leg + water

leg+water: March Update

Every month during the 86th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature Dr. Robert Mace and Dr. Todd Votteler provide an update on water-related legislation.  The key water committees are Water, and Rural Affairs in the Senate (SWRA), and Natural Resources (HNR) in the House of Representatives. Both committees have held hearings and voted on significant water bills since our last update in February. Thus far, legislation related to the flooding impacts from Hurricane Harvey and statewide flood planning have dominated the efforts of SWRA and HNR. The Senate has made the most progress unanimously approving Lt. Governor Patrick’s priority bills, SB 7 and SB 8 (see below) on March 20. These bills transfer money from the state’s rainy day fund to pay for Hurricane Harvey recovery and to plan and prepare for future flood events.

Below is a list of some of the water-related bills that have at a minimum received a hearing by a committee. Click here for more information about where the bill is and links to each bill.

Click here to find information about upcoming hearings.

Note: There is no guarantee of accuracy on this sheet. Confirm status of any bill of interest at Texas Legislature Online

Bill Author(s) Companion Caption
HB 26 Metcalf Relating to the creation of an alert system to notify affected persons of certain releases of water from certain dams.
HB 97 Rodriguez Relating to the eligibility of land for appraisal for ad valorem tax purposes as qualified open-space land.
HB 478 Phelan Relating to the procedure by which a state agency may issue an opinion that a watercourse is navigable.
HB 639 Springer SB 135 Relating to the eligibility of land used as an ecological laboratory for appraisal for ad valorem tax purposes as qualified open-space land.
HB 721 Larson Relating to the duty of the Texas Water Development Board to conduct studies of and prepare and submit reports on aquifer storage and recovery.
HB 723 Larson Relating to a requirement that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality obtain or develop updated water availability models for certain river basins.
HB 726 Larson Relating to the regulation of groundwater.
HB 807 Larson Relating to the state and regional water planning process.
HB 817 King, Tracy O. Relating to a restriction on permits authorizing direct discharges of waste or pollutants into water in certain areas of the Edwards Aquifer.
HB 911 Huberty Relating to the creation and functions of the Lake Houston Watershed Commission.
HB 925 Springer Relating to the composition of the board of directors of the Gateway Groundwater Conservation District.
HB 969 Springer Relating to the authority of a political subdivision to regulate the removal by a landowner of noxious or invasive plant species or brush species detrimental to water conservation from the landowner's property.
HB 1044 Zwiener Relating to permits for certain injection wells that transect a portion of the Edwards Aquifer.
HB 1053 Guillen Relating to the disposition of real property interests by navigation districts and port authorities.
HB 1066 Ashby Relating to extensions of an expired permit for the transfer of groundwater from a groundwater conservation district.
HB 1181 Guillen Relating to the regulation of commercial catfish fishing on Falcon Lake.
HB 1300 Hunter Relating to cultivated oyster mariculture; authorizing fees; creating a criminal offense.
HB 1479 King, Tracy O. Relating to the transfer of certain permitted irrigation water rights related to a certain portion of the Edwards Aquifer.
HB 1506 Perez Relating to authorizing a regulatory authority to establish reduced water and sewer utility rates funded by donations for the benefit of certain low-income customers.
HB 1617 Larson Relating to the deadline by which the Texas Water Development Board is required to identify and designate brackish groundwater production zones for certain areas of the state.
HB 1806 King, Tracy O. Relating to the use of water withdrawn from the Edwards Aquifer by certain entities.
HB 1964 Ashby Relating to the procedure for action on certain applications for an amendment to a water right.
HB 1983 King, Tracy O. Relating to the duties of the Texas Water Development Board.
HB 2023 Metcalf Relating to the use of money in the state water pollution control revolving fund.
HB 2729 Minjarez Relating to the administration, duties, and operation of the Edwards Aquifer Authority; authorizing a fee
HB 2846 Larson Relating to the sale of the Allens Creek Reservoir project
HJR 4 Phelan et al. Proposing a constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the flood infrastructure fund to assist in the financing of drainage, flood mitigation, and flood control projects
HJR 11 González, Mary Proposing a constitutional amendment providing for the issuance of additional general obligation bonds by the Texas Water Development Board to provide financial assistance for the development of certain projects in economically distressed areas.
HJR 81 Phelan Proposing a constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the flood infrastructure fund to assist in the financing of drainage, flood mitigation, and flood control projects.
SB 7 Creighton et al. Relating to flood control planning and the funding of flood planning, mitigation, and infrastructure projects.
SB 8 Perry et al. Relating to state and regional flood planning.
SB 135 Nichols HB 639 Relating to the eligibility of land used as an ecological laboratory for appraisal for ad valorem tax purposes as qualified open-space land.
SB 230 Perry HB 687 Relating to a landowner's liability for injuries incurred during certain recreational activities.
SB 241 Nelson Relating to certain required reports received or prepared by state agencies and other governmental entities.
SB 421 Kolkhorst Relating to the acquisition of real property by an entity with eminent domain authority.
SB 530 Birdwell Relating to civil and administrative penalties assessed or imposed for violations of laws protecting drinking water, public water supplies, and bodies of water.
SB 563 Perry Relating to the reporting of information about the use of federal money for flood research, planning, and mitigation projects.
SB 872 Perry Relating to the composition of the board of directors of the Gateway Groundwater Conservation District.
SB 881 Campbell Relating to withdrawals of water from the Edwards Aquifer to supply a military installation.
SB 942 Johnson et al. Relating to the use of money in the state water pollution control revolving fund.
SB 1041 Taylor Relating to the deadline by which the Texas Water Development Board is required to identify and designate brackish groundwater production zones for certain areas of the state.
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