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Senate Bill 1,
A State Water Plan

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Bordering the Future

Many of the concerns about water along the border--limited supplies, water quality problems and infrastructure needs caused by rapid population growth--exist throughout the state. The 1997 Texas Legislature responded to mounting worries about the state's water resources with Senate Bill 1, a measure combining conservation steps with new water management approaches. State lawmakers appropriated $36 million to implement the law, primarily for financial and technical assistance, enforcement, and data management and collection. Major highlights of the law include:

Water planning--The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) will designate as many as 20 regions in the state to develop plans for maintaining water quality and quantity.

Groundwater--Groundwater conservation districts are designated as the preferred entity to manage groundwater resources.

Financial aid--A constitutional amendment approved by voters in November 1997 established the Texas Water Development Fund II by consolidating existing bond authorizations for water development, water quality, flood control, and state participation bonds into a single pool.

Small communities--Authorization for financial aid to small communities is expanded to include all systems, including private utility systems.

Data collection and dissemination--Research, data collection and dissemination, and access to natural resources data are targeted for improvement.

In 1997, Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock and House Speaker Pete Laney appointed a House-Senate Interim Committee for Water Resources Development and Management, to prepare a report on Texas' water supply needs and implementation of Senate Bill 1 for the 1999 Texas Legislature.

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Bordering the Future