On November 5, Texans made history and helped our state take a monumental step forward in tackling one of the biggest challenges we face—securing water supplies for the next generation. Proposition 6—which garnered support from more than 73 percent of Texans—is a modern approach to solving the state’s water challenges. Now that it has passed, three important things are set to happen:
- The State Water Plan receives $2 billion in initial investment.
- 20 percent of that funding will be dedicated to conservation and reuse projects and an additional 10 percent to agricultural conservation and rural projects.
- Projects in the State Water Plan will be prioritized both regionally and statewide so that the best projects happen first.
This bold legislation is reminiscent of the confident decision-making in response to Texas’ Drought of Record in the 1950s. What is different, however, is the clear message the Legislature sent the people of Texas. Prop. 6 represents a monumental shift in how our state emphasizes water conservation and the critical role it plays in solving our water challenges, enabling Texas to prosper and ensuring the continued viability of our lakes, river and streams.
The overwhelming support for Proposition 6 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, addressing conservation first allows us to measure our progress to determine if new water supplies are truly needed.
Texans have clearly recognized that water is the lifeblood of our state, and that all of us have a responsibility to be good stewards. Future generations will thank us for that.