On September 22nd the Senate Natural Resources Committee met to take up the following interim charges:


1) Analyze and compare the differences in cost between immediate implementation of the State Water Plan compared to staged development over time. When calculating the costs attributable to staged implementation, consider rising material costs, meeting the needs of a growing population with temporary solutions, and the costs related to potential failure of existing, aging infrastructure. Review the development of State Water Plan infrastructure projects that have been funded during the FY 08-09 and FY 10-11 biennia. Consider short-term and long-term dedicated sources of funding.


2) Review the joint planning process for management of groundwater resources and monitor the progress of groundwater conservation districts’ efforts to establish, before the statutory deadline, desired future conditions for aquifers. Identify any additional resources or statutory changes necessary to promote sound groundwater management, including promotion of desalination of brackish groundwater, elimination of any exemptions, and coordination between groundwater conservation districts and activities regulated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Railroad Commission of Texas, and the state and regional water planning processes administered by the Texas Water Development Board.


4) Study the need for the state to regulate the drilling of new wells within proscribed depths and distances of Texas rivers, in order to prevent the draining of surface water from alluvial plains of river basins. Make recommendations for any needed legislation.


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