Texas House Speaker Joe Straus was in Wichita Falls on Thursday to get a tour of the Cypress Water Treatment Plant. He also wanted to find out how Wichita Falls is dealing with the drought catastrophe.
He said he hopes the city can set an example to other cities across the state when it comes to water supply.
“This is a community that takes care of its own challenges. To call it a challenge seems more like an understatement,” Straus said.
Mayor Glen Barham, Public Works Director Russell Schreiber, and Operations Manager Daniel Nix gave Straus the tour to show him how everything works. This included the temporary water reuse project. Thursday marked the three month mark of the project going online and Straus said it's a creative approach.
“Without a creative approach like they've found here, there could have been devastating consequences to this community. One that they probably couldn't recover from,” Straus said.
Straus has been on the forefront of water planning for the state of Texas. He said he will continue to push other state leaders to address the issue.
Straus said, “This community is an example of why the state needed to act.”
He realizes Texoma needs more help with the drought situation. He hopes he can make a difference in the future.
“I think the water development board is off to a very good start with the work that we've done and the funding that we've provided,” Straus said.
He said now it's up to the regional water planning authorities around the state to prioritize their projects to make sure they water development board is implementing the plan.
Last year, Straus built a plan to secure a long term water supply without raising taxes. The plan was passed in the legislative session last year. Moving forward, Straus said the focus is looking at all of the programs across the state. He said they want to make sure everything is working they way it should. Straus said if anything needs to be fixed, he said they will take care of it.