Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Texas deploys its 'rainy day fund' to start long-term fight against drought

Nathanial Gronewold in Energy & Environment News: Concerned about its continuing drought, the Lone Star State is embarking upon a multi-decade effort to increase water supplies and make it more resilient to the dry spells that climate scientists say will become more frequent.

Though many conservative lawmakers here still shy from acknowledging climate change, they took decisive action to address it last week when the state's House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to support the Texas Water Development Board's (TWDB) statewide water plan.

That plan, completed last year, recommends new reservoirs, pipeline infrastructure, conservation efforts to preserve groundwater and other initiatives to quench this fast-growing state's need for future supplies of fresh water.

To a round of applause, 146 state legislators approved H.B. 4, which would finance a new fund to begin investing in new infrastructure and other projects by dipping into the state's so-called rainy day fund. The $2 billion that would be taken from the rainy day fund for the water plan is just a down payment toward TWDB's call for some $53 billion in spending over the next 40 years, $27 billion of which is expected to come directly from the state government....

A water tower in Andrews, Texas, shot by Billy Hathorn, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license 

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