Docstoc

TWDB Success During the 79th Texas Legislative Session

Document Sample
TWDB Success During the 79th Texas Legislative Session Powered By Docstoc
					  Vol. XV, No.3     A quarterly publication of the Texas Water Development Board            Summer 2005

                     TWDB Success During the
                    79th Texas Legislative Session
By: Tom Tagliabue

The Texas Water Development Board                 or structural or nonstructural flood control
(TWDB) went into the 79th Regular                 measures. TWDB staff and Environmental
Legislative Session with eleven priority          Protection Agency regional officials have met to
bills and an aggressive Legislative               lay the groundwork to implement the State and
Appropriations Request that far exceeded          Tribal Assistance Grant program.
the agency’s baseline budget.
                                                  S.B. 374 repeals the TWDB’s requirement to
The big water policy bill for the session,        develop a capital spending plan.
Senate Bill 3 (S.B. 3), which would have
                                                  S.B. 509 gives the TWDB maximum flexibility
created historic environmental flows
                                                  in determining which needs to address with
language, groundwater management
                                                  Water Infrastructure Fund appropriations, if
reforms, a statewide economically
                                                  funding is approved by the Legislature.
disadvantaged areas program, a
dedicated funding source for projects,            H.B. 1225, one of the recommendations of
comprehensive water conservation                  the Water Conservation Implementation Task
programs and expedited amendments to              Force (WCITF), provides the TCEQ the
regional water plans, died on the House           authority to exempt surface water rights from
calendar late in the session. Numerous            cancellation for the non-use of water resulting
attempts were made to add pieces of S.B. 3        from conservation measures.
to other bills, all of which were ultimately
unsuccessful.                                     H.B. 1224, another WCITF recommendation,
                                                  requires the TWDB Executive Administrator
TWDB Priority Bills                               to study the impact of “take or pay” contracts
                                                  on efforts to achieve water conservation. The
Of the TWDB’s eleven priority bills, six
                                                  bill requires a report to the 80th Legislature by
were passed as stand-alone bills, and one
                                                  January 1, 2007.
was included in another bill.
                                         S.B. 9 changes the name of the Critical
H.B. 828 clarifies that the Texas
                                         Infrastructure Protection Council to the
Commission on Environmental Quality
                                         Homeland Security Council and expands
(TCEQ) does not have to make project
                                         it from 13 to 27 members (including the
feasibility determinations on refinancing
                                         TWDB). Public water supply or wastewater
bonds issued by water districts and sold to
                                         systems will now be required to maintain
the TWDB.
                                         procedures to notify the State immediately
H.B. 1657 clarifies the TWDB’s authority of events that may negatively impact the
to receive federal grant, loan and other production or delivery of safe and adequate
assistance from any federal agency for   drinking water.
water supply projects, treatment works,
                                         Appropriations
                                                  Despite another lean budget year and no
                                                  additional sources of funding for water projects,
                                                  the Legislature and the Governor approved the
                                                  majority of TWDB’s baseline budget requests
                                                  and five of the TWDB’s thirteen exceptional
                                                  item requests. Highlights include:

                                                  see 79 th Legislature - continued on page 2



                                              1
79 th Legislature - continued from page 1

  • $3.3 million for desalination projects, including $2.5            used it to pay debt service on brush control bonds issued in
    million for up to three seawater desalination pilot               the past.
    projects, $600,000 for up to three brackish groundwater
                                                                      The TWDB must determine how to implement functions
    desalination demonstration projects, and $200,000 for
                                                                      required by the Legislature for which no funding was
    additional staff and program costs including project
                                                                      received. In S.B. 1, the Water Conservation Program lost
    oversight, technology development monitoring, and
                                                                      $590,000 in General Revenue Funds. A list of riders and
    educational outreach and technology transfer.
                                                                      bills, along with TWDB estimated costs that require TWDB
  • $2.16 million in General Revenue to pay debt service on           action for which no funds were appropriated, include:
    $25 million in Economically Distressed Area Program
                                                                       • S.B. 1 rider for Toledo Bend Reservoir study ($76,000);
    General Obligation Bonds. Issuance is delayed until FY
    2007.                                                              • S.B. 1 and S.B. 1863 for employee longevity pay
                                                                         increases ($150,000);
  • $1.6 million to provide increased assistance to the sixteen
    regional water planning groups to perform analysis, data           • H.B. 578 for pipeline identification ($160,000);
    collection and technical reviews to complete the required
    five-year update for regional water plans that are part of         • H.B. 925 for upgrades to the Border Activity Tracker
    the State Water Plan.                                                program ($309,000 in FY 2006 and $87,000 in
                                                                         subsequent years);
  • $1.41 million in additional General Revenue to
    maximize the amount of federal funds in the Drinking               • H.B. 1763 for groundwater district assistance ($592,539)
    Water State Revolving Fund that can be used for loan                 through the biennium ending August 31, 2007; and
    forgiveness and zero percent loans for disadvantaged               • H.B. 2430 for rainwater harvesting evaluating
    communities and private water systems.                               committee activities ($5,000).
  • $400,000 for grants for the local share of costs associated       The current Economically Distressed Areas Program (EDAP)
    with the development of Brushy Creek Reservoir (Lake              was given a makeover by H.B. 467, which expanded the
    Marlin).                                                          existing program statewide to serve communities whose
  • $311,000 to optimize cash management processes and                median household income is less than 75 percent of the State
    returns on TWDB investments, support planning                     average. Economically distressed communities in all 254
    activities, and improve customer service.                         Texas counties will be eligible under the expanded program.
                                                                      Model subdivision rules must be adopted by the county for
Other Legislation Impacting the TWDB                                  an eligible community to receive EDAP funding.
The TWDB provided information to the Legislature on                   H.B. 3029 converts a TWDB loan program into a grants and
several bills that potentially impact the agency and worked           loan program targeting rural disadvantaged communities.
with legislative offices on amendments or substitutes.                To the extent cash is available, previously appropriated funds
                                                                      will be available for political subdivisions or water supply
The Water Assistance Fund (WAF) was the subject of both
                                                                      corporations to bring water and wastewater to communities
legislation and appropriations. S.B. 1605, the biennial funds
                                                                      of fewer than 5,000 people located outside the corporate
consolidation bill, as originally filed, would have folded the
                                                                      boundaries of a municipality.
WAF into the General Revenue fund. An amendment kept
the WAF an exempt fund outside General Revenue. In the                H.B. 1462 gave the TWDB explicit authority to refer
introduced version of S.B. 1, the Appropriations Act, older           applicants to appropriate investigative or enforcement
contracts funded out of WAF would have been subject                   authorities if significant problems arise with the applicant.
to termination due to reduced legislative appropriations
                                                                      The TWDB was one of seventeen state agencies named in
flexibility. Ultimately, a rider was amended maintaining
                                                                      H.B. 925 to an interagency work group on border issues
WAF funding as status quo.
                                                                      to improve coordination of government programs and
The Legislature declined attempts to fund the State Soil and          services offered in the border area. The bill further provides
Water Conservation Board’s brush control program out of               the TWDB with authority to create the Border Activity
the Agriculture Water Conservation Fund (AWCF), which                 Tracker (BAT) website to maintain information on projects
was created by S.B. 1094 (78th Session, 2003), preserving the         undertaken by state agencies within 100 kilometers of the
fund for its intended purpose of funding agricultural water           international border.
conservation strategies. Similarly, the Senate turned back an
early proposal regarding the AWCF fund which would have
                                                                      see 79 th Legislature - continued on page 3
                                                                  2
Coming Soon: State                                                     Agricultural Water
Revolving Fund Solicitations                                           Conservation Grants
By: Bruce Crawford                                                     Awarded
The Solicitation Packets for the FY 2007 Drinking Water                By: Stacy Pandey
State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) and the Clean Water
State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) are currently being                       On April 19, 2005 the Texas Water Development Board
developed. Entities interested in DWSRF and CWSRF                      approved the use of up to $599,970 from the Agricultural
low interest loan opportunities for water and wastewater               Water Conservation Fund for grants to ten applicants for
projects are encouraged to fill out the applicable forms               agricultural water conservation equipment and projects.
included in the packets and return them to the Texas Water             Topics funded include irrigation meters to measure surface
Development Board (TWDB). The information submitted                    water or groundwater irrigation, a demonstration drip
to the TWDB will be used to rate potential projects and to             irrigation system, on-farm research and demonstration of
develop Intended Use Plans (IUPs) which are used by the                irrigation scheduling tools, research on drought tolerant
agency to invite eligible entities to apply for loans. For the         corn varieties, surveying nursery industry water use, and
last several years, all entities on the IUPs have been invited         portable flow meters and pipe thickness gauges.
to apply for loans.                                                    The next request for applications will be posted in the
The FY 2007 DWSRF Solicitation Packet will be mailed to                Texas Register in Fall 2005. To view the guidelines for the
water systems in mid-October and will be due back to the               recent request for applications, go to www.twdb.state.tx.us/
TWDB in late January. The CWSRF Solicitation Packet                    assistance/conservation/grants.asp.
will be mailed to all eligible entities in mid-November and
will be due back to the TWDB by the end of February.
Contact Bruce Crawford at 512-463-8033 or Mike Lynn at
512-463-7953 for more information about these programs.

