Nature-based infrastructure bill passes in house 

By Sahar Chmais 

A bill that incentivizes nature-based infrastructure passed in the Texas House on April 21.

HB 2350 was introduced by District 45 Representative Erin Zwiener and encourages nature-based infrastructure through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. The bill targets communities seeking loans for wastewater system upgrades and provides them access to additional funds for projects such as rain gardens, wetlands and other projects that slow storm waters and allow them to percolate into aquifers, or be taken up by plants — an alternative to water running off surfaces and contributing to flooding. 

Funding for these projects comes from the Green Projects Reserve, a pass-through federal grant program administered by the Texas Water Development Board. 

“I’m glad that my colleagues agree that nature-based infrastructure is a critical tool for mitigating flooding,” said Rep. Zwiener. “In addition, nature-based infrastructure can also assist with aquifer recharge, water purification, outdoor recreational space, and reducing heat islands. HB 2350 will help communities to develop and fund locally directed projects that fit their needs.”

 Zwiener introduced another water preservation bill, HB 4618, during the 87th Legislative session. 

As people continue to flock to Hays County and Central Texas, some politicians have been working on solutions for efficient water preservation methods, given the limited water supply in the region.

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Sahar Chmais holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been covering cities in Hays County for one year, touching on residents' struggles and successes, city issues, COVID-19 and more. Prior to reporting on the local spectrum, Sahar reported for a national news organization, covering gun violence. Sahar enjoys working as a local reporter because she gets to work with real people and their stories.

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