AUSTIN - Major water legislation crafted by state Sen. Kip Averitt, R-McGregor, won approval in the final hours of the 80th Legislative Session on Monday.
In conjunction with three quarters of a billion dollars in water infrastructure funding that Averitt helped secure through his position on the Senate Finance Committee, Senate Bill 3 moves forward the development of Texas water policy by protecting instream flows, encouraging conservation of existing water resources and allowing new water projects identified by the State Water Plan to meet the state’s future water needs.
“When you look at the state’s current water supply versus what it will take to meet our state’s future water needs, it’s easy to conclude that our future supply would have been insufficient without the advances we made this session,” said Averitt, chairman of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. “Passage of this legislation along with the water infrastructure funding we secured will allow us to enact decades worth of water planning work and ensure a clean, adequate supply of water for future generations of Texans.
“I am proud to be part of the Legislature that set these important tools in motion,” he said.
Previous Texas Water Development Board predictions suggested that failure to implement the state water plan could leave 85 percent of Texans without an adequate supply of water as early as 2060.
“I would like to thank Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, our house sponsor chairman Robert Puente and all the members of the Legislature who joined me in passing legislation that will ensure that future generations of Texans have the water they need to live, work and play,” Averitt said. “Water is more than a quality of life issue, it’s about the existence of life.”