Water, water everywhere? State Capitol Report.

Texas Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter State Capitol E-Report
Explore, enjoy and protect the planet

February 3, 2011:

  • State Water Conservation Advisory Council at RiskAt least one state legislator has indicated that he will try to eliminate the state’s Water Conservation Advisory Council during the regular session of the 82nd Texas Legislature, now in progress. This move might be made through a “stand-alone” piece of legislation, a provision in or amendment to the Texas Water Development Board “sunset” bill (the Council receives staff support from the Board), or elimination of funding for the Council in the appropriations bill for state agencies (the financial support for the Council is only about $80,000 a year). The Sierra Club strongly supports continuation of the Council, whose work is important to meeting state water needs, and urges others to do so as well. …Read the full story… 


  • National Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club Release Groundwater Statement The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club have released a position statement on “Ground Water Legislation in the 82nd Texas Legislature.” The position statement was prompted by the introduction in the Texas Senate of SB 332 by Sen. Troy Fraser, which would establish a “vested ownership right in groundwater.” (An excellent overview of SB 332 is provided on the Hill Country Alliance website at: http://www.hillcountryalliance.org/HCA/SB332.) Similar legislation is expected to be introduced in the Texas House. Apparently one of the reasons for the introduction of this legislation is to initiate discussion and dialogue on groundwater ownership, an issue currently before the Texas Supreme Court. NWF and Sierra Club “ welcome a healthy debate and discussion of the ground water rights issue, but …oppose efforts to expand the current ground water ownership doctrine” because the “proposed expansion would cause great regulatory uncertainty and expensive litigation.”Read the full story… 


  • Water Legislation Starts to Flow in the Texas House and Senate Although not exactly streaming in yet, water legislation is being filed in both the House and the Senate on a variety of topics. Already the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club has over 50 water and water-related bills in its tracking system for this regular session of the 82 nd Texas Legislature. Many of these are very limited in geographic area and/or scope – and many do not have direct relationship to the environment but deal with such things as agency and water district procedures. Two important water bills that have been introduced that are of interest to the Sierra Club are SB 181 by Sen. Florence Shapiro, which deals with the metrics used to measure water use and water conservation, and SB 449 by Senators Craig Estes and Kirk Watson to allow a property tax break for landowners who manage their land to promote and sustain water quality and conservation (the latter bill is accompanied by a proposed constitutional amendment, SJR 16)….Read the full story… 

  • The State Capitol E-Report is a monthly electronic update from the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club reporting on Texas environmental policy issues of statewide interest. Contact us at: lonestar.chapter@sierraclub.org …Header photo “Water” copyright Susan Heller donate
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    Sierra Club home photo by Susan Heller Texas Sierra Club Home Page
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