TEX Sh2o | October/November 2013 |
The Official Newsletter of the Texas Section AWWA | THE Water Professionals
STATE REP. BILL CALLEGARI On the relationship between government and water | Page 3
RED, WHITE & YOU JOB FAIR
Nov. 14 ► Multiple Locations Across Texas Help wanted? Hire a veteran! | Page 8
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
What is Proposition 6? Find out before Nov. 5 | Page 12 TCEQ approves permit for new reservoir in North Texas | Page 9
TCEQ News Releases | Section Events | Calendar | and more!
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| callegari exclusive |
Rep. Callegari Shares Insights on Water and Government BY CLIFF AVERY texash2o editor
he Texas Legislature will face another round of water problems in 2015, but will do so without the wisdom of State Rep. Bill Callegari (R-Katy) who announced his retirement in September. Callegari, elected to the House in 2000, made his announcement on his 72nd birthday, saying, “The time has now come for me to come back home and contribute to my state and my community in other ways.” Callegari’s announcement came just days before House Natural Resources Committee Chair Allan Ritter, author of the comprehensive HB4 in the past regular session, announced that he would not seek re-election. A professional engineer and longtime water utility executive, Callegari brought a special understanding to the Legislature. “I’ve always concentrated on water issues,” Callegari told TEXASh2o in an October interview. Through his service on the House Natural Resources Committee, Callegari said he felt he was able to “maintain some consistency” in the way the Legislature approached water topics. “You’ve heard the old saying, ‘Whiskey’s for drinkin’; water’s for fightin’? I never really understood that until I got on the Natural Resources Committee,” he laughed. With Texans about to vote on shifting $2 billion from
the state’s Rainy Day Fund to two newly created water infrastructure financing funds, Callegari said the Legislature will have to match public policies with new water initiatives. The Legislature, for example, has identified 17 possible sites for new reservoirs, but Callegari said State Rep. Bill Callegari he would personally be surprised if more than four or five get built within the next 30 years. The obstacle: federal environmental regulation. “You’ve got to put the reservoir where the rains are,” Callegari observed. And where the rains are may not be where the water is necessarily needed. As a result, the Legislature will need to tackle the sensitive issue of interbasin transfers. Similarly, if coastal cities are able to turn to desalination for more water supplies, that will give some relief to upstream users who may, in turn, be able to shift water to thirstier regions. CONTINUED PAGE 25 | callegari exclusive TXAWWA_Sustainable_DNTanks:KKL_BCA 7/8/2012 9:44 AM
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TEXASh2o OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 | 3 |
| letter from the texas section chair |
Get Informed and Out to Vote Texas Section American Water Works Association P.O. Box 80150 Austin, Texas 78708 www.tawwa.org Christianne Castleberry, Chair 512-751-9272 Alissa Lockett, Chair-Elect 210-233-3401 Jennifer Elms, Vice-Chair 713-784-4500 Brent Locke, Imm. Past Chair 254-562-5992 Mike Howe Executive Director/Secretary-Treasurer 512-238-9292 Fax: 512-238-0496 firstname.lastname@example.org This publication is distributed bi-monthly to the more than 3,500 members and friends of the Texas Section – American Water Works Association. Contributing writers can contact the editor: Cliff Avery GCP Association Services PO Box 676 Pflugerville, TX 78691 512-251-8101 Fax: 512-251-8152 email@example.com The publication name, TexasH2O: © 1996-2013 Texas Section – American Water Works Association, Inc. © 2013 Texas Section – American Water Works Association, Inc.
FOLLOW TAWWA ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER!
