WEST AUTHORITY SAVES MILLIONS ON SURFACE WATER SUPPLY PROJECTS

(AUGUST 2017) The West Harris County Regional Water Authority (WHCRWA) expects to save more than $400 million in debt service payments on low-interest bonds to fund the construction of a regional network of pipelines, pump stations and water treatment and storage equipment that will one day bring up to 150 million gallons of treated surface water a day to residents in northwest and west Harris County.

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) recently approved an additional $50 million commitment to the WHCRWA through the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas (SWIRFT) administered by the TWBD. The original multi-year commitment approved for WHCRWA projects in 2015 was approximately $812 million, and in late July the TWBD made an additional $50 million available for 2017, which the WHCRWA will use to partially fund its share of costs needed to expand the City of Houston’s Northeast Water Purification Plant by 320 million gallons per day. Partners in the project include the City of Houston, the WHCRWA, the Central Harris County Regional Water Authority, the North Fort Bend Water Authority, and the North Harris County Regional Water Authority.

The lower interest rates attached to SWIRFT bonds, as opposed to interest rates available on the general market, result in significant cost savings for the WHCRWA and its residents over the life of the loans. Municipalities, counties, water authorities and other water providers whose projects have been included in regional water plans can apply for SWIRFT funding. The state adopted this new approach to funding to help these entities turn water plans into water supplies. For more information about SWIRFT and other Texas Water Development Board programs, go to www.twdb.texas.gov.

“We are grateful to our state leaders and the Texas Water Development Board who are helping groups such as ours finance critical water supply projects at a much lower cost,” said Bruce Parker, WHCRWA board president. “It is truly a win-win for everyone.”

ABOUT THE WEST HARRIS COUNTY REGIONAL WATER AUTHORITY

The West Harris County Regional Water Authority was created in 2001 to help more than 100 west Harris County municipal utility districts – and the City of Katy – shift from pumping underground well water to using a surface water supply.  Those water districts provide water and sewer services to neighborhoods in west Harris County, outside of the Houston city limits, in an area bordered by U.S. 290 on the north, the Harris County line on the west and south, and the City of Houston on the east

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