Ask Your State Representative

Lynn Stucky

They say if you don’t like the weather in Texas, just wait a minute. It’ll change. We see this when a flood breaks a drought, it is hot then it’s cold, hail storms and just about every other type of crazy weather occurrence. It is just how it is in our part of the world. These wild fluctuations can often result in strains on our most precious resources, most notably water.

In the 1950s Texas experienced the worst drought in our history. So, in 1957 the legislature created the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) by legislative act and constitutional amendment. The constitutional amendment, approved by Texas voters at the time, authorized the TWDB to issue $200 million in State of Texas General Obligation Water Development Bonds for the conservation and development of Texas’ water resources through loans to political subdivisions.

Since then, the TWDB’s mission has been to lead the state’s efforts in ensuring a secure water future for Texas and its citizens. To do that, they facilitate and develop water plans regionally and at the state level. They develop flood plans. Provide loans to local governments for water supply projects and treatment. Conduct studies on the occurrence, quantity, quality, and availability of the state’s surface water and groundwater, just to name a few duties.

In 2013 the 83rd legislature and the voters approved House Bill 4 and House Bill 1025 authorizing a one-time $2 billion investment from the Economic Stabilization Fund, also known as the Rainy Day Fund, to the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) and the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas (SWIRFT). SWIFT was created to help fast-track state water plan projects by offering a unique and cost-effective financial assistance avenue specifically for them. The $2 billion appropriation is being leveraged with revenue bonds over the next 50 years to finance approximately $27 billion in water supply projects.

Recently, the TWDB released the 2022 Texas State Water Plan which, based on 16 regional plans, seeks to address the needs of water users across the state, including municipalities, farming and irrigation, manufacturing, mining, and steam-electric power. This plan considers a 50-year planning horizon. Interactive information about this report can be found on the TWDB website,

Texas’ population is anticipated to increase 73% between now and 2070, from 29.7 million to 51.5 million, with approximately half of this growth occurring in Regions C and H of the water plan. Denton County is in Region C. The importance of this investment and planning cannot be overstated, as Texas continues to grow from an industry and population perspective. It is as important as oil and gas to our economy and even more so for our quality of life.