Voters in the Lone Star State have a chance to support the safety and security of their water future on November 8, 2011. Proposition 2 would amend the state constitution to increase the bonding authority of the Texas Water Development Board to $6 billion.
Bond funds through the Water Board are made available to local governments throughout the state to fund water and wastewater infrastructure retrofits. Allowable improvements under Proposition 2 funds would include both conservation and flood control projects, two areas of infrastructure that in many parts of the state are long overdue.
Proposition 2 currently enjoys widespread support among constituencies ranging from the state’s business community to environmental advocates. If the constitutional amendment passes, it will serve as a beacon to water utilities throughout the nation as an example of how to invest in water infrastructure.
As I saw when I was General Manager of a major water utility in the West, the public understands that ensuring the availability of fresh drinking water and the proper treatment of wastewater is a necessity, not a luxury. With an annual national investment shortfall of $20 million in wastewater infrastructure alone, I’d say it’s high time utilities around the country started paying attention to how Texas has built public support for this investment in its water future.