JUNE 5, 2020 | CONFLUENCE NEWS
The Latest Agency News
SWIFT UPDATE. On Thursday, TWDB adopted a resolution to reduce interest rate subsidies effective for the 2021 round of SWIFT funding and indefinitely after. While the board adopted subsidies for the current round of funding consistent with the previous cycle, Chairman Lake expressed concern about the long-term health of the SWIFT Program. Chairman Lake said that as the fiduciary of the SWIFT program, TWDB must respond to uncertain market conditions to optimize long-term SWIFT capacity for current and future stakeholders. He reported that TWDB has issued 24% of targeted capital expenditures in 10% of the anticipated time frame, which means that the program has issued more debt in a shorter amount of time than the SWIFT fund was designed to accommodate.

The resolution outlines proposed subsidies for the next SWIFT funding cycle, including less favorable interest rate reductions but no changes to the Deferred Loan and Board Participation Program. The proposed subsidies will not be finalized until December 2020.
FLOOD FUNDING APPLICATION REMINDER. The deadline for applications for funding from the TWDB Flood Infrastructure Fund is June 15. See application details here.
NOMINATIONS FOR FLOOD PLANNING GROUPS. TWDB is now accepting nominations for initial appointments to the Regional Flood Planning Groups. The Board will designate one individual for each of the 12 interest categories for the voting positions for each of the 15 flood planning regions. Click here to nominate an individual for appointment to a Flood Planning Group.
SUNSET REPORTS ON TDLR, TPWD, & TDA. The Sunset Advisory Commission released reports on the performance of several state agencies yesterday. Highlights are below. Contact Sarah Kirkle if you have any questions. 

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. Key water-related recommendations: 
  • Deregulate weather modification programs 
  • Implement a data-driven strategy to prioritize inspections and complaints based on risk to the public and repeat violations, among other factors. (TDLR regulates water well drillers and pump installers.) 

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Key recommendations: 
  • Better plan for and measure state conservation needs 
  • Shore up gaps in enforcement processes for non-recreational licenses and permits 

Texas Department of Agriculture. Key recommendations relate to the Prescribed Burning Board, the Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation, the GO TEXAN program, and removing aquaculture regulation at TDA. 
TCEQ ACCEPTING TEXAS ENVIRONMENTAL EXCELLENCE AWARDS NOMINATIONS. The Texas Environmental Excellence Awards is a program that recognizes environmental achievements in preservation and protection. There are ten award categories ranging from agriculture to innovative operations. Applications for 2021 open in June and are due September 25, 2020. Learn more about the program here.
NWRA TEAMS UP WITH FAMILY FARM ALLIANCE FOR INFRASTRUCTURE OP-ED. NWRA President Christine Arbogast and Family Farm Alliance President Pat O'Toole co-wrote a recent Op-Ed discussing the need to invest in Western Water infrastructure. Read the full Op-Ed here.
Mid-Year Conference Details
EVENT LINK INFORMATION. When you sign up for panel meetings, you will get a confirmation email from GoToWebinar with links to that individual meeting. Don't worry about losing that email. A follow up reminder will be sent the day before the meeting.

Full conference registrants will be sent the "join links" the week of the event.
PANEL MEETINGS.  We decided to separate the panel meetings out from the event 1) in order to limit the amount of time you have to sit at your computer and 2) so that people could attend more than one panel meeting, a first for TWCA! Registration for panel meetings is  free : you do not have to attend the Mid-Year event to attend a panel meeting, though we hope you will find value in both! You do have to sign up online in order to get a unique link for joining each panel meeting (this is so we know who to expect and don’t have “zoom bombing” happen).  Register for panel meetings here .
SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE. Like so many of our members, the pandemic has had a significant financial impact on TWCA. While we remain so grateful that our staff and membership are healthy and well, the move online for this event and potential cancellation or significant restructuring of our Fall Conference and beyond has placed a tremendous financial burden on the Association. You can help us immensely with these challenges by sponsoring our event, at any level.  See our sponsors here.

FULL CONFERENCE REGISTRATION. This is our traditional summer event, with committee meetings, the TWCA Board of Directors’ meeting, and speaker presentations, which include Comptroller Glenn Hegar and TCEQ Commissioner Bobby Janecka, as well as timely topics like COVID in wastewater, extreme weather trends, and overviews of the state dam programs. The full schedule is  here.

Helpful Information
FIND TWCA COMMENTS/LEGAL BRIEFS . All of TWCA’s recent formal comments, amicus briefs, and position papers are on our website under the Policy and Legislation tab .
COVID-19 . TWCA has sent multiple updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. We will be sending more frequent updates to ensure important information is getting to you in a timely way. See what we have sent out related to COVID-19 here.
Membership Dues: Don't forget to renew so you can utilize all of your TWCA benefits. Renew here.

Standing Committees: Sign up!
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