AUSTIN (KXAN) - While much of the Texas Tribune Festival this weekend will deal with the 2014 campaign season, an issue many consider the most pressing in Texas was the focus of a panel on Saturday. Major players in the water industry dove into Proposition 6 - a ballot measure in the upcoming November election.
If voters approve the Constitutional amendment, it would mean creating a special account with $2 billion from the state's rainy day fund to help communities pay for crucial infrastructure projects.
"In the next 50 years, we will have 82 percent more Texans," newly appointed Texas Water Development Board Chairman Carlos Rubenstein said, warning of the consequences of another drought of record during that time.
Rubenstein said a major component of the state's approach to battling that potential disaster should be finding new water sources - brackish water conversion, for instance.
But Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy - a proponent of the legislation behind the ballot measure - said officials must approach those projects by understanding regionalization.
"Resources are going to vary based on areas of the state," said Hegar, who added that his Houston-area district has been working to capture surface water, instead of using ground water that might make homeowners' foundations sink as the sandy soil recedes. "What works in one place might not work in another."
Beyond new infrastructure and water sources, all of the panelists - including Uvalde Mayor J. Allen Carnes, who is running for Agriculture Commissioner in 2014 - agreed conservation should be a major component of the funding from Proposition 6.
Carnes, who comes from a farming family, said his city offers financial incentives to residents and nearby farmers for curbing their water usage. But the group also said those efforts must extend beyond agriculture and municipal ideas - the industrial sector must also be included.
San Antonio was mentioned as a strong example, as the city has worked with and helped pay for conservation projects with major companies like Frito Lay and Coca Cola.
"It's all about education," Hegar said. "People don't always know what they can do to save this resource."
The judge presiding over the trial to oust District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg ruled Wednesday that she'll stay in office.
Mack Brown’s longtime friend and attorney said Wednesday that the veteran coach of the Longhorns has not yet made a decision on his future, but that it will come soon.
The Austin City Council will take up billing errors and problems with the appeals process at Austin Energy during Thursday's meeting.
Options for high speed Internet in Austin continue to expand. Google Fiber is coming to Austin soon, and now AT&T has announced the city will be the first for its own faster-than-ever Internet speeds.
A 15-year-old girl told police she was abducted from the parking lot at Bastrop High School on Wednesday.
After hundreds of park-goers complained about a lack of off-leash dog space in the new design of Auditorium Shores, the Austin Parks and Recreation Board is hoping a compromise will alleviate any concerns.