Drought water conservation TCEQ perspective 2-3-12
L’Oreal Stepney, P.E., Deputy Director Office of Water
Office of Water The Office of Water includes TCEQ’s water monitoring, permitting, and planning programs. The Office of Water strives to protect the State′s water resources consistent with sustainable economic development, working towards clean and available water.
Office of Water OFFICE OF WATER Fiscal Year 2012 L’Oreal W. Stepney, P.E. - Deputy Director Kim Wilson, Special Assistant Todd Chenoweth, J.D., Special Counsel Kevin McCalla, J.D., Special Counsel Carla Vann, Budget Liaison Shannon Harris, Executive AssistantWater Quality Division Water Quality Planning Division Water Supply Division Water Availability Division Charles W. Maguire Kelly Holligan Linda Brookins Kellye Rila Director Director Director Director
2009 Drought 23% of the Texas in extreme or exceptional drought, including all or part of 70 counties TCEQ received one senior call 90 water right holders suspensions Water rights suspended for approximately one month
2011 Drought October 4, 2011 97% of Texas in extreme or exceptional drought Included all or part of all counties in Texas January 31, 2012 60% of Texas in extreme or exceptional drought Includes all or part of 180 counties in Texas
TCEQ Drought Team Meets weekly to monitor drought conditions and impacts - and consider and evaluate response State agency partners participating include: Texas Department of Emergency Management Texas Water Development Board
Senior Calls 15 Senior Calls Brazos River Basin Guadalupe River Basin Colorado River Basin Sabine River Basin Neches River Basin
Senior Calls: Types Senior calls from the following types of users: Municipal Industrial Irrigation Recreation Domestic & Livestock River Compact
Senior Calls: Suspensions Over 1,200 water right holders suspended TCEQ no longer issuing temporary water right permits in affected basins Suspended water rights do not include junior municipal or power generation uses
Senior Calls: Administration In non-Watermaster areas, TCEQ field staff investigate calls and enforce suspensions. Aerial and on-the- ground investigations Reviews of: Steamflow records Rainfall records Forecasts
Senior Calls: Changes Recent rains have resulted in improvements Colorado River Basin senior call rescinded 91 suspensions lifted Brazos River Basin senior call rescinded 648 suspensions lifted Neches River Basin senior call amended 169 suspensions lifted
Senior Calls: New Issues Governor’s Drought Proclamation TCEQ managing new types of calls Working with entities to manage: Lake levels/temperatures at power plants Releases from Lake Whitney Changes to senior calls
Public Water Systems February 3, 2012: 1,011 public water systems (PWS) with outdoor water restrictions 647 mandatory watering schedule 364 voluntary watering schedule 52 prohibited all outside watering Intensive monitoring of a targeted list of public water systems with limited or unknown supply of water remaining
Public Water Systems - FMT Financial, Managerial, & Technical (FMT) Assistance Identifying alternative water sources Coordination of emergency drinking water planning Identification of possible funding sources for alternative sources of water
Drought Workshops TCEQ is sponsoring Drought Workshops at 6 locations state-wide Attended by state agency partners Texas Department of Emergency Management Texas Department of Agriculture Texas Water Development Board
Conservation During times of drought, conservation is a critical component to managing water supply.
Conservation:Public Water Supplies Public water systems should be familiar with their water supply: Know the capacity of your system – how much water do you have left? Surface water intakes: understand water level and other requirements. Groundwater systems: know the level of groundwater and understand the mechanics of your pump. Maintenance: monitor the maintenance on your intake, treatment plant, and distribution system.
Conservation:Drought Contingency Plans Strategies for temporary supply and demand management responses to temporary/potentially recurring water supply shortages/water supply emergencies Required for: New or amendment to an existing water right Wholesale and retail public water suppliers TCEQ has strongly encouraged implementation of DCPs at the highest appropriate stage.
Conservation:Water Conservation PlansA strategy or combination of strategies for reducing the volume of water withdrawn from a water supply source, for reducing the loss or waste of water, for maintaining or improving the efficiency in the use of water, for increasing the recycling and reuse of water, and for preventing the pollution of water.
Conservation:Water Conservation Plans (cont.) Required for: New or amendment to an existing water right Existing water right holders ≥1,000 acre/feet per year Municipal Industrial Other non-agricultural Agricultural ≥10,000 acre/feet per year
Conservation:Wastewater Reuse Wastewater from domestic or industrial sources can be authorized for reuse Authorization can be obtained through: Texas Administrative Code §210 Individual wastewater permit
Water Curtailment Rulemaking TCEQ’s Sunset Bill (HB 2694) – Section 5.03 The Executive Director may temporarily suspend or adjust water rights during times of drought or other emergency shortage of water. TCEQ is currently developing rules.
Watermaster Evaluations TCEQ’s Sunset Bill (HB 2694) – Section 5.05. Requires the Executive Director to evaluate each basin that does not have a watermaster program at least once every 5 years. The Commission is required to determine the criteria or risk factors for evaluation.
Watermaster Evaluations (cont.) Schedule for Watermaster evaluations: Year 1: Brazos and Colorado River Basins, Brazos- Colorado and Colorado-Lavaca Coastal Basins Year 2: Trinity and San Jacinto River Basins, Trinity-San Jacinto and San Jacinto-Brazos Coastal Basins Year 3: Sabine and Neches River Basins, Neches-Trinity Coastal Basin Year 4: Canadian and Red River Basins Year 5: Sulpher and Cypress River Basins