Gov. Rick Perry today visited the construction site for the Lake Texoma Pipeline Extension Project to highlight the importance of new water infrastructure projects in meeting Texas' water needs. This new pipeline is an example of the kinds of projects local communities could access funding for with the passage of Proposition 6 in November. It will cover 46 miles and allow the North Texas Municipal Water District to tap into the Lake Texoma water supply, which has been inaccessible since 2009.
"For every project currently being built, many more across our state are waiting for funding before they can get underway to deal with a specific local water issue," Gov. Perry said. "As we face the ongoing effects of drought, combined with our economic and population growth, we simply can't wait any longer. If Texas is to remain the best place to live, work, grow a business or raise a family, we must ensure adequate supplies for generations to come. That's why Prop. 6 is so important to the future of this state."
With voter approval on Nov. 5, Prop. 6 will authorize a one-time, $2 billion transfer from the Rainy Day Fund to create the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT). No state taxes will increase as a result of creating this fund. The SWIFT will leverage funding up to $30 billion in local water projects over five decades, effectively fulfilling the state's portion of water plan funding. This constitutional amendment would require the regional and statewide prioritization of water projects provided in the plan and would make the financing of these projects more affordable, enabling local communities to access cost-effective interest rates to invest in water needs.
The Texoma pipeline project will provide a more reliable water supply to local communities in North Texas for future generations. In the Region C Water Planning Area, which includes Dallas-Fort Worth and surrounding communities, the population is estimated to nearly double by 2060, with water demands increasing by 86 percent. Meanwhile, existing water supplies in the state are projected to decrease by 10 percent.
This month, Gov. Perry has traveled to O.C. Fisher Reservoir in San Angelo and Lake Travis near Austin to encourage support of Prop. 6 to fulfill the state water plan. Both bodies of water are experiencing exceptionally low water levels due to the ongoing drought. Last week, Gov. Perry renewed the state's disaster declaration for drought to include 240 of Texas' 254 counties.