Austin Water Infrastructure Development Attorneys
Texas Water Infrastructure Law
The development of water infrastructure is a complex process that requires legal professionals who are knowledgeable with the Texas Water Code, the Texas Tax Code, the Texas Government Code, and the regulatory bodies related to the delivery of water within the State of Texas.
At The Jones Law Firm PC, our Austin water infrastructure development lawyers have the experience and skill it takes to help any individual or company move forward with its water infrastructure development project; acquiring rights-of-way, easements, tank sites and crossing agreements; dealing with HOA’s; and obtaining water rights.
What Does the Texas Water Development Board Do?
The Texas Water Development Board, or TWDB, is responsible for planning or financing projects to meet the state’s water needs. By law, they’re responsible for preparing Texas’ water plan every five years. To do this, the TWDP also collects data on water usage and availability throughout the state, which makes it an important source of information, planning, and development for a key utility.
The TWDB also provides low-cost financing for water management projects or water infrastructure development. These financing options are designed to help regional organizations plan, design, and build water infrastructure to meet Texas’ growing needs. The TWDB has provided $27.6 billion in funding for water projects since 1957.
How Texas Pays for Water
After a serious drought in 2011, Texas voters amended the constitution to create two funds: the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) and the State Water Implementing Revenue Fund for Texas (SWIRFT). SWIRFT sells revenue bonds to generate income that the TWDB uses to subsidize loans provided by SWIFT to cities, counties, and river authorities. In turn, revenue from the water projects fund the bonds provided by SWIRFT. Together, the two funds allow the TWDP to incentivize local entities to develop water projects.
The TWDB funding process connects the State Water Plan to planning and construction on the local level, which helps create a clearer picture of the state’s water needs. To choose which projects get funded, the TWDP scores potential water projects according to State Water Plan criteria.
TWDP scoring criteria includes:
- How many people the water project serves
- Whether it serves urban, rural, or mixed populations
- To what degree it meets the community’s water usage needs
How the Jones Law Firm PC Can Help
A key problem in the development of water infrastructure is the need to acquire a reliable source of water close to population centers. Another major issue in water infrastructure development is the need to acquire easements and rights-of-way for water pipelines. Finally, the cost of building out water transmission systems to connect population centers with reliable sources of water supply is often cost-prohibitive for public entities.
One solution is the use of a public-private partnership to develop and operate water infrastructure in much the same way toll roads enable the quick, efficient building of quality highways. Our water infrastructure development attorneys near Austin can provide the legal advice and services you need to identify and execute solutions to hurdles you may have encountered.
At The Jones Law Firm PC, we have extensive experience in the development of water infrastructure on both small and large scales, including:
- Development and management of a water transmission system to serve a major municipality.
- The use of a water supply corporation to obtain easements for a P3.
- Obtaining a 501(c) federal tax exemption for a water supply corporation.
- Development of a long-term agreement between groundwater suppliers, transporters, operators, and end-users of a regional water system.
- Working with Developers of subdivisions to obtain water from retail water providers that have Certificates of Convenience and Necessity (CCN’s) affecting the subdivision.
- Working with retail and wholesale water providers to deliver regulated and unregulated volumes of potable water to the point of use.
- Assisting real estate developers, investor-owned utilities (IOUs), Municipal Utility Districts (MUDs), Water Control and Improvement Districts (WCIDs), and other entities with eminent domain and ad valorem taxation authority to fund and construct water, wastewater, and pipeline projects.
Representative Experience for Water Infrastructure Development in TX
The team at The Jones Law Firm PC has served as outside legal counsel to a public-private partnership for water infrastructure development. The Austin water infrastructure development lawyers at The Jones Law Firm PC have managed the complex regulatory and contractual compliance involved with developing large-scale water infrastructure to serve the growing demand of Central Texans for a reliable water supply in a deal involving multiple lenders, two public entities, and several operators.
For more information about how we can assist you, please schedule a free initial consultation by contacting us online.