Conservation Matters November 2014

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

Texas Water Development Board adopts SWIFT rules

In 2013, Texas voters approved the creation of the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT). Introduced by the 83rd Texas Legislature during the 2013 legislative session, SWIFT enabled a one-time investment of $2 billion from the state's Economic Stabilization Fund, also known as the Rainy Day Fund, to provide low-cost loans for water projects in Texas. Additionally, the legislature called for at least 20 percent of SWIFT to be reserved for conservation and reuse projects and at least 10 percent to be reserved for rural and agricultural projects.

On Nov. 6, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) adopted a set of rules for implementing SWIFT. The rules will determine how eligible projects will be prioritized for funding. TWDB now invites public water providers to submit an abridged application as the first step to receiving funding from SWIFT.

"Due to the vision of the legislature and Texans' overwhelming approval of the creation of this critical fund, today was a historic step for Texas," said TWDB Chairman Carlos Rubinstein, of the Nov. 6 meeting. "Now, SWIFT will ensure enhanced financing will be available to fund projects that our state needs to continue to grow and thrive."

The abridged application is due to TWDB by Feb. 3, 2015.

"The passage of Senate Bill 1 in 1997 provided the bottoms-up approach to state water planning that has become a model for other states," said TWDB board member Bech Bruun. "The adoption of final rules for SWIFT signifies a move toward implementation, while still giving deference to the vital involvement of regional water planning groups."

Read the full TWDB article for more information and application details. 

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