Early voting is currently underway! As residents in Central Texas (or potential residents), there are issues that are important to the future of the area. So, we encourage you to get the voting booths early to support Proposition 1 and Proposition 6. And don’t forget, the uniform election is on Tuesday, November 5, if you can’t make it to an early voting booth. To learn more about Proposition 6, please read below (and if you missed our post on Prop. 1, click here):
Proposition 6, Water for Texas
Despite the recent rainstorms, we can’t help but think about how far we still have to go in terms of water. The rains helped; Lake Travis’s volume is up—three feet to be exact. But, we’re not there yet. That’s why during early voting or on November 5, we encourage you to vote yes for Texas Proposition 6, aimed at funding the Texas Water Plan.
If Lake Travis were to have come up another 3 feet this week, it would still be 40 feet below the historical October average, and 55 feet below full level. If Central Texans truly believe that the drought is over, then only a small number of eligible Texans will decide the future of funding transportation and water statewide.
You might come across some misinformation about this proposition. But, here are the facts:
- Proposition 6 allocates $2 billion from the State’s “rainy day” fund to the water projects infrastructure bank.
- It provides a source for cities, counties, and water districts to apply for loans to allow the execution of specific water projects designed and prioritized by local planners. Funds will not be grants. They will be loans, and must be repaid.
- Conservation and water re-use are significant components in the plan.
- Statewide, the identified need for water projects is more than $50 billion! This infrastructure bank allows a $2 billion initial deposit to be leveraged many times over in the coming decades, and leaves project control in local hands.
- Revenue forecasters project that income to the state from the boom in oil and gas production will replenish the “rainy day” fund in less than 2 years, and keep it at or near its statutory limit for years to come.
- Proposition 6 does not increase taxes. Local water planners, and taxpayers in the affected areas, will decide how much money to borrow, how to spend it, and how to pay it back.
The Texas Water Plan includes 16 separate plans developed by Regional Water Planning Groups. The Water Plan has existed since the late 1990s, but was never funded in any coordinated way. In the 2013 legislative session, an infrastructure bank was created to be administered by the Texas Water Development Board. No money was deposited into the bank, though.
With the population of Texas expected to at least double in the next 40 years, water is the key. Austin can’t afford to leave our future in the hands of a small number of eligible Texas voters. Please visit WaterTexas for more information.