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Local Legislators Urge Voters To Support Prop 6 Water Project Amendment On Nov. Ballot

The Bexar County Commissioners Court and legislative delegation are urging voters to support a state constitutional amendment that would fund water projects for the state.

Commissioners and legislators used a hot sunny day to ask for support for the creation of a State Water Implementation Fund, which is on this year's Nov. 5 ballot as Proposition 6.

“The time to address our state water problems is now before the faucets run dry,” said state Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, D-San Antonio, who along with house colleges urged voters to vote in favor of Prop 6.

The proposition is an amendment to the Texas constitution that would take $2 billion from the state’s Rainy Day Fund and place it into a sort of bank. Calvin Finch, director of the Texas Resources Institute, said the funds would then be loaned to cities and authorities who are creating projects to treat brackish water or reuse waste water.

"There’s more than 500 projects that are listed in the state water plan and that’s the projects that are going to get funded," Finch said.

The amendment does not call for any additional money from tax payers. State Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, said the funds will be replenishing under the current model.

"We call it a revolving loan fund," Villrreal said. "So after one set of public local governments take out a loan as they pay it back the money flows out to a new set."

Usually for amendment elections, voter turn out is very low. Judge Nelson Wolff said county estimates predict a 7 percent voter turn out.

“That means 93 percent of the people either don’t care or they’re too lazy to go out to vote," Wolff said. "They need to care. If they care about having a glass of water, if they care about their job, if they’d like to keep a little bit of a green lawn, then they ought to get out and vote."

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules