Lawmakers have taken the first step to set up a $2 billion fund to finance water projects across the state.
The House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday approved a plan that would take the money from the state's Rainy Day Fund. The money will be used to create a bank that would leverage financing for new reservoirs, pipelines and conservation projects.
The State Water Development Board estimates Texas needs to spend about $53 billion over the next 50 years to meet the water needs of the growing population. About half of that needs to come from the state.
Republican Rep. Allan Ritter says the water fund leverage that $2 billion to get bond financing for the state's needs. The Texas Senate is working on a similar measure.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.