TCEQ Establishes Water Project Liaison in Response to Governor’s Request

For immediate release.  Contact: Kimberly Leggett at 512-463-5129

Austin – (October 10, 2013) – The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), in response to a request from the Governor’s office, has established a water project liaison within the TCEQ to assist and coordinate with the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) in implementing House Bill 4.

The liaison will help the State take a leadership role in working with businesses, utilities, local governments, and citizens to prioritize and develop essential projects and water management strategies.

Specifically, the TCEQ will coordinate efforts with the TWDB to ensure the TCEQ attends regional water planning group meetings and provides solution-based assistance and support regarding water-supply development as well as other assistance as requested.

New desalination plants, storage systems, conservation projects, water reuse projects, water pipelines, wells, and reservoirs are just some of the projects likely to be presented to the TWDB under new procedures outlined in HB 4 from the last legislative session. If voters approve Proposition 6 in November, there will be even more projects as new sources of funding become available.

“The legislature and the governor provided Texas with a great opportunity to ensure an adequate water supply for the future of Texas,” said Texas Water Development Board Chairman Carlos Rubinstein. “Texans can be assured that state government is taking this issue seriously. The cooperation between the TCEQ and TWDB is an example of what it is going to take for Texas to respond to the water challenge facing our state.”

“Due to the ongoing drought and population growth, Texas is at a crucial point in ensuring water supplies for both current and future Texans,” said TCEQ Chairman Bryan W. Shaw, Ph.D., P.E. “It makes sense to make the process as efficient as possible to assist applicants who are bringing helpful projects to the table.

“The TCEQ is absolutely committed to doing whatever it can to assist the TWDB in quickly and efficiently implementing HB 4,” he said.

The TWDB has begun working with regional water planning groups to develop uniform prioritization criteria for the state’s water supply projects. The TWDB held a work session on October 9 to discuss that criteria and how to implement the legislation if it is approved by voters.

TCEQ’s water liaison is Brian Christian, and he can be reached through TCEQ’s Small Business and Environmental Assistance Division at 512-239-3100.

The impacts of drought on the state of Texas will continue to be felt for some time, even after the current drought begins to subside. The state’s population continues to grow. Planning for future water security is critical to our state’s continued success.

The TWDB is the state agency charged with collecting and disseminating water-related data, assisting with regional planning and preparing the state water plan for the development of the state’s water resources. The TWDB administers cost-effective financial assistance programs for the construction of water supply, wastewater treatment, flood control, and agricultural water conservation projects.