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
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,
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
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
• $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
• $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
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.
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
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.
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
LLLoan/Grant Commitments New Water Loss Manual
April through June 2005 Will Assist Utilities
Organization County Fund Amount By: Mark Mathis
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.
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
firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at
Contract Description Date
2003483479 Groundwater Availability Model for the West May 2005
Texas and Igneous aquifers
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
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 email@example.com
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.
To provide leadership, planning, financial assistance, information and education for the conservation and responsible development of water for Texas.
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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.
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Members of the Board
E.G. Rod Pittman
Vice Chairman, Houston
James E. Herring
William W. Meadows
Member, Fort Worth
Thomas Weir Labatt III
Member, San Antonio
Dario Vidal Guerra, Jr.
J. Kevin Ward