FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 03/15/2013
Price Joint Authors Bill to Protect Water Resources, Improve the State's Water Infrastructure
Austin, TX --- State Representative Four Price joint authored one of the 83rd Legislative Session's most significant water bills, House Bill 4. If passed, this proposed legislation, filed by Natural Resources Committee Chairman Allan Ritter, would allocate $2 billion from the state's Rainy Day Fund to be used for the financing of certain water projects, including investments in new reservoirs, desalination plants and conservation efforts.
"Water is a top issue for this legislative session due to the significant role it plays in all aspects of our lives," Price said. "The need to address our state's water demand is highlighted by the ongoing exceptional drought in many parts of Texas."
Price emphasized the importance of preparing Texas for future drought conditions.
"Our state can't afford continual seasons of costly droughts – which has cost billions of dollars in losses to agriculture alone – without a plan to tackle our water supply and infrastructure needs," Price said.
With current drought conditions – 89 percent of Texas remains in some level of drought – a comprehensive plan and financing strategy is needed to address the drought-related economic losses, meet growing municipal and agricultural water needs, and conserve existing natural water supplies. House Bill 4 has garnered support from Speaker Joe Straus, as well as businesses, organizations and environmental groups across the state. On March 14, the bill was unanimously voted out of the House Natural Resources Committee.
"The state's population and economic growth are dependent on several factors, and water is a key element," Price said. "We must have a focused water strategy in place to meet future demand and sustain the needs of our state. House Bill 4 is an essential step toward developing the state's water projects and conservation initiatives, which are critical to meeting the current and future needs of all Texans."
Contact: Jacquelyn Greenwood