Lt. Governor Dan Patrick issued interim charges to the 13 standing committees of the Texas Senate on Oct. 30.
There were six joint charges issued to the Natural Resources & Economic Development Committee and the Water & Rural Affairs Committee.
The four water-related charges include:
Future Water Supply: Examine current laws, processes, and water storage options and availability. Make recommendations promoting the state's water supply, storage, availability, valuation, movement, and development of new sources.
River Authority Infrastructure: Examine the roles and responsibilities of river authorities in maintaining their managed assets including, but not limited to, dams. Evaluate the impact on the economy, water supply, and flood control due to deferred maintenance. Make recommendations to promote infrastructure stability and maintain the usability of these bodies of water.
Groundwater Regulatory Framework: Study the state's groundwater regulatory framework and make recommendations to improve groundwater regulation, management, and permitting.
Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committees on Natural Resources and Economic Development and Water and Rural Affairs passed by the 86th Legislature, as well as relevant agencies and programs under each committee's jurisdiction. Specifically, make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, or complete implementation of the following:
· Senate Bills 6, 7, 8, and 500, relating to disaster response and recovery, disaster funds, state-wide flood planning, and dam maintenance;
· Senate Bill 698, related to expedited permitting;
· Senate Bill 700, relating to water utility ratemaking reform;
· Senate Bill 2272, relating to certain amendment and revocation procedures;
· House Bill 1325, relating to the production and regulation of hemp; and
· House Bill 3557, relating to civil and criminal liability for engaging in certain conduct involving a critical infrastructure facility.
Each charge will be studied and recommendations offered before the start of the 87th Texas Legislature on Jan. 12, 2021.