Have Your Water and Drink It Too

Can the state save water and money at the same time?

Austin Sen. Kirk Watson thinks he's come up with a way to promote water conservation in Texas without requiring the state to spend more money (although it could cost Texas some tax revenue). His Senate Bill 449, co-authored with Wichita Falls Republican Craig Estes, would add "water stewardship" to the list of uses qualifying a piece of property for an agricultural exemption on property taxes. The change ultimately would have to be approved by voters as a constitutional amendment. To qualify, landowners would have to take specific actions such as controlling erosion or restoring native aquatic species. They could also donate their water rights to the Texas Water Trust, a state agency. Both rural and urban properties could qualify. "This bill gives Texas another path to meeting the extensive demands on our water supply that we know we'll face in coming decades," said Watson in a press release. "It would harness the power of the private sector – and the conscientious stewardship of Texas landowners – to improve water quality and quantity for all of us."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Kirk Watson
Lege Lines: State Level Bullying Reaches New Plateau
Lege Lines: State Level Bullying Reaches New Plateau
Local reps’ mission this session? Keep the state GOP away from Austin.

Richard Whittaker, Jan. 27, 2017

(Not) For Rent
(Not) For Rent
New state law blocks Austin housing ordinance

Mary Tuma, Sept. 4, 2015

More by Lee Nichols
Game Changer
Game Changer
A new football culture for Austin bars

Oct. 23, 2015

Beer Flights
Beer Flights
Celis: welcome home

Aug. 17, 2012

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Kirk Watson, Legislature, water conservation, Craig Estes, Texas Water Trust

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle