Chairs: Hope Wells and Brian Sledge
Works to build consensus on complex groundwater issues in advance of the Texas Legislative Session. The committee is currently working to establish subcommittees.
Membership is currently open to all members; a committee vote may be required to add additional members once committee work is nearing completion as described in the operating procedures outlined below.
The TWCA Board did not vote to initiate any groundwater legislation, but supports specific bill language on the following groundwater topics (88th Legislature):
The Board also supported groundwater availability model (GAM) funding, conceptually supported creation of a water well cleanup fund for abandoned/deteriorated wells, and conceptually supported P-13 wells (wells originally drilled to be oil and gas wells, but transferred from oil and gas ownership toa landowner for use as a water well) being under the Railroad Commission’s jurisdiction and eligible for funding from the Oil and Gas Cleanup Fund.
The Groundwater Committee has five subcommittees this interim:
GAM/Joint Planning Funding - Chairs: Mike Turco and Paula Jo Lemonds
Mitigation - Chairs: Leah Martinsson and Lyn Clancy
Surety Bonds - Chairs: Greg Ellis and Ed McCarthy
Guitar Case - Chairs: Doug Caroom and Shauna Sledge
Groundwater Quality - Chairs: Marc Friberg and Ty Embrey
Additionally, discussions related to measuring DFC achievement will be taken up by the committee of the whole. The Groundwater Committee will also continue non-legislative efforts, led by Charles Porter, to change language in various Texas Real Estate Commission forms to better inform buyers of a GCD presence or water restrictions associated with their real estate transactions.
Groundwater Committee Operating Procedures
For any vote before the committee, each "member entity" receives only one vote, regardless of how many staff persons participate on the committee. As with previous interims, the committee will follow a "90% consensus" policy for any proposals forwarded to the TWCA Board, as follows:
Full Committee: consensus will be sought, simple majority of those participating in a meeting for smaller decisions, 90% of those voting aye or nay will be required to advance draft legislation to the full TWCA Board (abstentions will not be counted).
May 20th will be the last day to sign up for the 2022-2023 TWCA Groundwater Committee without needing to get approval of committee. Any new requests to join required approval by 90% of the committee.
TWCA Groundwater Consensus Bills That Have Not Passed (August 2020)