Gov. Rick Perry inspected the water levels at Lake Travis and then urged voters to approve proposition 6, the water project funding program that would pay for the next 50 years of water projects in the state that is up for a vote on this November's ballot.
Prop. 6 would take $2 billion from the Rainy Day Fund and place it in a separate fund which would then be loaned out to organizations around the state to fund water projects. Those organizations would then pay back the loan with interest to keep the fund going.
Perry said the measure is vitally necessary in the midst of a record drought:
"We’re talking about new projects like new reservoirs, state-of-the-art desalination plants, pipelines to keep water flowing from these reservoirs to these communities and projects that conserve and reuse water," Perry said.
Perry said some Texas cities have already lost their supply of water or will be losing it within the next two years.
"San Angelo, a substantial city in the state, could run out of water in 15 months," Perry said, "and that’s far from the only community that's having to deal with major water issues. Just across the way in Spicewood Beach, they’ve been trucking water in for 15 months -- actually more than that, closer to 20 months."
Perry said the effects of the drought are being compounded by population growth:
"While we can’t make it rain, we can take measures that extend our existing water supply and work to develop new water supplies," he said. "What’s adding urgency to this situation is the on-going success --rocketing population growth -- its placing even more demand on our water supplies than ever before."
Prop. 6 also requires that 30 percent of all projects that receive loans from the fund be geared towards water conservation.