BY CHRISTIANNE CASTLEBERRY texas section chair
exas faces a big decision on Nov. 5 when voters go to the polls to decide the fate of Proposition 6. This proposition would shift $2 billion from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to two new funds created by the Legislature in the 83rd Regular Session. These funds would finance new water projects and water conservation initiatives outlined in the State Water Plan. As an educational nonprofit organization, Texas AWWA is prohibited from electioneering CHRISTIANNE CASTLEBERRY on this or any other issue. But as an educational 512-751-9272 nonprofit corporation, we can encourage c.castleberry@ citizens to become informed about the issues castleberryengineering.com that are involved with Proposition 6. According to Kate Alexander in the Austin American-Statesman, an environmental group called Texas Drought Project and some Tea Party members — including Comptroller Candidate Debra Medina — have come out in opposition to the Proposition. On the other side, The Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy of Texas, Environment Texas, Ducks Unlimited and other environmental groups have endorsed Prop 6, as have Gov. Rick Perry and leaders in both political parties. The Texas Water Development Board has prepared a quick questionand-answer document on its website. We are reproducing that on Page 12 of this issue of TEXASh2o or you may click directly to http://www.twdb. state.tx.us/newsmedia/swift/faq.asp. With adequate knowledge and education of current water needs in Texas, every individual — inside AND outside of the industry — can certainly connect the dots themselves to make an informed decision for the future of Texas. There is no substitute for water. Without water, there would be no beer, no coffee … and no us. That’s why the issue presented to voters in Proposition 6 is so important to our state, our economy, our families and ourselves. Encourage your friends, neighbors and anyone you meet on the street to get informed and go vote. You can vote early starting Oct. 21, through Friday, Nov. 1. If you can’t go early, don’t miss Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 5. CONTINUED PAGE 16 | letter from the texas section chair
| 4 | OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 TEXASh2o
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| executive director report |
Planning Ahead BY MIKE HOWE tawwa executive director
ater Conservation. Last issue I wrote about my experience in Jacksonville, Florida, and the obscene amount of watering that was going on during the day. In short, I was shocked, given our drought, by the amount of irrigation going on at the least effective times of the day while we suffered through the new Drought of Record and then some. I havenâ€™t heard any pushback from Jacksonville, but then again, is it arrogant to think they read TEXASh2o? Oh, well. Moving on. As I write this column, I am just off hosting the first of three webcasts our Water Conservation and Reuse Division are producing in conjunction with the Texas Water Development Board staff and others about Water Conservation Plans. If you have more than 3,300 connections, have or want more the $500,000 from the TWDB or have an interest in surface water rights, then you need to either do or update your Water Conservation Plan before May of 2014. A guess is that this includes over 550 utilities in the State and maybe more. The interesting part of this equation is that the rules have changed since the last time you did your plan, nearly five years ago. It would take about 4.5 hours of writing to go over what needs to be done now, so if you have to do a plan and have not considered what you need to do now,
| 6 | OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 TEXASh2o
then I encourage you to register for the webcasts. Even if you missed the first one, if you register, you can go back and see the first one, and the second one on Nov. 22, and the third in January. And the low, low price (I do sound like a used MIKE HOWE car salesman) is $75 for 512-238-9292 members and only $115 for email@example.com non-members. We DO think that membership has its privileges. When you register, you will learn everything you need to know about completing your Water Conservation Plan and meet the May 1 deadline. Donâ€™t hesitate. Do it now at www.tawwa.org. Texas Water 2014 Though it seems like a long way off, begin thinking about registering for Texas Water 2014SM, April 14-17, 2014, in Dallas. Note that we shifted the start date of the conference back one day because of Good Friday. It has been a long time since we held the conference in CONTINUED PAGE 20 | executive director report
| veterans’ job fair |
Red, White & You Job Fair Offers Opportunities for Veterans
n Thursday, Nov. 14, visit the statewide Red, White & You veterans’ job fair to find new employees for your utility, company or organization. This second annual job fair is hosted by the Texas Workforce Commission, in cooperation with the 28 Workforce Solutions partners and the Texas Veterans Commission. The Red, White & You job fair is designed to connect Texas employers with Texas veterans who bring valuable experience and discipline to the workplace. Last year, over 12,000 veterans and more than 1,400 employers attended the statewide job fairs. Texas Workforce Commission estimates that about 2,800 hires were made as a result of the statewide job fairs. To participate in this free event, contact your local Workforce Solutions office. There are 28 workforce regions in Texas. To find out where your local workforce office is located, visit the Texas Workforce Commission website at www.twc.state.tx.us and click the Red White & You link under the Events tab. Workforce Solutions has provided several reasons why hiring a veteran is a good idea:
• Professionalism – veterans know the importance of integrity and respect, respect that gives your team a winning edge. • Responsibility – veterans know what it means to be accountable for valuable human and material resources. • Mission-Critical Skills – veterans undergo traderelated and technical training that often relates directly to civilian jobs. • Physical Conditioning – veterans know the value of being in top physical condition and drug free. CONTINUED PAGE 19 | veterans’ job fair
• Leadership – veterans are trained to be leaders and managers.
