Texas Senator Troy Fraser met with local officials from across the state today to discuss Texas' water resources. Earlier today, the Senator's office issued this press release to inform Texans of what's being done to protect our water resources during the long drought we've been experiencing:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2013

Fraser Meets with Central Texas Water Leaders

State Senator Troy Fraser met with local elected officials from Central Texas on Monday to discuss the state’s water resources. The meeting was intended to keep a dialogue open between local officials and the state.

"After the severe drought of 2011, I focused my efforts toward ensuring the state had an abundant supply of water for the next 50 years,” Fraser said. “I traveled across Texas meeting with water stakeholders on ways to enhance existing water resources. I took that information and was successful in passing legislation to finally fund the State Water Plan.”

As Chairman of the Senate Natural Resources Committee, Fraser authored and passed HB 4 to set up the structure to provide meaningful financing for water providers. HB 4 would set up a revolving loan program available to local governmental entities that are sponsoring local water projects and SJR 1 would dedicate a one-time investment of $2 billion to help capitalize the loan program, if Proposition 6 is approved by the voters in November.

“As part of the legislation, I wanted to make sure that areas like Central Texas were protected and would receive a percentage of the seed money,” stated Fraser. “Bell, Hamilton, Coryell and Lampasas Counties are growing fast and that growth is dependent on a steady supply of water. I didn’t want the state’s population centers in Dallas and Houston to control the funding.”

The seasonal Drought Outlook from the National Weather Service predicts persistent drought throughout most of the state through the end of October. The Texas Water Development Board reports that statewide reservoir storage continues its downward slide and total conservation storage remains at the lowest recorded level for this time of the year since 1990.

“This ongoing drought costs Texans billions of dollars in lost income annually,” Fraser continued. “With the competing interests fighting for the right to water – especially the large industrial users downstream – we must consider how to protect this community’s water.”

“The discussion with Central Texas leaders keeps the dialogue open so that I know how state policies are working in the local areas,” Fraser continued.

Fraser closed the meeting by encouraging local leaders to support Proposition 6 in the November Constitutional Amendment election.

“This one-time investment is designed to address our water needs today and 50 years into the future,” Fraser concluded. “But even with this potential influx of seed money, we must keep thinking outside the box. Mother Nature is keeping our state hot and dry. We have to keep coming up with innovative ideas for water use, reuse and conservation.”