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SCR 34 is a resolution which makes a number of factual assertions regarding the status of, and importance of water in the state of Texas. These statements made in SCR 34 are as follows:
- Prolonged drought and the difficulty of finding reliable freshwater sources is an urgent issue facing Texas.
- Montgomery County is an area where this issue is particularly acute due to both drought and a growing population.
- Texas has over 2.7 billion gallons of brackish groundwater which could be a useful source of fresh water in the future.
- El Paso and Fort Bliss have established an effective desalination program which could be emulated in Montgomery County.
- Treating brackish groundwater, in accordance with regulations, could benefit Montgomery County.
- One reason why this is necessary is that Montgomery County will be obliged to use less water from the Gulf Coast Aquafer in the future.
After making these claims SCR 34 resolves that the Legislature will direct the Texas Water Development Board to undertake a study which would examine the feasibility of establishing a brackish groundwater desalination facility for Montgomery County. This study id to be completed no later than January 1st of 2018 and this study is to be presented to the 85th Legislature, and the county judge and county commissioners of Montgomery County no later than June 1st of 2018.
Though we question why a study regarding desalination in Montgomery County requires a resolution, as opposed to having El Paso and Fort Bliss representatives visit the county of their own volition, we recognize that the intent of SCR 34 is valid. Management of water resources, and by extension, management and operation of desalination facilities is a legitimate function of the state, particularly given the complex water rights regime in Texas. Despite this, SCR 34, strictly speaking, does not affect our principles in either a positive or a negative manner. As such, we are neutral on SCR 34.