| 8 | OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 TEXASh2o
| lake ralph hall |
TCEQ Approves Water Rights Permit for New Reservoir in North Texas
he Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has approved a water rights permit for Lake Ralph Hall, the first new reservoir approved since
1985. Commissioner Toby Baker said the step forward comes at a pivotal time. “Right now what we’re dealing with in the state of Texas is a population that is growing exponentially and a water supply that is remaining static, exacerbated by one of the worst droughts we have ever had,” Baker was quoted by Dallas’s KERA. The Upper Trinity Regional Water District says Lake Ralph Hall is necessary for UTRWD and the North Texas
region to avoid a future water supply crisis. The state’s Texas Water Plan lists the need for Lake Ralph Hall and the water it will provide to UTRWD’s customers. Upper Trinity plans to use all the water that is available from its existing diversified water portfolio, yet there will not be enough to avoid an expected shortfall without Lake Ralph Hall, which will be about the size of Lake Grapevine when completed in about a decade. More water from Dallas, increased water conservation efforts and more reuse of existing supplies are all vital. However, additional water CONTINUED PAGE 18 | lake ralph hall
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| groundwater management |
Groundwater Management in Texas Still Challenged By Increasing Population, Persistent Drought This article was reprinted with permission from The Cross Section, the monthly publication of the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District No. 1
ncreasing population and lingering drought continues to make management of the state’s surface and groundwater resources a challenge, said Senator Troy Fraser during remarks at the second Texas Groundwater Summit held Aug. 27-29 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in San Marcos. “There was a time in 1988 when I stopped and wondered if the cost of a barrel of water would be more than the cost of a barrel of oil. Now, 25 years later, we see that water is driving every aspect of public policy in Texas,” Fraser said. He is chairman of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. He noted that much has changed in Texas during the past two years. “About 97 percent of Texas is in either severe or exceptional drought. The state’s surface water reservoirs will be lower at the end of the month than they were in 1955. Evaporation losses this summer will exceed the total water use from the state’s reservoirs. “The main difference between the drought of record and today is the state’s population increase. Back in 1955, we did not have an estimated 1,000 people moving to Texas each day. This means an extra
| 10 | OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 TEXASh2o
1,000 people go into their kitchens or bathrooms each day, turn on the faucet, and expect a reliable stream of clean water for their use,” he said. Fraser noted that businesses moving to Texas are thirsty for water — especially the oil and gas industry. “I grew up in the Coahoma (Texas) area and know the importance of dependable, potable water. I have a huge concern about the oil and gas boom and how it will impact water use…especially in those areas with limited water supplies,” he said. Fraser added that water conservation districts will have a very difficult job ahead in managing the state’s groundwater resources. “The legislature still supports districts as the preferred method of groundwater management in Texas. However, the districts must start the debate with the legislature on a wide range of subjects, including management of brackish groundwater, groundwater depletion, fracking in the oil and gas industry, standardized rules between districts, and other technical issues,” Fraser said. For example, he said there is not enough science for a clear understanding of the state’s brackish CONTINUED PAGE 26 | groundwater management
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| proposition 6 |
Texas Water Development Board: FAQs About Proposition 6 Q A
What is the Texas Water Development Board?
What is Proposition 6?
The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) is a state agency formed in 1957 in response to Texasâ€™ record-breaking drought. The agency has three main responsibilities: assisting with regional water planning and preparing the state water plan every five years; collecting and distributing water data; and providing loan and grant money for Texas water and wastewater projects.
Proposition 6 creates and constitutionally dedicates two new funds: the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) and the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas (SWIRFT).
Where will the money come from?
If voters approve Proposition 6, the legislature has also authorized a one-time, $2 billion investment from the Economic Stabilization Fund (also known as the Rainy Day Fund) to the SWIFT. These funds are designed to make the financing of water projects more affordable and to provide consistent, ongoing state financial assistance for water supplies.
