Senate Passes Bill Dealing With Managing State's Water Resources
(Austin) -On Friday, April 29, the Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 3, which relates to the development and management of the water resources of the state. I take great pride in helping to pass a comprehensive package that will improve management of surface and groundwater. I wanted to ensure we had a plan that promotes conservation efficient use of water resources, and I believe we have done that with Senate Bill 3.
As a member of the Senate Select Committee on Water Resources, I attended interim hearings across the state over eighteen months leading up to the regular session. We met with interested parties from every area of Texas to get their input on the various water needs faced by the citizens.
Following passage of the bill, Lt. Governor Dewhurst applauded the Senate for it's work on this issue, and specifically the committee and the bill's author Senator Ken Armbrister.
"Unless we take the necessary steps to better manage and preserve our precious resources today, we will lack the water we need to support our growing population tomorrow," Dewhurst said. "For the sake of our economy, our environment, and the health and quality of life of each and every Texan, we have a responsibility not just to solve the problems we're facing today, but to plan every day for our future. I thank Senator Armbrister and the entire committee for helping to preserve Texas as we know it for our children and our grandchildren."
The bill analysis of Senate Bill 3 states that Committee Substitute to Senate Bill 3 is a comprehensive, omnibus water bill that builds upon the progressive changes in Texas' water law and water policy initiated by S.B. 1, 75th Legislature, Regular Session, 1997, and C.S.S.B. 2, 77th Legislature, Regular Session, 2001. C.S.S.B. 3 advances water management in the state by moving forward from the past 10 years of extensive regional and state water planning, to the actual implementation of water management strategies, including strategies to ensure adequate environmental flows and water infrastructure financing.
C.S.S.B. 3 addresses major water-related challenges currently facing Texas, including: the need to ensure the viability of our rivers, streams, bays, and estuaries; promoting land stewardship policy and strategies; water conservation; conjunctive use of surface and groundwater; aquifer storage and recovery; groundwater management area (GMA) based groundwater management to ensure consistent management of groundwater by multiple districts overlying a single GMA; water financing; and the Edwards Aquifer Authority. The five substantive Articles in C.S.S.B. 3 address Environmental Flows; Conjunctive Management Water Policy; Water Financing; Special District Creation; and the Edwards Aquifer Authority.
For information on the findings of the Senate Select Committee on Water Resources, please view the committee's report to the 79th Legislature located at http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/commit/c750/downloads/WP_Final.pdf.
In addition, the Senate Research Center publication, "In Brief - Water Talk" offers a compilation of terms that deal with water policy. It can be found at http://www.senate.state.tx.us/src/pdf/ib_sep04.pdf.
As always, please contact my Capitol Office if you would like to receive a hard copy of either of these reports.
To contact Sen. Deuell about the legislative process, contact the Capitol Office at (512) 463-0556 or mail to Sen. Bob Deuell, Texas Senate, P.O. Box 12068, Austin, TX 78711. The website for the Texas Senate is www.senate.state.tx.us. The e-mail address for Sen. Deuell is: firstname.lastname@example.org.