SAN ANGELO, TX – The Texas Water Development Board has been holding meeting across the state of Texas throughout Summer 2019. One such meeting took place in the Cactus Hotel of San Angelo on Wednesday, August 14. Board leadership is grateful for the participation of state legislators such as Charles Perry and Drew Darby, among others, at these meetings.
“It is so important that you have a kind of champion moving forward to affect change,” said Kathleen Jackson, a member of the TWDB appointed by Governor Rick Perry in 2014. “They’ve certainly taken a leadership role, not only for this area but for the state as a whole. We’re just so fortunate to have their leadership and their guidance and their input.”
State Senator for District 28 Charles Perry, who sits on the Senate Committee on Water and Rural Affairs, highlighted the focus of the meeting in San Angelo. “The state did not have a statewide flood plan prior to the session,” explained Perry. “With Hurricane Harvey, we were reminded of things that we did not do or should have done. So Senate Bills 8, 7 and 6 puts money to statewide flood planning as well as gives a roadmap to what statewide flood planning should look like.”
Many will recall the flooding across Texas that resulted from Hurricane Harvey, which included severe weather reaching all the way to upper West Texas where communities like Sonora were dealt serious blows. In addition to future flood planning, as ever the issue of water supply and associated costs was also on many minds.
Speaking to this aspect of the TWBDs purpose, Perry said, “I always ask what’s too expensive when you run out of it. It’s typically water initiatives, they are not two year deals they’re 20 year projects.” Kathleen Jackson elaborated on both the need for flood planning and water supply development saying, “we can’t do things like we used to. We have to be forward thinking, we have to think ahead. We have to future-proof our state, as we don’t know necessarily what is coming. But we need to be prepared and we need to think about future growth; we need to think about the kind of projects that can be moved forward very quickly and have a regional focus.”
Feedback from the San Angelo meeting indicated attendees were largely in favor of projects and funding for county and community solutions implemented within the next two decades. The window for input on variety of flood management and water board topics is open until August 30, 2019 when the board will begin to analyze the responses and plan accordingly. We will update this article once the final responses are released by the Texas Water Development Board.