By Mike Barnett
Despite last minute attempts to dampen support, a flood of positive votes ensured passage of Proposition 6, the important water funding constitutional amendment on the Nov. 5 ballot.
Proposition 6 is not a panacea for a serious problem, but it is the huge first step in ensuring water for Texas’ future. The 73 to 27 percent margin by which it passed shows that if you challenge Texans, they will tackle problems head on instead of shifting blame or leaving them for future generations to solve.
That threat Mother Nature is throwing at us is huge. Several years of drought pose serious concerns for present water supplies in many parts of the Lone Star State. Texans wisely glimpsed into the crystal ball and saw a washed up future without life-giving water. They didn’t blink.
It wasn’t one group or one political party that got the job done, and that’s encouraging. Most Democratic and Republican state leaders lined up in favor of Proposition 6 and industry, small business, agriculture and municipalities worked together to get it passed. Most important, the voters recognized the need for water funding, used common sense and voted yes for the future of Texas.
But the job isn’t over. A common misconception in the days before the election was that Proposition 6 was going to decide what water projects would be built. That is not the case. Proposition 6 is in place as a funding mechanism only. The projects it will fund are coming down the pike.
Those projects use the State Water Plan as a road map. The plan is composed of the concerns of 16 regional water planning groups that cover the entire state. Critical needs, environmental, legal and other concerns will actually decide what projects are presented for funding.
That’s why it’s important for you to stay informed on local and regional water needs. Get involved. Engage in those projects that are essential to your livelihood and community.
Critical needs require critical action. Texans recognized this and passed Proposition 6. Let’s continue working together to ensure the financing is used wisely to create, conserve and preserve water for generations of Texans to come.