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The Texas Water Development Board will hold a work session in Harlingen on March 24, 2014

For immediate release. Contact: Media Relations at 512-463-5129

AUSTIN  (March 20, 2014)  The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) will hold a work session in Harlingen at the Texas State Technical College Cultural Arts Center, 1902 N. Loop 499, on March 24, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. The TWDB encourages the public and stakeholders to attend and participate in the work session. The meeting will include a presentation and discussion on the U.S./Mexico water deficit issue, as well as the opportunity for public comment on the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT). In addition, there will be discussion on several local water development projects and activities.

"The Rio Grande Valley's input is vital when discussing these issues," said TWDB Chairman Carlos Rubinstein. "I'm excited to be back in the area to share with the public information on the SWIFT and other projects that will benefit the region."

Texas voters approved legislation in November that enables the state to create two funds - the SWIFT and the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas (SWIRFT) - that will help finance projects in the state water plan.

TWDB will be developing administrative rules over the next few months to establish how the SWIFT and SWIRFT will be used. The rules will also define standards for rural, conservation, and reuse projects and the prioritization of projects that are seeking financial assistance by the end of June.

"Public input on developing the rules for the SWIFT and SWIRFT is critical," said TWDB Board member Bech Bruun. "Participation by a variety of stakeholders allows the TWDB to best shape the rules for not just one, but all regions of the state."

The TWDB has hosted two previous works sessions in Conroe and Lubbock. There will be additional opportunities around the state where stakeholders can provide input. A schedule is available on the TWDB website. Written comments may also be provided.

"As the newest member of the TWDB board, I look forward to being a part of the work session in Harlingen, as well as additional sessions over the next several months. Listening and incorporating ideas from stakeholders across the state is integral to our success in developing the proposed rules," said TWDB Board member Kathleen Jackson.

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.