May 20th 2016 | Posted in News by Peter Partheymuller

2017 State Water Plan includes $62 billion worth of projects through 2070

Members of Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) this week approved two major developments. First, they formally approved the 2017 State Water Plan, which maps out the state’s water needs, goals and expectations through 2070 and includes $62 billion in projects. Second, the board members appointed Jeff Walker as the executive administrator of the TWDB.

Image of the logo for the Texas Water Development Board, which approved contracts for brackish water studiesThe state must update the plan every five years, and the 2017 State Water Plan is the first drawn up since the formation of the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) program. Many of the plan’s 2,400 recommended water management strategy projects will take advantage of the funding provided by the program. The announcement of the plan’s approval noted that conservation strategies make up more than one-fourth of its total of 5,500 water management strategies. That emphasis arose out of the legislature’s directive to prioritize conservation in considering candidates for SWIFT funding.

Walker has worked for the TWDB for more than 25 years and, until yesterday, had been deputy executive administrator of Water Supply and Infrastructure. In that position, he had responsibility for state water planning, project development, financial assistance and project funds disbursement.

He has a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree from Texas State University. Walker replaces Kevin Patteson, who stepped down from the water board last month.

The board members also approved funding for wastewater system improvements and a water supply project in Harris County in the amount of $4 million and another $5 million for water system improvements in Sweetwater.