What will this program do for Texas?
How would the program be used to ensure adequate water supplies?
The funds created through Proposition 6 would help communities develop and optimize water supplies at cost-effective interest rates. The upfront costs on water infrastructure can often make it difficult for some communities to build what they need. The SWIFT provides the economic opportunity for communities to overcome this hurdle by providing low-cost, flexible financing options for water projects. This financial assistance will enable local communities to begin needed water projects.
The funds would be used to provide low-cost financing for projects in the state water plan â€” a plan created by local and regional entities, with the assistance of the state, to meet future water demands. Every five years 16 regional water planning groups assess the projected population and water demands and supplies in their areas over the next 50 years. Each region then compiles a regional water plan, and those plans are rolled up into the state water plan. The state water plan also includes important information CONTINUED PAGE 22 | proposition 6
| 12 | OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 TEXASh2o
| texas water 2014 |
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Texas Water 2014SM April 14-17, 2014* Hilton Anatole Hotel Dallas, Texas *Please note Texas Water 2014 begins on Monday and ends on Thursday this year
Registration will open in late December Check www.txwater.org for more information
TEXASh2o OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 | 13 |
| water project liaison |
TCEQ Establishes Water Project Liaison in Response to Governorâ€™s Request Meeting the Water Challenges Facing Texas
he Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), in response to a request from the governorâ€™s office, has established a water project liaison within the TCEQ to assist and coordinate with the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) in implementing House Bill 4. The liaison will help the state take a leadership role in working with businesses, utilities, local
governments, and citizens to prioritize and develop essential projects and water management strategies. Specifically, the TCEQ will coordinate efforts with the TWDB to ensure the TCEQ attends regional water planning group meetings and provides solution-based assistance and support regarding water-supply development as well as other assistance as requested.
New desalination plants, storage systems, conservation projects, water reuse projects, water pipelines, wells, and reservoirs are just some of the projects likely to be presented to the TWDB under new procedures outlined in HB 4 from the last legislative session. If voters approve Proposition 6 in November, there will be even more projects as new sources of funding become available.
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| water project liaison |
CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE “Due to the ongoing drought and population growth, Texas is at a crucial point in ensuring water supplies for both current and future Texans,” said TCEQ Chairman Bryan W. Shaw, Ph.D., P.E. “It makes sense to make the process as efficient as possible to assist applicants who are bringing helpful projects to the table.” “The TCEQ is absolutely committed to doing whatever it can to assist the TWDB in quickly and efficiently implementing HB 4,” he said. “The Legislature and the governor provided Texas with a great opportunity to ensure an adequate water supply for the future of Texas,” said Texas Water Development Board Chairman Carlos Rubinstein. “Texans can be assured that state government is taking this issue seriously. The cooperation between the TCEQ and TWDB is an example of what it is going to take for Texas to respond to the water challenge facing our state.” The TWDB has begun working with regional water planning groups to develop uniform prioritization criteria for the state’s water supply projects. The TWDB held a work session on Oct. 9 to discuss those criteria and how to implement the legislation if it is approved by voters. The TCEQ’s water liaison is Brian Christian, and he can be reached through the TCEQ’s Small Business and Environmental Assistance Division at 512-239-3100. The impacts of drought on the state of Texas will continue to be felt for some time, even after the current drought begins to subside. The state’s population continues to grow. Planning for future water security is critical to our state’s continued success.
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TEXASh2o OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 | 15 |
| letter from the texas section chair |
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 letter from the texas section chair But our involvement must not end on Election Day. If Proposition 6 passes, we must continue to educate the public about the value of water and the importance of its efficient use. If Prop 6 passes, it’s only a first step. Water planners in the state note that funding all the projects envisioned by the State Water Plan would require much more than $2 billion. Prop 6 is not a panacea, so the public must remain engaged in the discussions about water conservation and upgrading infrastructure to accommodate the demands of an increasing population. If Prop 6 fails, the discussion can’t end. Leaders in the public and private sectors must continue to explore financing of necessary water initiatives. Either way, Texas AWWA and its members must continue to be in the forefront of the discussions regarding water policy in our state. Either way, we’ll have a lot of educating to do.
TAWWA would like to thank the generous sponsors of our Water Conservation Webcast Series
| 16 | OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 TEXASh2o
| water conservation webcasts |
REGISTER TODAY! TAWWA Water Conservation Webcasts November 22, 2013 January 9, 2014
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Cost is $50 per webcast or $75 members/$115 non-members for all 3 webcasts The first webcast took place in October, but if you purchase the package you will be able to view a recording of it
For more info and to register, visit www.tawwa.org
TEXASh2o OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 | 17 |
| lake ralph hall |
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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9 | lake ralph hall supplies are absolutely critical, making Lake Ralph Hall an important defense against a future water crisis, UTRWD said. “The proposed Lake Ralph Hall in Fannin County is the right size, can be completed in time to protect against a potential water supply crisis and is the lowest-cost source of new water supply available for Upper Trinity customers,” Thomas E. Taylor, UTRWD Executive Director, said. Further, Taylor said, “The site of the proposed lake is unique, with no cemeteries, oil or gas wells or pipelines, or transmission lines, and it will make a positive environmental contribution to the area by restoring wetlands and mitigating a long-term soil erosion problem. The lake has strong local support in Denton County where most of the customers live who will use the water — and in Fannin County where the lake will be built.” The City of Flower Mound opposed the TCEQ permit, saying that population projections were too high and that water rates will rise too much. UTRWD says Lake Ralph Hall will benefit families and businesses in North Texas and Fannin County, including: • Contributing approximately $18 billion in economic benefits to Denton, Dallas, Collin and Fannin Counties, including jobs and economic development; • Providing approximately 30 million gallons per day of reliable water supplies for use by communities, families and businesses in North Texas and Fannin County; and • Stimulating additional revenues for state, county and local governments.
Your ad could be here! Call 512-251-8101 or email Tracy Wagner at email@example.com | 18 | OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 TEXASh2o
In addition to helping mitigate the soil erosion problem along the North Sulphur River in Fannin County, Lake Ralph Hall is also expected to improve wetlands, wildlife habitat, and provide new opportunities for fishing, hunting, water recreation and family fun in the area.
| veterans’ job fair |
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8 | veterans’ job fair • Can-Do Attitude – veterans carry and apply a positive attitude and get the job done • Calm Under Fire – veterans are steady, cool, and collected. Handling stress is all in a day’s work for veterans. • First-Class Image – veterans don’t have to be reminded to get a haircut. Whether in uniform or in a business suit, veterans know how to dress for success. • On Time, All the Time – veterans know that every second counts and will be there on time • Global Perspective – veterans are tuned in to the forces and events that shape the global market. There are more than 1.7 million veterans in Texas. With the recent end of America’s nine-year war in Iraq and the current drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, a mass of unemployed veterans are returning home to the United States. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the national unemployment rate for all veterans is 6.3 percent. In contrast, for those veterans who served
in the military post–9/11, the unemployment rate is 10 percent. Federal tax benefits may be available to employers that hire veterans under the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. Employers can receive up to a $9,000 tax credit by hiring a veteran. Tax credits currently are available for hiring in the following categories of veterans: • Disabled veterans with a service-connected disability who have been unemployed for at least six months • Veterans who have been unemployed for at least six months • Disabled veterans with a service-connected disability • Veterans receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits • Veterans who have been unemployed for at least four weeks For more information, contact your local Work Force Solutions office. To find out more about the TAWWA Workforce Committee, visit www.tawwa.com or contact Cathy Dominguez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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| executive director report |
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6 | executive director report Dallas, but I am ready to be back in Big D. We will be at the Hilton Anatole and my advice is bring your walking shoes. Big place and a great place to hold the conference. We will have a record number of exhibitors, 480 to be exact, and we have had more than 525 abstracts submitted for the conference. Our joint Program Committee is sifting those down to about 150 Technical Sessions that will be the best sessions you will see anywhere.
