“Water, water everywhere. Nor a drop to drink.” Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s line from the “Ancient Mariner” would have been appropriate for a large part of a Town Hall Meeting held at the Hotel Settles Tuesday.
Referred to as“The best tandem in show business,” State Sen. Kel Seliger and State Rep. Drew Darby — Howard County's representatives in the state legislature — gave an optimistic recount of the 83rd Legislative session.
The most significant changes made during the session were the state budget, education and water. The state deficit was reportedly $27 million at the last legislative session, but the rainy day fund now boasts a surplus of $8 million, said Darby.
“We did that by keeping government growth in control,” he explained.
The programs that had suffered budget cuts in the past such as mental health care, Medicare and transportation, will have their funding increased.
But water, its distribution, treatment and recovery, was again a hot topic and a large portion of that funding will be used as a result of the session. According to Seliger, the first joint resolution is to take $2 billion and use it for the water infrastructure, i.e., statewide water plant development, the Colorado River Municipal Water District (CRMWD) and reservoirs.
Although it is a generally accepted that there is no water in Texas, the fact is, said Seliger, “There is plenty of water all over Texas. The problem is that it’s all in the wrong places.”
Sources of water exist in aquifers and deep in the ground in areas throughout the geography of Texas.