AUSTIN – Today, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) approved approximately $3.9 billion in financial assistance from the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT). The inaugural round of SWIFT financing will be distributed to 21 applicants for approximately $1 billion in projects in the first year and approximately $3.9 billion total over the next decade.
“Being able to finance projects through SWIFT is a major step toward achieving the goal of securing Texas’ long-term water supplies,” said TWDB Chairman Bech Bruun. “The projects selected to receive SWIFT financing will help ensure that Texans have sustainable and reliable water sources for decades to come.”
The applicants are requesting funding for 32 projects identified in the state water plan. The types of projects approved include transmission pipelines, canal linings, capacity expansions, seawater desalination, leak detection systems, water meter replacements, and reservoirs.
“The Board was pleased to see a wide range of projects represented in the SWIFT applications,” said TWDB Board member Carlos Rubinstein. “One of those projects, Lake Ralph Hall, is the first reservoir permitted by the State of Texas since 1985 and an important water supply strategy for North Texas.”
SWIFT was established by the Texas Legislature and voters in 2013 to fund projects in the state water plan. SWIFT was created through the transfer of a one-time, $2 billion appropriation from the state’s Rainy Day Fund. The $2 billion will be leveraged with revenue bonds over the next 50 years to finance approximately $27 billion in water supply projects.
“We took the legislature and voters of Texas very seriously when they put their confidence in us to manage SWIFT,” said TWDB Board member Kathleen Jackson. “We’ve traveled the state, engaged communities, and developed a new approach to fast-track the state water plan. We are beyond excited to approve the first round of SWIFT financing and see the large number of impactful projects moving forward to develop water for Texas.”
Projects selected for SWIFT financial assistance are the following:
- $300,000,000 to the Coastal Water Authority (Harris County) for an interbasin transfer project
- $296,125,000 to the City of Houston (Harris County) for a water supply project
- $953,405,000 to the North Harris County Regional Water Authority (Harris County) for a water supply project
- $41,630,000 to the Central Harris County Regional Water Authority (Harris County) for a water supply project
- $812,140,000 to the West Harris County Regional Water Authority (Harris County) for a water supply project
- $555,845,000 to the North Fort Bend Water Authority (Fort Bend County) for a water supply project
- $50,000,000 to the El Paso Water Utilities Public Service Board (El Paso County) for a land acquisition project
- $705,000 to the City of Marfa (Presidio County) for a water well project
- $1,210,000 to the Greater Texoma Utility Authority on behalf of the City of Tom Bean (Grayson County) for a water supply project
- $27,640,000 to the Lone Star Regional Water Authority (Williamson and Bell counties) for a water supply project
- $17,100,000 to the Palo Pinto County Municipal Water District No. 1 (Erath, Hood, Palo Pinto, and Parker counties) for a reservoir project
- $90,000,000 to the City of Bedford (Tarrant County) for water system and water meter improvements
- $82,105,000 to the North Texas Municipal Water District (Collin, Hunt, Rockwall, Dallas, Kaufman, Ellis, Rains, Fannin, and Denton counties) for a reservoir project
- $440,000,000 to the Tarrant Regional Water District (Jack, Wise, Parker, Tarrant, Johnson, Ellis, Navarro, Henderson, Kaufman, Freestone, Denton, Dallas, Collin, and Rockwall counties) for a water supply project
- $44,680,000 to the Upper Trinity Regional Water District (Fannin, Collin, Cooke, Dallas, Denton, Grayson, and Wise counties) for a reservoir project
- $55,000,000 to the Canyon Regional Water Authority (Guadalupe, Bexar, Caldwell, Comal, Hays, and Wilson counties) for a water supply project
- $76,000,000 to the City of Fort Worth (Tarrant, Denton, Johnson, Parker, and Wise counties) for an advanced metering system
- $8,000,000 to the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (DeWitt, Victoria, Calhoun, Refugio, Gonzales, Caldwell, Hays, Comal, Guadalupe, and Kendall counties) for a seawater desalination project
- $12,500,000 to the Hays Caldwell Public Utility Agency (Hays, Caldwell, Comal, and Guadalupe counties) for a water supply project
- $28,300,000 to the Brazosport Water Authority (Brazoria County) for a brackish groundwater project
- $7,100,000 to the Hidalgo County Irrigation District No. 1 (Hidalgo County) for an agricultural irrigation project
The TWDB anticipates closing loans for projects approved for SWIFT financing in fall 2015.
The TWDB is the state agency charged with collecting and disseminating water-related data, assisting with regional planning and preparing the state water plan for the development of the state’s water resources. The TWDB administers cost-effective financial assistance programs for the construction of water supply, wastewater treatment, flood control, and agricultural water conservation projects.