Desalination: Regulatory Perspectives, Stacey Steinbach, TAGD

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Desalination: Regulatory Perspectives, Stacey Steinbach, TAGD

  1. 1. Desalination: Regulatory Issues and Perspectives Stacey A. Steinbach Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts Texas Desal 2013 September 13, 2013 Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  2. 2. Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org GCD Snapshot Current Regulatory Framework Session Wrap Up and Beyond
  3. 3. Starting Point: Rule of Capture •  Adopted as Texas law in 1904 East decision •  Landowners have right to capture an unlimited amount of groundwater beneath their property •  Called “law of non-liability” and “law of the biggest pump” •  Provides little certainty and protection Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  4. 4. GCD Balancing Test Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org Conservation, preservation, protection, recharging and prevention of waste of groundwater and control of subsidence Highest practicable level of groundwater production
  5. 5. History of GCDs •  1917: Conservation Amendment to Texas Constitution (Article XVI, Section 59) •  1949: Statutory framework for creation of GCDs •  1997: GCDs are the “State’s preferred method of groundwater management” (SB 1) •  2013: 97 confirmed GCDs; 4 awaiting confirmation; 2 subsidence districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  6. 6. Source: John Dupnik, BSEACD
  7. 7. New GCDs (83rd Lege) • Revived GCD: Calhoun County GCD • New GCDs: –  Reeves County GCD –  Deep East Texas GCD (Shelby, San Augustine, and Sabine Counties) Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  8. 8. Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org GCD Snapshot Current Regulatory Framework Session Wrap Up and Beyond
  9. 9. “Groundwater” •  Current definition: water percolating below surface of the earth •  1994 definition (Chapter 52): water percolating below the surface of the earth and that is suitable for agricultural, gardening, domestic, or stock raising purposes... Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  10. 10. GCDs and Brackish Groundwater •  GCDs are currently issuing permits for brackish groundwater production •  Distinction of groundwater based specifically on TDS level not common (but may be appropriate in some GCDs) •  DFC-based groundwater models generally do not distinguish groundwater based on TDS level (but can) Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  11. 11. GCDs and Brackish Groundwater GCDs can still incentivize production of high-TDS or unutilized groundwater through rules 1.  Adopt different DFCs for distinct brackish groundwater zones and work with TWDB to develop a MAG for those zones 2.  Develop, through rulemaking, management zones for these areas and authorize greater production than in freshwater areas Example: BSEACD Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  12. 12. 36.117(d) – Management Zones For better management of the groundwater resources located in a GCD or if a GCD determines that conditions in or use of an aquifer differ substantially from one geographic area of the GCD to another, the GCD may adopt different rules for: 1.  each aquifer, subdivision of an aquifer, or geologic strata located in whole or in part within the boundaries of the GCD; or 2.  each geographic area overlying an aquifer or subdivision of an aquifer located in whole or in part within the boundaries of the GCD. Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  13. 13. Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org GCD Snapshot Current Regulatory Framework Session Wrap Up and Beyond
  14. 14. Common Goals • Provide more certainty • Encourage use of currently unutilized/undesirable groundwater • Ensure protection of current and future sources of groundwater Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  15. 15. TAGD’s Additional Goals • No one-size-fits-all approach • Ensure groundwater ownership implications are considered • Focus on hydrological connection to currently utilized groundwater, not TDS level Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  16. 16. Desalination Legislation •  All or most water in some GCDs considered brackish •  Groundwater salinity falls on a continuum •  Implies brackish groundwater not worthy of protection •  Most MAGs do not distinguish based on TDS •  How to determine TDS? •  Who determines TDS? •  What if the TDS changes? •  “Desirability” or “usability” of water is not based solely on TDS Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org Brackish Groundwater ≠ TDS Level
  17. 17. 469.5 443 1199 2268 297 384 1240 262 1010.5 557 2353 699 1260 293.5 715 627 373 305 277 234.5 1451 758 339 470 285 437 555 303 379 351 833 341 316.5 1177 313 1022 425 539 409 596 334 460 450 797 387 987 225 332 547 212 416 676 312.5 440 509 354422 317.5 358.5 879 1169 510 443 400 640 753 1703 241 569 643 425 537 127 129 610 615 808 270 1308 782 1526 616 520 383 386 336 2282 808 686 1043 353.5 293 517 902 352 914 450 994 306 333 463 317 534 624 298 770 904 585 995 387 749 563 695 802 369 540 872 468 478 1431 1144 576 773 373 1793 856 1502.5 866 515 470 304 832 564 971 1133 526 1646.5 376 792 424 2855 1471 809 560 421 990 411.5 1116 585 255.5 1068 1100 1173 695 541.5 749 458 642 1434 756 2766 240 1190 228 2682 518.5 3162 2518 26221000 421.5 386 2695 1045 398 436.5 647.5 182.5 107.5 333.5 1089 509 193.5 379.5 328.5 324 300.5 327.5 331.5 443.5 376.5 438.5 950.5 420 297.5 781.5 1140 449.5 444.5 336.5 422.5 879.5 223.5 305.5 322.5 320.5 880.5 284 681 1248.5 432 333 1294 575.5 527.5 1160.5505.5 592 593.5 408.5 3083 1205 2559 747.5 1171.5 310 1646.5 1058.5 2390 659.5 1019.5 1091.5 2603.5 1242 1036.5 2388.5 445 667.5 1043.5 552.5 504 234 725 681.5 320.5 312 643 534 336399 184 273 398 173.5 ´0 100 20050 Miles Median Recorded TDS Values in Groundwater Wells Data Source: Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) Groundwater Database, using non-plugged/destroyed wells with a "Withdrawal of Water" well type. Median TDS (mg/L) by County 500 - 1000 < 500 1000 - 3000 > 3000
  18. 18. CSHB 2578 •  “Brackish Groundwater Production Zones” –  Identified by TWDB with GCD/stakeholder input –  Must be “sufficiently separated” from groundwater currently used for water supply •  30-year permit terms •  Unlimited production unless evidence of impacts; must get report from TWDB first Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  19. 19. What Next? •  Science, Education, and Science •  GCDs: conduct water quality sampling and address desal in rules, where applicable •  Users: talk to your GCD •  Desal stakeholder groups (TWCA, Texas Desal Association) •  Interim Studies Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  20. 20. Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org Questions? Stacey A. Steinbach stacey@texasgroundwater.org

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