Statement from Laura Huffman, Texas State Director of The Nature Conservancy on the Passage of Proposition 6
For Immediate Release
Austin, Texas | November 05, 2013
By passing Proposition 6 today, Texans helped our state take a monumental step forward in tackling one of the biggest challenges we face—securing water supplies for the next generation.
After sitting on the shelf for years, the Texas Water Plan, our road map for water management in Texas for the next 50 years, finally has dedicated funding.
We have seen firsthand how, in an instant, drought can devastate our economy, our quality of life and our natural resources. This bold action—by both voters today and state leaders during the last legislative session—is reminiscent of the sweeping response our state made during the Drought of Record in the 1950s. What is different, however, is the strong emphasis on water conservation and the critical role it will play in enabling Texas to prosper and ensuring the viability of our lakes, rivers, aquifers and coastal bays.
Proposition 6 mandates 20 percent of the $2 billion in funding be set aside for conservation and reuse projects, along with an additional 10 percent for rural projects and agricultural conservation. It also requires prioritizing projects on both regional and statewide levels, based on several key pieces of criteria like cost-effectiveness, need, sustainability and commitment to conservation. These features are how we’ll ensure the best projects happen first.
This vote marks an important first step in securing our state’s future, but the work is far from over. We will all have to stay engaged as our communities consider strategies and projects for addressing water needs. Tackling conservation first, to reduce our water use in cities, agriculture, energy and industry will be the cheapest and smartest way to stretch our water supplies. Better still, we can measure our progress this way, to determine if new water supplies are truly needed.
By passing Proposition 6, Texas has clearly recognized that water is the lifeblood of our state, and that it is our responsibility to be good stewards. Future generations will thank us for that.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.