Texas House Passes House Bill 4
AUSTIN, TEXAS (March 27, 2013) . . . The Texas House of Representatives passed House Bill 4 today with broad bipartisan support.
The legislation, authored by Natural Resources Committee Chairman Allan Ritter (R – Nederland), creates the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas, a water infrastructure bank that allows for the implementation of the most needed water projects across the state under the State Water Plan.
Chairman Ritter said, “As Mother Nature has reminded us through the drought over the last several years, we cannot change the weather. But, with sound science and farsighted planning, we can conserve and develop a water supply to meet our future demands. HB 4 addresses the need to ensure that we have enough affordable water available to secure public health, and to further economic development — while protecting the agricultural and natural resources of the entire state.”
The 2012 State Water Plan shows that over the next 50 years, our water supply is going to decrease 18% and our water demands are going to increase by 27%. If inaction continues, Texas could be short 8.3 million acre-feet per year by 2060. That’s almost 3 trillion gallons of water. The Water Plan contains over 500 strategies that, if fully implemented, will develop 9 million acre-feet of new water over the next 50 years.
Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt (R – Lexington), Policy Chairman of the House Republican Caucus, said HB 4 is one of the most important pieces of legislation this session. “Providing for a sustainable water supply is a critical mission for the future of Texas. HB 4 will make it possible to initiate major water infrastructure projects to ensure a water supply for future generations of Texans.”
Kleinschmidt added, “Water plays an integral role in all levels of economic development. By securing a strong water structure, we can continue to attract business, jobs and foster economic growth.”