long-boiling dispute between two Texas regional water planning groups over the proposed Marvin Nichols reservoir in Northeast Texas. TWDB’s three-member governing Board (also known at the Texas Water Development Board since we Texans like to keep people confused) will probably take action on the Executive Administrator’s recommendation at its August 7 meeting in Austin. But does that mean the controversy will be “resolved?”  More likely it means that the dispute will be headed back to the state courts. The Region C Water Planning Group, one of 16 such planning groups in the state, is responsible for developing...

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You Can’t Say They Don’t Care What You Think – Public Input on HB 4

Last November Texas voters overwhelming approved Proposition 6 – a proposed state constitutional amendment that created a new state water fund for water projects in the state water plan. Approval of “Prop 6” indirectly transferred $2 billion from the state’s “rainy day” fund into this new State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) to provide water for “non-rainy” days. But just moving money around doesn’t create water. That’s why what’s happening now at the state’s Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) is so important. When Texas legislators proposed Prop 6 to the voters in 2013 they also passed House Bill 4 (HB 4). HB 4 tasks TWDB with administering the SWIFT and sets out some...

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Using Our “Good Cents” to Reduce Water Loss

What if someone came to you and said that they would like you to loan them $100, but you knew that person usually lost or wasted at least $15 to $20 or more of each $100 they had? You probably would be reluctant to give them a loan without a commitment that they would stop wasting so much money and without a plan to follow through on that commitment, right? That’s the approach the Texas Legislature took last year when legislators overwhelmingly passed HB 3605 – a bipartisan bill by Democratic State Rep. Lon Burnam (and others) and Republican State Senator Glen Hegar. Among its provisions, HB 3605 requires a retail public water utility...

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What Can You Do Now That Proposition 6 Passed?

As you may have seen, Texans took historic action on November 5 when they overwhelmingly approved Proposition 6, the state constitutional amendment to create new funding for water projects in regional water plans (the building blocks for the state water plan). With passage of Prop 6, $2 billion will be transferred from the state’s “Rainy Day Fund” to the new State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT), and several provisions in HB 4, companion legislation passed by the Legislature earlier this year, will take effect. Next Steps Now the real work begins.  Successful implementation of Prop 6 and HB 4 is not automatic. Passing legislation is one thing, but ensuring that the goals of new...

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