Last year, Texas voters approved the allocation of $2 billion from the state’s rainy day fund to pay for water projects. Proposition 6 won fairly handily, but many from both the left and the right sides of the political spectrum had concerns about the new water fund. Transparency and accountability were mentioned. And even supporters of the measure cautioned against over-investing in certain types of projects.
If Proposition 6 passes on Tuesday, the Texas Water Development Board would oversee the management of $2 billion from the state's rainy-day fund. After an overhaul this year, the Texas Water Development Board has new leadership including longtime associates of Gov. Rick Perry. Critics of the measure say that Gov. Perry's history with state agencies - like the troubled Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas - raise concerns that the money won't be in the best hands.
For a plan that purports to thoughtfully guide Texas through a more crowded and thirsty future, the 2012 State Water Plan reads unsettlingly like a playbook from the last century: dams to divert already limp river flows, big pipes pumping rural water hundreds of miles to thirsty city centers, and dozens of evaporation-prone reservoirs to fill in for those that have already gone dangerously dry.
Less than a week after stepping down from the Texas Rangers front office, baseball's all-time strikeout and no-hit leader is stumping for Proposition 6, the ballot measure that would create a new water fund for Texas. Meanwhile, in Northeast Texas, regional planner Bret McCoy explains a detail of Prop 6 at last week's board meeting in Mount Pleasant.