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Texas lawmakers say dealing with tight Texas water supplies is most pressing issue

By Jennifer Kendall, jkendall@ktxs.com
Published On: Jan 09 2013 09:08:29 PM CST
water
AUSTIN, Texas -

Over the last two years drought has cost Texas billions of dollars. Now, the Texas legislature is trying to find a way to fund new water projects to keep the Lone Star State from drying up.

Lawmakers said funding water projects is an issue that needs to be dealt with now to make sure there is water for the future.

"We must deal with infrastructure in this state. An infrastructure that has extraordinary needs of water," Gov. Rick Perry said.

"What will we do?  Will we set aside money for the purpose of that? You know, based on the water plan and other issues, it's a statewide problem with water," said Rep. Susan King, (R) District 71.

The Texas Water Development Board is the state's water planning agency. They said Texas' population is expected to grow by more than 80 percent over 50 years and all those people will require more water when they arrive. That’s why water conservation projects are important to many districts.

Sen. Troy Fraser said it is important for the Big Country "to make sure we build Cedar Ridge Reservoir because long-term that's going to be very, very important to us, not only for drinking water, but for industrial use."

The water systems in many Texas towns are especially strained right now because of drought.

According to the National Climatic Data Center, 87 percent of Texas has some type of drought conditions.

A few weeks ago, federal scientists forecast that West Texas has a strong chance of below-normal rainfall this spring. They also expect statewide temperatures to be warmer than usual and that could mean another year of water shortages.