Texas Groundwater Update, Stacey Steinbach, TAGD

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Texas Groundwater Update, Stacey Steinbach, TAGD

  1. 1. Groundwater in Texas Stacey A. Steinbach Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts TACA Environmental Seminar September 12, 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 Groundwater Ownership TAGD
  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. How GCDs Manage Groundwater •  Contribute to scientific understanding of aquifers (measure water quality/quantity) •  Educate and inform the community •  Regulate drilling of wells and production of groundwater per Chapter 36, Water Code •  Participate in joint and regional planning Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  9. 9. Water Code Chapter 36 • Well registration/permits • Reporting requirements • Well construction standards • Well spacing requirements • Production limitations Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  10. 10. Joint Planning Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org GCD GMA DFC TWDB MAG
  11. 11. Joint Planning Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org GCD GMA DFC TWDB MAG
  12. 12. Joint Planning • GCD – groundwater conservation district • GMA – groundwater management area • DFC – desired future condition • TWDB – Texas Water Development Board • MAG – modeled available groundwater Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  13. 13. Joint Planning • Public can participate in joint planning process • GCD manages to DFC, reviewed every 5 years Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  14. 14. Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org GCD Snapshot Groundwater Ownership TAGD
  15. 15. Important Cases •  Houston & Tex. Cent. R.R. Co. v. East •  Pecos County WCID No. 1 v. Williams (Comanche Springs) •  Sipriano v. Great Spring Waters of America, Inc. (Ozarka) •  Barshop v. Medina County UWCD •  City of Del Rio v. the Hamilton Trust •  Edwards Aquifer Authority v. Day •  Edwards Aquifer Authority v. Bragg Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  16. 16. Senate Bill 332 (2011) •  Landowners own groundwater below the surface as real property •  Landowner entitled to drill for and produce groundwater, but not a specific amount •  GCDs may limit or prohibit drilling based on spacing or tract size and regulate production of groundwater •  EAA/subsidence districts excluded Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  17. 17. What We Know •  Land ownership includes a constitutionally-protected interest in groundwater in place that cannot be taken for public use without adequate compensation •  That interest does not preclude regulation by a GCD in accordance with Chapter 36 of the Water Code •  Some limitation of groundwater production does not constitute a compensable taking Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  18. 18. What We Don’t Know •  How much regulation is too much? •  Is there a distinction between EAA and Chapter 36 GCDs when it comes to a takings claim? •  How will different “uses” be affected? •  Will there be unintended consequences? •  How are damages are calculated? (but see Bragg) Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  19. 19. Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org GCD Snapshot Groundwater Ownership TAGD
  20. 20. About TAGD •  Non-profit, 501(c)(3) association of member districts and interested individuals/ government entities/corporations •  82 GCD members and two dozen associate members •  One employee; governed by an Executive Committee of 11 GCD GMs Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  21. 21. About TAGD •  Provides educational and technical assistance and training •  Tracks legislation and acts as a resource for districts, the public, lawmakers, and state agencies, as needed •  Assists members in keeping current with state law •  Provides opportunities for communication among GCDs Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  22. 22. Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org GCD Name Legislation Number of Counties Counties GCD Population Community Type Largest Use Board Member Selection Number of Board Members Income Source Meter Requirements Spacing Requirements Production Limitations TAGD Member Database Survey of 82 TAGD GCD members with a review of GCD enabling legislation and rules
  23. 23. texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts
  24. 24. Number of Counties Per GCD 0 10 20 30 40 50 Five or More Four Three Two One Number of GCDs NumberofCounties Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  25. 25. Largest Groundwater User Agriculture 36% Domestic/ Livestock 16% Industrial/ Commercial 1% Municipal Water Supply 36% Oil & Gas 8% Combination 3% Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  26. 26. Elected v. Appointed Board Elected Appointed Both Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  27. 27. Number of Board Members 0 10 20 30 40 50 5 6-7 8-9 10-11 > 11 Number of GCDs NumberofBoard Members Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  28. 28. Tax-Based v. Fee-Based GCDs Fee Tax Both Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  29. 29. Emerging Issues – What’s Next? •  Long-term permitting •  Desalination, brackish groundwater, and aquifer storage and recovery •  Groundwater and oil and gas •  Well construction standards and enforcement Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org
  30. 30. Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts Texas Alliance Of Groundwater Districts texasgroundwater.orgtexasgroundwater.org Questions? Stacey A. Steinbach Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts stacey@texasgroundwater.org www.texasgroundwater.org www.slideshare.net/TXTAGD

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