TWDB solicits public comments

  • January 12, 2014
  • News

Texas Water Development Board

Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) is hosting a discussion about the implementation of historic legislation creating the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT), and we’d like your input. This discussion is the third of several meetings that TWDB is hosting related to prospective rulemaking for House Bill 4, 83rd Texas Legislature. At this meeting we will be focusing on how to define or measure the following items for the purpose of project prioritization:

  1. * How should “conservation and reuse” be defined?
  2. * How should “rural” be defined?

We will also consider comments relating to the implementation of Section 15.437(b) of HB 4, which requires that TWDB establish a point system for prioritizing projects for which financial assistance is sought, including a standard to determine whether a project qualifies for financial assistance at the time the application is filed.

A list of issues needing stakeholder input is available on our SWIFT website along with a timeline of public involvement opportunities. Join us next week to share your ideas, suggestions, and concerns. Feel free to invite others.

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014
10:00 a.m.
Room 170
Stephen F. Austin Building
1700 N. Congress
Austin, Texas

Visit the SWIFT website for regular updates. For additional information, please contact Kathleen.Ligon@twdb.texas.gov.

Issues Needing Stakeholder Input PRIORITIZATION Board’s point system for prioritization of projects. §15.437; §15.438(g)(1); §15.439. This would include further specification of each item listed in the statute that the Board is required to consider:

What is a “large population?” Could it be more than one category? For example, a point score for cities over a million, and a smaller point score for cities between 500,000 to a million?

What is a diverse urban and rural population?

What counts for a regionalization project?

What is the cut-off or points for a project with a high percentage of the water needs of the water users to be served by the project?

What is the cut-off or points for local contribution? How to measure the financial capacity of the applicant to repay?

How to measure the ability of the board and the applicant to timely leverage state financing with local and federal funds?

How to score the emergency need of a project?

How to measure whether the applicant is ready to proceed with the project?

How to measure or score the demonstrated or projected effect of the project on water conservation; and

How to measure or score the priority of the project by the regional water planning group?

Standards for determining whether a project qualifies for financial assistance. §15.434(b); §15.438(g)(2); §15.439

Including weighting for each factor.

APPLICATION AND APPLICATION PROCESS

Minimum application requirements and procedures for application processing. January 21, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.

DEFINITIONS

Define rural political subdivision §15.434(b)(1). This issue includes whether the definition in the rule needs to be narrower or clearer than the definition of §15.992 – a nonprofit water or sewer supply corporation, district or municipality with a service area of 10,000 or less in population or that otherwise qualifies for financing from a federal agency, or a county in which no urban area exceeds 50,000 in population.

Input would also be helpful on whether the word “rural” in §15.434(b)(1) for purposes of the 10 percent set aside means the same as the word “rural” in §15.437 (c)(2) for purposes of prioritizing projects that serve a diverse urban and rural population.

Define agricultural water conservation. §15.434(b)(1); agricultural irrigation projects §15.434(b)(1); water conservation ; and reuse. §15.434(b)(2).

Is rainwater harvesting conservation? Can conservation easements to save water be considered conservation?

Criteria for deciding if applicant demonstrates they are, “accountable with regard to reducing water loss and increasing efficiency in the distribution of water …” §15.437(d)(6).

SET ASIDES

How will multi-purpose projects (for example, urban-rural or urban-ag) be accounted for in meeting the not less than 10% and not less than 20% targets? §15.434

HUB/REPORTING

Define disadvantaged business enterprises consistent with federal law. §15.435(h)(1).

Define historically underutilized businesses consistent with state law. §15.435(h)(2).

What information should be required from applicants to demonstrate progress toward annual goals relating to historically underutilized businesses (HUBs) and participation level of HUBs. §15.438. January 21, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.

PACE

How can Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) legislation be used by SWIRFT to benefit ag conservation?

How can PACE legislation be used by SWIRFT to benefit conservation and reuse in industry?