Archive for posts tagged ‘water’

An Unaccommodating Decision for the Accommodation Doctrine: Texas Groundwater Law and Severed Estates

At the moment, the water issues the Texas legislature appears likeliest to take up in its 2015 session involve groundwater.  In exploring potential groundwater policies – whether aimed at brackish groundwater production, aquifer storage and recovery, or some other subject area – it will have to contend with an outdated governance regime that makes the… Full Story

Drought: Always a Disaster, Never a Presidentially Declared One

In May, the Senate passed the Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014 (S. 2198), a bill directing various federal agencies to provide California with additional water supplies during its current drought. The version of the bill originally introduced included a title that would have amended the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act,… Full Story

Dammed If You Do and Dammed If You Don’t: Austin’s New Rate Structure and the Inevitability of Higher Water Costs

This month, the Joint Committee on Austin Water Utility’s Financial Plan (Joint Committee) finalized recommendations to the Austin City Council for reforms to the utility’s rate structure.  The local media have reported the Committee recommendations will ultimately lead to higher rates, to make up for revenue shortfalls that have resulted from improved conservation and drought… Full Story

TWDB Proposes Method for Solving Ward Timber Conflict

Last  year, a Texas appellate court raised doubts about the certainty and reliability of the state’s water planning process when it found that two key planning documents impermissibly conflicted with each other. This week, staff for the state agency that oversees water planning – the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) – submitted a memo to… Full Story

Texas’ Increasing Reliance on Conservation

While the threat of water scarcity has always been present, Texas but did not begin water planning at the state level until 1957.  At that time, as part of the policy response to the 1950s drought of record, voters approved a constitutional amendment creating the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), which was given a mission… Full Story

Conservation by Region: A Texas Perspective

In Texas, there is tremendous variation from one region to the next in current water conservation practices and in long-term water conservation goals. For planning purposes, the state is divided into 16 regional water planning groups (RWPGs).  The two RWPGS that the 2012 State Water Plan (SWP) recommends the greatest percentage of their increased future… Full Story

SAWS Application for Bed-and-Banks Permit Highlights Tension in Having Dual Surface Water and Groundwater Regimes

The San Antonio Water System (SAWS) has developed a creative legal strategy for improving the ecology of the San Antonio River and San Antonio Bay: indirectly reusing groundwater-derived effluent not by re-diverting for municipal uses but by running it down to the coast as an  an instream flow. This strategy – which still requires Texas… Full Story