Constitutional Conservation

Drought, scarcity, conservation, reuse – these are all keywords we are hearing more often when it comes to water resources in the U.S. For the state of Texas, which continues to suffer from drought and dwindling water supplies, these terms are especially important.

Earlier this month, Texas voters took action to help increase conservation and reuse by passing Proposition 6. This amendment to the state constitution will take $2 billion from the state’s Rainy Day fund two create two new funds – the State Water Implementation Fund of Texas and the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund of Texas – that will provide money for water projects such as reservoirs and groundwater development.

The legislation behind the amendment requires at least 20% of funds to be used for conservation and reuse, and another 10% to be used for agricultural conversation in rural areas. This is all too important in a state that needs to explore every route possible to ensure adequate water supplies. “We can’t make it rain,” said Texas Gov. Rick Perry at an event before the election, according to StateImpact. “But we can take measures to extend our existing water supplies and work to develop new supplies.

According to KTRK-TV, Houston’s ABC affiliate, Proposition 6 had support from both Democrats and Republicans in the state government – not to mention the support of the people, who made their priorities clear with this vote. Hopefully, this will serve as an example that ensuring a safe and adequate supply of clean water should not be a partisan issue – the only way to succeed in solving the water crisis will be to work together.

What are your thoughts on Proposition 6? Are state – or even federal – laws necessary to stimulate and implement water conservation efforts? Let us know in the comments below, or e-mail us at [email protected].

Kate Cline is editor-in-chief of WQP. Cline can be reached at [email protected] or 847.391.1007.

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