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Texas Water Development Board announces prioritization of projects for SWIFT

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

AUSTIN – (April 11, 2016) The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) today approved the prioritization list for the 2016 funding cycle of the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) program*. -The prioritization list includes 28 applications requesting more than $600 million in financial assistance the first year and over $1.3 billion in financial assistance over the next six years. Sponsors with projects on the prioritization list are now officially invited to apply for SWIFT financial assistance.

"The TWDB is extremely pleased with the high demand shown for the 2016 SWIFT funding cycle," said TWDB Board Chairman Bech Bruun. "Even though 2015 was the wettest year on record in Texas, communities across the state realize that one wet year does not diminish the state's need to plan for and address its water supply needs."

The 28 applications include eight conservation projects, four rural projects, three reuse projects, and one agricultural project.

The projects invited to apply include capacity expansions, transmission pipelines, water loss reduction, metering upgrades, additional wells, reuse projects, and aquifer storage and recovery.

"The 2016 SWIFT applications represent both rural and urban needs, as well as large regional projects," said TWDB Board member Kathleen Jackson. "The wide range in project scope and size is part of what makes the SWIFT program so unique. It's not a one-size-fits-all program. The projects, no matter how big or small, are all working toward the common goal of developing reliable and sustainable water supplies for all Texans."

The deadline for submitting the detailed SWIFT application is May 11, 2016. The applications will then undergo the standard TWDB review process. The TWDB anticipates presenting the final recommendations for funding to the Board in the summer and closing on loans in late 2016.

"In addition to funding a wide array of projects identified in the state water plan, SWIFT has reduced overall development costs," said TWDB Board member Peter Lake. "In the last round of funding, the SWIFT program generated approximately $107 million in total savings. We are all pleased to see that SWIFT is fulfilling its purpose of providing low-cost financial assistance to help communities develop the critical water infrastructure needed to ensure adequate water resources in the future."

SWIFT was established by the Texas Legislature and voters to fund projects in the state water plan. A one-time, $2 billion appropriation was transferred from the state's Rainy Day Fund to create SWIFT. Over the next 50 years, the $2 billion will be leveraged with revenue bonds to finance water supply projects across Texas.

*The SWIFT program includes two funds, the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) and the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas (SWIRFT). Revenue bonds for the program are issued through the SWIRFT.

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.