Ousted Texas water planners: We were 'excluded'

By: PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press
By: PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The state's top water planners say lawmakers overhauled the Texas Water Development Board, in the process firing them, without seeking their input or offering them a chance to save their jobs.

The agency's executive director, Melanie Callahan, and board chairman Billy Bradford, spoke to The Associated Press for the first time after Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill authorizing the historic restructuring. Callahan and Bradford will both lose their positions.

A historic drought in 2011 made water a hot button issue in the Texas Legislature's 140-day session.

As part of the efforts made by the Legislature to ensure a future water supply, voters will also be asked in November to approve a landmark $2 billion water fund designed to provide money for crucial projects through a revolving loan program.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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