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| 20 | OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 TEXASh2o
For those of you who are budgeting, the cost of Texas Water remains the very affordable $295 for the Full Registration including many meals. Look for registration information in late December but make plans now to attend. Nov. 5 is Election Day and a number of propositions are on the ballot. One of course is Proposition 6 that is designed to fund the State Water Plan for building infrastructure, as well as supporting and promoting conservation. The funds would provide greater lending ability for the Texas Water Development Board and come from the so called “Rainy Day Fund,” which according to recent news articles is growing larger due to the gas taxes. This is similar to the program that we support on the federal level for a federal infrastructure fund called WIFIA. As an association, we are careful not to advocate on one side or another for a ballot proposition, so I encourage you to learn as much as you can about the pros and cons of Proposition 6 and most importantly, vote on Nov. 5.
| student scholarship dinner |
SAVE the DATE » DEC 5, 2013 The San Antonio Area Chapters of AWWA and WEAT will be hosting the 9th Annual Student Scholarship Dinner and Fundraiser for our local members. The dinner will be held on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 at 6 p.m. at the Old San Francisco Steakhouse in San Antonio. We are excited to announce our keynote speaker for the evening, Bexar County Commissioner Kevin Wolff. Again this year we are combining the dinner with a scholarship fundraiser, with a goal of raising $10,000. All net proceeds from the dinner will go towards the Annual Student Scholarship fund. We need your help to make this year’s scholarship fundraiser a success! There are several sponsorship opportunities available: Platinum Sponsors = $1,500 - One table sponsorship [10 seats], priority seating near speaker, and top recognition on program. Gold Sponsors = $950 – One table sponsorship [10 seats] and name on program. Silver Sponsors = $300 – Name on program and registration table poster. If you or your firm is interested in a sponsorship or if you have any questions, please contact Steve Renneker at 210-321-5327 or email@example.com.
TEXASh2o OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 | 21 |
| proposition 6 |
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12 | proposition 6 on statewide trends and policy issues, and it lists the water supply strategies identified to meet the regional water shortages over the next 50 years. The 2012 State Water Plan contains numerous strategies to meet water needs during drought. Those strategies are the water supply projects that would be eligible for funding through the SWIFT and SWIRFT if Proposition 6 passes.
Is my community represented in the state water plan?
Yes. Every community and every water user group in Texas is planned for. Water user groups include cities, rural water users, agriculture, livestock, manufacturers, mining, and steam-electric power. The 2012 State Water Plan addresses the needs of roughly 3,000 water user groups.
How does Proposition 6 help rural communities and Texas farmers?
Rural and agricultural stakeholders serve as part of the water planning process. This process identifies water supply projects that go into the state water plan. Our planning process helps identify water projects that are needed by rural and agricultural interests. Moreover, the legislature made serving these interests a priority: directing the TWDB to undertake applying not less than 10 percent of the funds to projects serving rural communities and Texas farmers.
What water supply projects would be supported by these funds?
Projects in the state water plan would be eligible for support from the SWIFT and SWIRFT. These water projects range from conservation and reuse, to desalting groundwater and seawater, to building new pipelines and developing reservoirs and well fields, and include many other kinds of projects as well. Through the regional water planning process, local and regional water experts recommended these projects as the most efficient and viable ones for their communities.
How does this program support water conservation?
The legislature has recognized the importance of water conservation and reuse strategies in managing
| 22 | OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 TEXASh2o
and protecting the stateâ€™s water resources. The legislature directed the TWDB to undertake applying not less than 20 percent of SWIFT financial assistance for water conservation and reuse projects. The TWDB is also directed to undertake applying an additional 10 percent for projects to serve rural areas, including agricultural conservation projects. Emphasizing the importance of conservation will help ensure communities use their water wisely and extend the life of their current supplies.
Could these funds be used to build reservoirs?
What will happen if these funds are not created?
How will the state ensure these funds are protected?
Since all water supply projects in the state water plan would be eligible, reservoirs would be eligible for support from the SWIFT and SWIRFT if they are strategies in the state water plan. Reservoirs make up approximately 15 percent of the total financial assistance requested in the 2012 State Water Plan.
Many communities may not be able to get adequate financing for water infrastructure projects, and our state could face critical water shortages. As the ongoing, severe drought demonstrates, some Texas communities currently do not have enough water to meet demands during times of drought. By 2060, the Texas population is expected to nearly double and existing water supplies are projected to decrease by 10 percent, creating a need for an additional 8.3 million acre-feet per year â€” or about 2.7 trillion gallons. If the state fails to help communities develop enough water supplies to protect against future drought conditions, Texas will also suffer significant economic losses. Estimated economic losses in the year 2060 could exceed $116 billion, including over 1.1 million lost jobs.
