Texas Water Development Board Chairman Ready To Face Challenges

Sep 4, 2013

Texas has a new Water Development Board and this week Gov. Rick Perry swore in three members of the newly-created agency that is tasked with finding new sources of water and funding various future water projects.

During the regular session, the Texas Legislature approved a bill that created Prop 6, which will go on the ballot this fall for voters to decide. The measure takes $2 billion out of the Rainy Day Fund to help set up the funding for the next 50 years of various private and public water projects.

New Texas Water Board Chairman Carlos Rubinstein said Texas needs to catch up with the water needs of the state’s growing population, especially if the current drought becomes a record drought.

"Conserving water is the easiest water you'll ever develop," Rubinstein said. "It's also probably the least expensive water we'll ever develop, but that in itself is not the only answer."

Rubinstein said all stakeholders, both rural and urban, and private and public, will be heard -- that includes oil companies, who now use 30 percent of Texas water for hydraulic fracking.

"They are actively looking for alternate water supplies and they need to come to the table as well to have the discussion," he said. "Not only as you say, 'How we do this with less water?' but also because the demand itself, the future growth of Texas, is not only going to represent an increase demand for water, it is also going to represent an increase in energy production as well."