SAN ANGELO - The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board is requesting proposals for water supply enhancement projects seeking funding in FY2018-2019 to conduct brush control under the Water Supply Enhancement Program. Proposed projects should focus on watersheds with a demonstrated water conservation need and where brush control has been shown, using a computer model, to be a feasible strategy to enhance surface and/or ground water supplies. Proposals must be received by 5:00 p.m. CDT, Thursday, June 1, 2017, to be considered for funding.
The purpose of the Water Supply Enhancement Program is to increase available surface and ground water supplies through the targeted control of water-depleting brush in areas in need of water conservation.
A competitive proposal review process will be used so that the most appropriate and effective projects are selected for funding. In January 2017, the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board adopted a revised State Water Supply Enhancement Plan which serves as the State’s comprehensive strategy for managing brush in all areas of the state where brush is contributing to a substantial water conservation problem. The State Water Supply Enhancement Plan describes the program purpose and goals, the competitive grant process and proposal ranking criteria, how the agency will allocate funding, and priority watersheds across the state for water supply enhancement and brush control.
Project proposals must relate to a water conservation need, based on information in the 2017 State Water Plan as adopted by the Texas Water Development Board. Project proposals will be evaluated giving priority to projects that balance the most critical water conservation need of municipal water user groups with the highest projected water yield from brush control. Evaluation criteria for proposed projects focus on municipal water supplies and those populations relying on the affected water supply.
Water Supply Enhancement Program funds will only be allocated to projects that have a completed feasibility study that includes a watershed-specific computer-modeled water yield component developed by a person with expertise as described in Texas Agriculture Code §203.053(b). For a watershed to be considered eligible for cost-share funds, the feasibility study must demonstrate increases in post-treatment water yield as compared to the pre-treatment conditions. Published feasibility studies, which have been accepted by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board as approved project watersheds, can be found on the agency website.
The proposal submission packet includes the application for proposed water supply enhancement projects, a set of instructions that provides explanations of questions on the form and resources for answering those questions, and a set of guidelines that details project eligibility requirements and provides additional information critical for successful applications.
Voluntary land stewardship, on a grand scale, is a cornerstone solution for water supply issues in Texas. The efforts of private landowners to control water-depleting brush are vitally important to the ecological health of productive rangelands across the state. Many Texans today, especially those in urban areas, enjoy the public benefits, such as clean plentiful drinking water, they derive from the voluntary land stewardship provided by private landowners and agricultural producers throughout the state.
For more information about the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board’s efforts to enhance public water supplies through the targeted control of water-depleting brush, please contact Johnny Oswald at (325) 481-0335 or joswald [at] tsswcb [dot] texas [dot] gov. A complete copy of the FY2018-2019 request for water supply enhancement proposals and proposal submission packet is available at http://www.tsswcb.texas.gov/brushcontrol#rfp.