As required by legislation, the $2 billion investment in the SWIFT will be protected by the Texas Treasury Safe Keeping Trust Company. The legislation also calls for an advisory committee to evaluate TWDBâ€™s management of the funds. Committee members will include the state comptroller, three state senators, and three state representatives. In addition, the legislation calls for a regional and state prioritization process that ranks projects for funding. The TWDB would manage
| proposition 6 |
CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE the administration and disbursement of funds and ensure they are used to finance needed water supply projects. Since it was created in 1957, the TWDB has loaned $14.3 billion dollars for water and wastewater infrastructure without a single loan default.
How would the funds be disbursed?
Communities and utilities would apply to TWDB for financial assistance, and funds would be disbursed for projects in the state water plan. The TWDB would evaluate and prioritize projects for assistance based on a state and regional process. Many factors would be considered in this evaluation, including the number of people served, the urgency of the project, the ability of the local and regional sponsors to support the project, and the degree of conservation achieved â€” just to name a few prioritization criteria.
How would the SWIFT and SWIRFT work?
Can these funds be used to help address the current drought emergencies some communities are facing?
The SWIFT allows for more cost-effective water projects, ultimately saving Texas and Texans money on water. Money in the SWIFT may be used to provide financial assistance for state water plan projects through the following TWDB programs: the Rural Water Assistance Fund, the Water Infrastructure Fund, State Participation, and the Agricultural Water Conservation Fund, as well as the proposed SWIRFT. The SWIFT can support low-cost financing for projects in the form of reduced interest rates, longer repayment terms, and deferred repayment periods of interest and principal.
Does Proposition 6 require that I install a meter on my groundwater well?
No. There is no provision within Proposition 6 or its enabling legislation that would require landowners to meter their wells.
Will this program change how surface water is regulated?
No. Surface water (water from lakes and rivers) is governed by an entirely separate set of statutes that will not be affected by this program.
Who benefits from this program?
Who should we contact for more information?
Texas. Cities, counties, water districts, river authorities, irrigation districts, regional water authorities, and nonprofit water supply corporations across this state are all eligible to use TWDBâ€™s financial assistance programs to address implementation of state water plan projects.
Contact Jeremy Mazur or Merry Klonower of the Texas Water Development Board. Jeremy may be reached at 512-463-5850 or jeremy.mazur@twdb. texas.gov. Merry may be reached at 512-463-8165 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The legislation for these funds outlines several planning requirements and milestone dates. The funds would not be available until March 2015. In the meantime, entities may be eligible for financial assistance through a number of other TWDB programs.
Will this program affect groundwater rights?
No. The SWIFT will not affect groundwater rights or other private property rights in any way. Further, the SWIFT will not affect how groundwater conservation districts manage local groundwater supplies.
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TEXASh2o OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 | 23 |
| tawwa/weat social |
WEAT/TAWWA Fall Social! When: November 7, 2013 6 – 9:30 pm Where: Top Golf 2700 Esperanza Xing, Austin (off Burnet east of the Domain)
Cost: $35/person, $40 after Nov. 1 Details: Includes heavy appetizers,
drink ticket and three hours of golf!
Register online through November 5th!
Raffle Tickets: We have many great prizes! Bring cash to purchase raffle tickets at the door. All proceeds benefit Water for People.
