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Texas comptroller calls for water innovation

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Comptroller Susan Combs says the state needs more investment in water innovation on top of the billions of new dollars recently committed to build more pipelines and reservoirs across Texas.

Combs on Tuesday released a report on water and the Texas economy. She's the latest politician to stress the importance of the state's water needs after the issue dominated the Legislature in 2013.

Voters in November approved dedicating $2 billion to the state water plan. Combs has proposed a series of ideas that includes the state creating a $25 million prize pot of water research dollars to promote competition.

Farmers and ranchers lost nearly $7.6 billion in the 2011 drought. The state also estimates losing $1.6 billion in lost timber production from dead trees.

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