December 9 was the filing deadline for the Texas 2020 elections. You can view a summary of the filing status of state legislators that served on on the House Natural Resources Committee and Senate Water and Rural Affairs Committee during the 86th Legislative Session here.
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen have issued interim charges to the Senate and House committees. You can view the full Senate Charges here and the House charges here. Committees will study the charges and issue reports before the next legislative session convenes in January 2021. Below is a summary of the groundwater-related interim charges.
The Senate Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee and Water Rural Affairs Committee have been jointly assigned to:
(1) Future Water Supply: Examine current laws, processes, and water storage options and availability. Make recommendations promoting the state’s water supply, storage, availability, valuation, movement, and development of new sources.
(2) Groundwater Regulatory Framework: Study the state’s groundwater regulatory framework and make recommendations to improve groundwater regulation, management, and permitting.
(3) Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committees on Natural Resources and Economic Development and Water and Rural Affairs passed by the 86th Legislature, as well as relevant agencies and programs under each committee’s jurisdiction.
The House Natural Resources Committee has been instructed to:
(1) monitor the rulemaking and implementation for ASR and aquifer recharge projects, the designation of Brackish Groundwater Production Zones and adoption of associated brackish rules by GCDs, and the efforts to increase coordination among Regional Water Planning Groups;
(2) study the efforts of the TCEQ, the TWDB, and the Public Utility Commission of Texas to incentivize, promote, and preserve regional projects to meet water supply needs and encourage public and private investment in water infrastructure;
(3) monitor the joint planning process for groundwater and the achievement of the desired conditions for aquifers by groundwater conservation districts; and
(4) monitor the State Auditor’s review of agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction.