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Relating to the development of brackish groundwater.
Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for HB 722, Committee Report 2nd House, Substituted: a negative impact of ($224,860) through the biennium ending August 31, 2021.
The Texas Water Development Board is required to implement a provision of this Act only if the legislature appropriates money specifically for that purpose. If the legislature does not appropriate money specifically for that purpose, the agency may, but is not required to, implement a provision of this Act using other appropriations available for that purpose. The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill.
HB 722 would prescribe rules for permits in brackish groundwater districts.
The bill would authorize a Groundwater Conservation District located over any part of a designated brackish groundwater production zone to adopt rules to govern the issuance of permits for the completion and operation of a well for the withdrawal of brackish groundwater. The district would adopt rules if the district receives a petition from a person with a legally defined interest in groundwater in the district. This bill would provide for certain projects to be permitted under these rules. The bill designates oversight of the permit application process and associated rules adopted for the application process.
We support development of brackish groundwater supplies as part of the solution to address the water needs of the state, and we recognize that the state will have a regulatory framework for this industry to operate within. We support a regulatory environment that is light, sensible, and protects the interests of Texans without stifling economic activity. We do not have a basis to determine at this time whether the framework proposed by this legislation satisfies those conditions; consequently we remain neutral.