                               SSSSSSSS                                                     SSSSSSSS
79 th Legislature - continued from page 2
Similarly, S.B. 827 requires the Office of the Texas Secretary of State to create a colonia identification and tracking system to
provide progress reports on state-funded projects that benefit colonias within 62 miles (100 kilometers) of the international
border.
S.B. 1686 expands the interagency work group on rural issues, of which TWDB is a member, to include the Governor’s
designee who provides problem-solving services to the State, specifically in rural areas. The designee can assist other state
agencies in developing regulatory and legislative recommendations that would benefit rural Texans.
S.B. 471 authorizes the Texas Coastal Ocean Observation Network (known as TCOON), a cooperative project between the
TWDB, the Texas General Land Office, Lamar University, and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, to coordinate and
contract with federal agencies (the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
to collect data on natural processes affecting the coast for the purpose of studying, planning for, and managing human uses of
the coast as they are affected by those natural processes.
H.B. 1763 changes the TWDB role in reviewing and approving groundwater conservation district (GCD) management plans.
H.B. 2201 is designed to help Texas apply for a federal U.S. Department of Energy integrated carbon sequestration and
hydrogen research proposal known as “FutureGen.” Federal, international and private funding is expected to generate jobs and
other economic benefits to the State. The bill requires state agencies to improve regulatory and permitting procedures to help
facilitate a FutureGen project in Texas. The TWDB is required to adopt rules by September 1, 2006 for reasonable flexibility
to allow for a timely amendment of a regional water plan, the TWDB approval of an amended regional water plan, and the
amendment of the State Water Plan, to facilitate planning for water supplies reasonably required for a FutureGen project.
Six new groundwater conservation districts were created -- Duval County, Starr County, Victoria County, Central Texas
(Burnet County), Lower Trinity (Liberty, Polk and San Jacinto Counties) and San Patricio County and must be approved by
voters in confirmation elections.
For more information on individual bills, please log on to: www.capitol.state.tx.us.          
                                                                  3
Texas Desalination Progress                                         Rainwater Harvesting News
By: Jorge Arroyo P. E.                                              By: Dr. Hari J. Krishna, P.E.

