Landgraf Connects Odessans with Texas Water Development Board

AUSTIN — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) hosted a virtual meeting between Odessa city officials and leadership at the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) on Thursday to identify state funding assistance for city water infrastructure following the recent water outages in Odessa.

“During my time as state representative, I’ve voted to support multiple initiatives to provide funding for new water infrastructure projects and assist municipalities with the process of upgrading aging water infrastructure,” Landgraf said. “Today’s meeting was all about ensuring city officials are aware of the resources available to update Odessa’s aging water system and avoid future outages and boil notices. I’ll continue doing everything I can until Odessans can rest easy with confidence that they will have access to safe, clean water for generations to come.”

Joining Representative Landgraf for the meeting were the top brass from the Texas Water Development Board, Odessa City Councilman Steve Thompson, Odessa City Manager John Beckmeyer, and representatives from the City of Odessa utilities department, Odessa Development Corporation, and the office of State Senator Kevin Sparks (R-Midland). 

While water infrastructure is a local responsibility, TWDB staff noted that Odessa may be eligible for grant funding from the state and that TWDB staff will be available to answer any questions and provide assistance as the city works to identify its greatest needs and apply for state funding.

“TWDB staff were incredibly helpful and provided an excellent overview of the funding available and processes and deadlines the city must follow to access these resources as quickly as possible. I appreciate the important work they are doing to address this most basic of all human needs. The Rainy Day Fund, which is of course mostly funded by oil and gas production taxes, has been tapped on several occasions to fund these statewide water initiatives, and TWDB is an effective steward of those funds. I look forward to continuing to work with TWDB and the city to bring some of those production taxes back to Odessa in the form of grants for our water system.”

In 2023, Landgraf sponsored Proposition 6, a landmark initiative allocating $1 billion to the Texas Water Fund, a critical investment in addressing Texas water needs. This fund, administered by the TWDB provides financing for essential water projects. With this significant infusion of funding, communities like Odessa have access to the resources needed to modernize aging and dilapidated water systems, enhance conservation efforts, and bolster resilience against drought and other water-related challenges.