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Tap into Texas’ substantial capital resources, public and private, for water security projects

Texas has substantial capital resources — public and private, state and federal — that could catalyze innovative water supply efforts across the state. We are broadening and expanding funding sources for these market-based transactions.

Among our top priorities is a substantial yet largely untapped funding program, the State Revolving Fund, which is administered by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). Each year, this fund offers more than $500 million in low- and no-interest loans for drinking water and clean water efforts in Texas.

While federal laws allow SRF funds to be used for land protection, water rights and flow protection, they had never been used for these purposes until 2018, when the TWDB made a $3.2 million commitment to the City of San Marcos to help it buy land to protect the Upper San Marcos River from water quality degradation. This was a huge step forward, as it opened the door to similar land and water conservation deals that can restore and protect water flows. We are committed to working with TWDB to identify other conservation projects, including water rights leasing and acquisition, that could be financed in this way.

Another priority is to build on an initial commitment of $250,000 from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to grow a Texas Flows Fund that can be recapitalized with corporate, philanthropic and government commitments. Through these and other funding sources, we are on target to restore and protect at least 10,000 acre-feet of water by 2021. We understand that shifting the way that Texans fund water supplies takes long-term commitment. That is why we are committed to quarterbacking development of markets in important basins across the state in the coming years. By 2030, our goal is to have enabled $30 million of investment into flows restoration and protection statewide.