The 79th Texas Legislature granted a $3.3 million                   The new Texas Manual on Rainwater Harvesting is now
exceptional appropriation request to the Texas Water                available online from the Texas Water Development Board
Development Board (TWDB) for the continuation and                   (TWDB) at www.twdb.state.tx.us. The manual includes
expansion of the Texas Desalination Program.                        chapters on rainwater harvesting system components, water
                                                                    quality and treatment, water balance and system sizing, cost
The $3.3 million dollar General Revenue Fund                        estimation, and financial and other incentives.
appropriation enables the TWDB to issue grants for
developing up to three pilot plants for seawater desalination       The manual also provides information and photographs
projects and for planning, permitting and designing of up           of “case studies” - currently installed rainwater harvesting
to three brackish groundwater desalination demonstration            facilities in Texas. An electronic spreadsheet downloadable in
projects. The funding authorization also provides for two           Excel format from the TWDB website will assist homeowners
new staff at TWDB to provide program support.                       and others to estimate cistern capacities for their individual
                                                                    rainwater harvesting systems.
The pilot plants are the next phase in developing Governor
Rick Perry’s vision for new water supplies from desalinated         The 79th Legislature passed House Bill 2430 (H.B. 2430),
seawater in Texas. This follows the completion in 2004              requiring the TWDB to establish a four-member Rainwater
of feasibility studies for three large-scale demonstration          Harvesting Evaluation Committee. The committee will
seawater desalination projects located in Brownsville,              consist of a representative from the TWDB, the Texas
Corpus Christi and Freeport. Pilot plants are a necessary           Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the
step in order to collect and develop data on the source water       Department of State Health Services, and the Texas
and pilot alternative pre-treatment and reverse-osmosis             Section of the American Water Works Association. The
membrane combinations that will ultimately lead to the              representative from the TWDB will serve as the Presiding
most effective plant design.                                        Officer of the Committee.
The TWDB appropriation includes $600,000 to pursue                  The Committee is required to evaluate the potential for
the development of demonstration brackish groundwater               rainwater harvesting in Texas and recommend:
desalination facilities suitable for use in small communities
                                                                      • minimum water quality guidelines and standards for
(one to five million gallons per day) to provide a roadmap
                                                                        potable and non-potable indoor uses of rainwater;
for implementing these type of projects in Texas. The
TWDB may consider following a process similar to that                 • treatment methods for rainwater;
used in the development of large-scale demonstration
                                                                      • ways to use rainwater harvesting systems with existing
seawater desalination facilities, including the issuance of a
                                                                        municipal water distribution systems; and
request for statements of interest from small communities
and the potential selection of up to three proposals.                 • ways in which the State can further promote rainwater
Contingent upon TWDB approval, this process will begin                  harvesting.
in late Summer 2005.
                                                                    The Committee is required to provide a report to the
The authorized funding will pay for two additional                  Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House no later
full-time employees to adequately address the workload              than December 1, 2006. H.B. 2430 amends Subchapter C,
issues associated with the implementation of the                    Chapter 341, Health and Safety Code by adding Section
Texas Desalination Program, including monitoring of                 341.042 requiring the TCEQ to establish recommended
desalination technology developments and educational                standards for domestic use of rainwater. The bill also requires
outreach activities to provide technology transfer to TWDB          the TCEQ to coordinate with the Rainwater Harvesting
customers considering desalination alternatives.                    Evaluation Committee in developing the standards and to
                                                                    adopt them no later than December 1, 2006. The Rainwater
For additional information and program updates, visit the
                                                                    Harvesting Evaluation Committee will be abolished on
TWDB home page at www.twdb.state.tx.us.
                                                                    January 1, 2007.
                                                                    For more information on the new manual, Rainwater
                                                                    Harvesting Evaluation Committee, or other rainwater
                                                                    harvesting news, contact Dr. Hari J. Krishna at
                                                                    hari.krishna@twdb.state.tx.us.

                                                                4
                LLLoan/Grant Commitments                                     New Water Loss Manual
                        April through June 2005                              Will Assist Utilities
     Organization                     County            Fund    Amount       By: Mark Mathis
April
                                                                             The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB)
City of Point              Rains                      CWSRF     $1,370,000   has published a new Water Loss Manual to support
May                                                                          the water loss reporting requirements of House Bill
Victoria County WCID       Victoria                   TWDF        $500,000   3338 (H.B. 3338) passed by the 78th Legislature.
No. 1                                                                        The manual will assist all utilities implement the
Dallas County              Dallas                     WLAF        $400,000   new standards for water loss accountability. These
June                                                                         standards are based on guidelines developed by the
City of Bonham             Fannin                     CWSRF     $1,675,000   International Water Association and the American
McCoy Water Supply         Atascosa, Live Oak, and    RWAF      $1,050,000   Water Works Association and provide Texas water
Corporation                Wilson                                            utilities with a new uniform method of determining
Total                                                          $4,995,000    water loss. Water loss is now categorized so that
                                                                             utilities may associate a volume of water with the
                                                                             cost of water, either in production costs or in retail
                                                                             costs. This methodology also shows where the loss is
CWSRF: Clean Water State Revolving Fund                                      occurring, either in the utility’s main lines (physical
RWAF: Rural Water Assistance Fund                                            losses) and/or in the utility’s metering and billing
TWDF: Texas Water Development Fund II                                        practices (paper losses).
WLAF: Water Loan Assistance Fund
                                                                             On May 13, 2005 the TWDB, in conjunction with
                                                                             the Texas Chapter of the American Water Works
                                                                             Association, held a teleconference which included
                                                                             discussion of the new water loss methodology and
                                                                             reporting requirements for H.B. 3338, as well as leak
                                                                             detection methods and real life applications. Over
                                                                             600 attendees representing 350 utilities participated
                                                                             in 16 satellite locations throughout the state.
                               SSSSSSSS
                                                                             H.B. 3338 requires all retail public water suppliers
                                                                             in Texas to conduct a water loss audit and report to
                                                                             the TWDB once every five years. The first report,
                                                                             utilizing data from 2005, is due March 31, 2006.
                                                                             The Water Loss Manual is available on the TWDB’s
  LOLatest Research & Planning Fund Grants                                   website www.twdb.state.tx.us. For further
                      Management Reports                                     information contact Mark Mathis at
                                                                             mark.mathis@twdb.state.tx.us or by phone at
  Contract                      Description                      Date
                                                                             512-463-0987.
 2003483479      Groundwater Availability Model for the West   May 2005
                 Texas and Igneous aquifers




