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TWDB to consider approving approximately $3.9 billion in SWIFT financial assistance

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

AUSTIN – (July 21, 2015) – The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) will hold a Board meeting in Austin at the Stephen F. Austin Building, 1700 North Congress Avenue, Room 170, on July 23, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. to approve the inaugural round of funding from the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT).The Board will consider approving the requests of 21 applicants for approximately $1 billion in projects in the first year and approximately $3.9 billion total over the next decade.

SWIFT offers applicants flexible financing options including board participation, low-interest loans, and deferred loans for projects in the state water plan. Applicants are also able to apply for multi-year commitments because of the length of time water projects can take to design, build, and implement.

The applicants are requesting funding for 32 projects identified in the state water plan. The types of projects being considered include transmission pipelines, canal linings, capacity expansions, seawater desalination, leak detection systems, water meter replacements, and reservoirs. Conservation, agricultural, and rural projects will be among those considered for approval.

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.

The TWDB approved rules for prioritizing projects applying for SWIFT in November 2014. Interested entities were then invited to submit an abridged application to the TWDB in February 2015. The abridged applications were prioritized, and eligible applicants were invited to submit a full, detailed application by June 5, 2015.

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.