Senator Glenn Hegar Appointed to Chair Senate Natural Resources Subcommittee
Senator Kip Averitt, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources, recently announced the formation of a subcommittee to study the need for regional water quality standards and review the progress and effectiveness of the newly enacted Edwards Aquifer Authority Recovery Implementation Plan. Senator Averitt's appointment is a nod to Senator Hegar's past work with state water issues and considerable experience with the areas of study.
"I look forward to continuing our work from last session, and hope to further progress toward regional solutions that advance state water policy goals in a balanced, fair, and effective manner," said Senator Hegar, "I greatly appreciate Senator Averitt's appointment and am confident that the subcommittee's work will benefit us in the upcoming session."
Two of Senator Hegar's colleagues on the Senate Committee on Natural Resources will join him on the subcommittee: Senator Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler) and Senator Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio). The subcommittee's study of the need for regional water quality standards will focus on the Edwards Aquifer and Barton Springs recharge zones. Water quality standards are important considerations for this area because of the reliance on drinking water from the aquifer and its proximity to rapidly expanding urban areas. Careful and thoughtful management of this vital resource is essential. The subcommittee will pair those findings with a review of the Edwards Aquifer Authority's Recovery Implementation Plan (RIP), a scientific process to achieve a consensus agreement among all stakeholders by balancing water use and development with the recovery of federally listed species.
During the 80th Legislative Session, Senate Bill 3 outlined some of the procedures for the Edwards Aquifer RIP, including some deadlines for reporting back to the legislature on the progress. The RIP is an interdisciplinary approach that incorporates policy formation, scientific research, habitat restoration, education, and other activities as defined by the participants. "Due to the diversity of issues and level of conflict over water issues in the region, a scientifically-based approach to balance competing water interests is vital for achieving a consensus and to resolve the continuing wars that have plagued the region for years," said Senator Hegar. Both subjects of study were interim charges for the Senate Committee on Natural Resources.
"Given Senator Hegar's interest and expertise in these policy areas, I am confident he will effectively guide this subcommittee in its research and development of interim reports to the 81st Legislature," said Senator Averitt.
Senator Hegar is currently serving his first term in the Texas Senate after serving two terms in the House of Representatives. He is a 6th generation Texan, and earns a living farming rice and corn on land that has been in his family since the mid 1800s. The Hegars reside in Katy, Texas.