Solutions Saturday: Cut Red-Tape Preventing Us From Accessing Water

In a state as diverse as Texas, access to water is an important and challenging issue. In San Antonio, they need desalinization plants, in Austin, they need access to ground water, and for those of us in in North Texas our biggest challenge with water is the long, cumbersome, and bureaucratic permitting process.

Before the last legislative session there was no time limit to issue permits, and as a result projects were being stalled over a decade waiting on bureaucratic approval. This lengthy and bureaucratic process adds significant expense and uncertainty in our efforts to provide long-term water solutions.

That's why last last session I made this issue a priority and filed legislation which created definitive timelines for securing water reservoir permits and inter-basin water transfer permits. I am proud that the solution of capping the approval process from an unlimited time frame to three years for inter-basin water transfer permits is now law, and capping the approval time on reservoir permits passed the House and continues to gain momentum.

For my work finding solutions to address our water issues in Texas, I am very honored by the kind words the Executive Director of the Texas Water Development Board wrote to me after last session: “You have taken the time to understand water financing bills in a way no other else has … Your comments on SJR1 were simple yet comprehensive. I respect you for being a person who questions the status quo, takes the time to understand and then stands for his beliefs.”

Water is a critical issue in our state, and I will continue to find solutions so that we can access the water Texas needs to grow.