Don’t Forget!
e TWDB groundwater database provides extensive water well
information free to the public. Simply access the database at
http://wiid.twdb.state.tx.us or call 512-936-0833 with any
questions.




                                                                    5
Texas Water Day in Washington, D.C.
By: Dave Mitamura and Bill Mullican

On Wednesday, April 13, 2005 the Texas Water Conservation Association (TWCA) and the Texas Water Development
Board (TWDB) conducted events as a part of the first ever Texas Water Day on Capitol Hill. Approximately 70 state and
local water interests and federal partners formed nine groups to meet with Texas congressional delegation offices to discuss the
need for increased federal support in meeting the nation’s water resources challenges, particularly regarding water supply issues.
Discussions focused primarily on the need for a stronger local-state-federal partnership in water resources management. Texas
Water Development Board members and staff participated in this event.
The Texas Water Day reception was the capstone for the day’s activities. An estimated 150 attendees showed their support
for a greater focus on Texas water issues. The guests included members of Congress, congressional staff, Texas water interests,
and federal partners. Several key members of the Texas congressional delegation provided remarks at the reception, including
Senator John Cornyn, Congressman Chet Edwards, Congresswoman Kay Granger, and Congressman Kenny Marchant. Top
officials of some of the TWDB’s federal partners, Major General Don Riley of the Corps of Engineers and John Keys of the
Bureau of Reclamation, addressed the attendees and expressed their support for Texas Water Day.
Texas Water Day was a resounding success, producing an invaluable energy and buzz with the Texas congressional delegation.
The ultimate success of Texas Water Day and TWDB federal activities will be measured by the amount of federal technical and
financial assistance provided to local jurisdictions and to the State to implement the water management strategies and projects in
the State Water Plan.


                          Please remember that all TWDB Water for Texas newsletters are available online at
                www.twdb.state.tx.us/publications/newsletters/Periodicals.asp If you wish to be added or removed from the
                   TWDB printed publications mailing list, please contact Carla Daws at carla.daws@twdb.state.tx.us



            Water for Texas is published quarterly by the Texas Water Development Board, P.O. Box 13231, Austin, Texas 78711-3231; Carla Daws, Editor; Mike Parcher, Design and Layout;
          Editorial Board: Steve Bell, Sherry Cordry, Hari Krishna, Ruben Ochoa, Charles Palmer, Stacy Pandey, Larry Plagens, and Jeff Walker. For more information, please call 512-463-7847.
                                                                                                 Our Mission
                            To provide leadership, planning, financial assistance, information and education for the conservation and responsible development of water for Texas.
                                                                                        Equal Opportunity Employer
      The Texas Water Development Board does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability in employment or the provision of services, programs or activities.
                                                                                1-800-RELAY TX (for the hearing-impaired)

                                                                                                                                                                                               PRSRT.STD
                                                                                                                                                                                               U.S. Postage
                                                                                                                                                                                                  PAID
                                                                                                                                                                                              Austin, Texas
                                                                                                                                                                                             Permit No. 1321

Members of the Board

E.G. Rod Pittman
Chairman, Lufkin

Jack Hunt
Vice Chairman, Houston

James E. Herring
Member, Amarillo

William W. Meadows
Member, Fort Worth

Thomas Weir Labatt III
Member, San Antonio

Dario Vidal Guerra, Jr.
Member, Edinburg

J. Kevin Ward
Executive Administrator

                                                                                                          6

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:5
posted:9/15/2011
language:English
pages:6