FRASER PROPOSES BURNET COUNTY WATER DISTRICT
Austin -- State Senator Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) filed legislation on Thursday that would create the Central Texas Groundwater District for Burnet County.
"This legislation will help protect Burnet County groundwater from nearby thirsty cities who are seeking alternative water supplies," Fraser said. "Senate Bill 967 will also ensure that future generations of Burnet County residents have an adequate water supply."
In the Spring of 2004, Burnet County residents became concerned about the possible creation of a state-mandated multi-county groundwater district that would include Burnet, Williamson and part of Travis Counties. Under state law, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is given the authority to designate and recommend the formation of a Priority Groundwater Management Area (PGMA).
Last July, the Burnet County Commissioners Court voted unanimously to oppose the possible formation of the three-county groundwater district. Fraser hosted public meetings about the possible creation of a water district to determine what the citizens wanted.
"My role was to lay out the options, listen and then help chart a course of action," Fraser said. "Over the last several months I have heard from the citizens of Burnet County, and they want a groundwater district."
In 2001, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 2 which clarified that groundwater districts are the preferred method for groundwater management. Once approved by the local voters, the district adopts all the necessary rules and regulations needed in order to operate.
"Local control of the district, by the people, has always been the key," Fraser said. "The Legislature gives the citizens the ability to create the district. Even if the bill is passed by the Legislature, the voters still have to approve the district and elect the board members."
If Senate Bill 967 is signed into law, the district would then appear on the September ballot for final approval by the voters.