Questions: James McDonald | firstname.lastname@example.org | 512.381.8333
. . . . . . . . . . . . Thanks to our Sponsors! . . . . . . . . . . . .. Red, White & You Veterans’ Job Fair Thursday, November 14 At 28 locations across Texas Visit the Texas Workforce Commission website for locations and more information
www.twc.state.tx.us | 24 | OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 TEXASh2o
| callegari exclusive |
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 | callegari exclusive “We’ve got to figure out a way to move this water around,” Callegari said. But the representative, who holds a masters in Civil Engineering from the University of Houston, warned that “whenever you pump upstream, it can get pretty expensive.” Callegari is bullish on the prospects for treating brackish groundwater, an abundant resource in Texas. He notes that brackish groundwater has a-fifth-toa-third less salt than seawater. “It’s less expensive to treat,” he said, “It’s more doable.” Projections that treatment of brackish groundwater will eventually provide three or four percent of the state’s water use are low, Callegari said. “I think it will end up being a much greater resource for us.” Callegari is proud of legislation that he shepherded regarding reuse issues. In one bill, he brought together stakeholders that developed an approach that encouraged reuse while protecting environmental flows. Although the bill didn’t pass, it set the stage for TCEQ to develop policies addressing the issue that mirrored the bill, and two river authorities were able to hammer out an agreement. “In some ways that’s even better [than passing a bill], bringing people together,” he said, “if we can keep people from going to the courthouse.” That, he said, has been one of his goals, reducing conflict so that money that should be spent on water development isn’t spent on “soft costs” such as legal fees. “We need to spend money where we need it rather than on the soft costs,” he said, “That’s something that still ought to be the focus of the Legislature.” Another source of pride for Callegari is his record on Certificates of Convenience and Necessity — CCNs. He authored legislation that allowed property owners to remove themselves from CCNs and imposed more requirements on CCN holders before adding property. “I’m quite proud that we were able to find solutions that respect private property rights,” the Katy Republican said.
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TEXASh2o OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 | 25 |
| groundwater management |
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10 | groundwater management
groundwater resources. “How much brackish groundwater is available and how will we manage it? The legislature hopes TAGD will set up sub-groups to allow its member districts to discuss these issues and makes recommendations during the interim,” Fraser said. Other keynote speakers at the summit included Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Todd Staples, General Land Office Commissioner Jerry Patterson, Representative Doug Miller, and Dr. Robert Mace, interim Executive Administrator of the Texas Water Development Board. The other 42 presenters covered a wide range of groundwater-related topics, including the ABCs of GCDs, bills introduced during the 83rd Texas Legislature, brackish groundPITTSBURG water, case law, TANK & TOWER Endangered MAINTENANCE CO., INC. Species Act SAVE! update, energy We have a crew in and groundwater, YOUR AREA! groundwater Inspections Repair New & Used Tanks district operation, Wet In Service Cleaning Relocation Elevated Dry Paint Erectors Underground groundwater ROV Insulation Dismantles Ground Storage ownership, and (Robotic) API Mixing System science/technology. ROV inspections can be viewed on Presentations TV console during inspection & DVD provided. All inspections include from the 2013 bound reports, recommendations and Texas Groundwacost estimates. ter Summit are Hugh McGee available online 270-826-9000 Ext. 330 at http://tinyurl. www.watertank.com com/kcobk6r. www.kimley-horn.com
4/15/11 9:40:35 PM
Want to see your ad here?
Austin ∙ College Station Dallas ∙ Fort Worth Frisco ∙ Houston Irving ∙ San Antonio
| 26 | OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 TEXASh2o
Call 512-251-8101 or email Tracy Wagner at email@example.com www.tawwa.org
| calendar |
What’s Happening Across Texas DATE
TAWWA/WEAT 6-9:30 pm Fall Social
Water Conservation Plan Webcast #2
Student Scholarship 6 pm Dinner & Fundraiser
Top Golf Austin
APRIL 14-17 Texas Water 2014SM
www.tawwa.org firstname.lastname@example.org www.tawwa.org
Old San Francisco Steakhouse San Antonio Hilton Anatole Hotel Dallas
Want to share your event with the Texas water community? Contact Mike Howe, 512-238-9292 or email@example.com. Check the Section’s website, www.tawwa.org, for the latest information on Section activities. www.rjn.com Ofﬁces Nationwide
Wastewater System Engineering
Sanitary Sewer Condition Assessment
Fort Worth 817.451.3500
Garland 972.271.1920 Irving 972.313.1874
Sanitary Sewer Overﬂow Elimination
Round Rock 512.451.8204
Water Distribution Engineering
San Antonio 210.651.1661
TEXASh2o OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 | 27 |
c/o GCP Association Services, LLC PO Box 676 | Pflugerville, TX 78691 512-251-8101 | (f ) 512-251-812 firstname.lastname@example.org | www.tawwa.org
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