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Dewhurst Asks Committee to Study Use of Brackish Water

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on Thursday instructed the Senate Natural Resources Committee to study a number of environmental issues, including federal and state regulations and brackish water desalination.

By Neena Satija, The Texas Tribune and Reveal
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst during TribLive event on Jan. 16, 2014

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on Thursday instructed the Texas Senate Committee on Natural Resources to brackish water desalination, along with state and federal environmental regulations that may be hindering Texas' ability to expand its water supply or grow its economy. He also asked the committee to monitor the implementation of legislation passed last summer that created a $2 billion water infrastructure fund, which voters signed off on during the November election. 

"I believe we have a moral, ethical and legal obligation to provide this essential human need for our citizens," Dewhurst said in a statement on the interim charges. 

During the 2013 legislative session, efforts to add significant financial or political resources to studying brackish water desalination failed. Those efforts included proposals to set up university partnerships and new institutes. State Sen. Troy Fraser, chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, has said that brackish water desalination will be on the top of his agenda in 2015. He was one of three senators appointed by Dewhurst to a committee to monitor the new $2 billion fund's distribution. 



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