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A Comprehensive Vision for Water Infrastructure Investment

As Texas stands on the brink of its 2024-2025 biennium with an impressive $32.7 billion surplus, a golden opportunity emerges to shape the state’s future through strategic investments in water, wastewater, and flood/stormwater projects. This transformative initiative, championed by a coalition of Texas water associations and key stakeholders, is a call to action, urging the state to prioritize and elevate its commitment to water infrastructure. Aligned with key legislative requests and items for agencies like the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and the Public Utility Commission of Texas, this proposal underscores the critical need to strengthen the Texas water workforce.

The Essential Case for Water Infrastructure Investment 

Safeguarding Texas

At its core, water infrastructure is the backbone of Texas, crucial not only for economic prosperity but, more importantly, for the health and safety of its residents. The infusion of resources into water projects is an investment in the very foundation of the state. 

Addressing Aging Infrastructure 

The reality is undeniable – Texas’ water infrastructure is aging and in need of attention. By directing funds towards repair and revitalization, the state can ensure the reliability and efficiency of its water systems for years to come. 

Meeting Surging Demand

With a population that continues to surge, the demand for water infrastructure has reached unprecedented levels. The state must respond to these evolving needs, surpassing traditional estimates and embracing innovation to meet the challenges posed by growth. 

Weathering the Storm

Texas is no stranger to extreme weather events – droughts, floods, and freezes. These events not only stress existing infrastructure but also lay bare the vulnerabilities of communities. By investing in robust, resilient water systems, Texas can better prepare for and recover from such challenges. 

Funding Shortfalls

Despite strides made through federal funds, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law falls short of meeting the colossal needs of Texas’ water infrastructure. The surplus provides a unique opportunity for the state to bridge this gap and secure the future of its water systems. 

Empowering Small Communities

Often overlooked, small and rural communities face unique challenges in managing their water infrastructure. A targeted approach that offers financial and technical assistance can empower these communities to address their specific needs, fostering inclusivity and resilience. 

Staffing Shortages

The human element cannot be ignored. Critical staffing shortages within water agencies contribute to delays, adding significant costs to local projects. Investing in a well-equipped and adequately staffed workforce is crucial for efficient project implementation. 

Addressing the Funding Gap 

Unmet Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Needs

The yawning gap between existing water infrastructure needs and available funding is a stark reality. To bridge this divide, Texas must explore additional avenues, such as extending grants and providing longer loan repayment terms. This approach can empower communities to finance water infrastructure projects more efficiently, ultimately benefiting ratepayers. A recent survey underscores the urgency, identifying aging infrastructure as the primary driver for new capital projects, highlighting the need for comprehensive intervention across projects of all sizes. 


Exhausted Flood and Stormwater Infrastructure Funding

The demand for flood and stormwater infrastructure has surpassed available funds. The Flood Infrastructure Fund (FIF) received an overwhelming $2.4 billion in applications, well beyond the $793 million allocated for projects. Urgent replenishment is vital to sustain the state’s new regional flood planning process beyond 2024, ensuring comprehensive infrastructure improvements and reducing risks to public safety and property. 

Investing in Science and Data: 

Beyond financial considerations, Texas must invest in the foundational elements of informed decision-making. Water Availability Models (WAMs), Groundwater Availability Models (GAMs), water loss reports, and advanced hydrologic and hydraulic models provide the data necessary for effective planning. Access to accurate and up-to-date information is pivotal for determining water availability and identifying additional infrastructure needs. 

Charting the Course: 

 In conclusion, the current surplus is more than a mere financial windfall – it is a generational opportunity for Texas to chart a course toward a resilient and sustainable future. By strategically investing in water infrastructure, the state not only addresses immediate challenges but also paves the way for the prosperity of communities across the vast expanse of Texas.  

Contact Modern Engineering Solutions for more information and engineering services to meet your water infrastructure needs. Reach out to us using the contact form below!