There is a story yet to be told in this legislative session about the "water front". The Republican establishment has too much control, appearing set to undo the rights of communities to control their water. (This is why we like electoral competition.)
The only thing standing in the way of a state takeover of our aquifers (groundwater) are the groundwater conservation districts (GCDs).
The House Natural Resources Committee leadership had some of the key CGD leaders there last Wednesday -- until 1 am telling them "you have nothing to fear" while bopping them on the head with bills specifically designed to erode their control. Rep. Tracy King (D-Eagle Pass) rightly pointed out that there's no point in the GCDs if this happens.
There are many more anti-local water control bills a comin'. Some of them are up this Wednesday (tomorrow). House Bill 3597 guts 9 factors the GCDs can currently use to scrutinize export water permits.
Over 100 years ago, the state of California allowed private interests to do massive transfers of water to a desert, aka Los Angeles. Today, California is in a deep, deep water crisis with 1 year of water stored!
We already see the California Model beginning with the Vista Rige Project, a pet project of Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio). Larson serves as the cheer leader on this committee, for fueling new developments in dry areas of the state -- starting with the sensitive Hill Country.
The Chair, Jim Keffer (R-Granbury), has, for whatever reason, decided to hold the killer bills until the very end of the hearings into the wee hours. We hope you can join us there -- but at the very least...
- Call the Natural Resources Committee office at 512-463-0802, then call your state rep and senator. Find your legislator here. Tell them you oppose any bills that diminish groundwater districts powers and that aid in transport of groundwater to areas for new developments without their own water supply, especially HB 3597. If you want to contact all the NRC members individually, they're at the bottom of this webpage.
- Join us at the Capitol any Wednesday. Meet in the Capitol Grill tomorrow at noon (1st floor of the underground extention, Rm. E1.002) OR later attend the Natural Resources Committee Hearing in Rm. E2.010, agenda here. Though this hearing is scheduled to start at 2 pm, you can come late -- feel free to stay in touch via email or text at 512-657-2089. Look for a "Stop the Water Grab Sign".
- Become a member of the League of Independent Voters of Texas -- your dues fuel our efforts. Let us know if you want to see a chapter in your community.
Let's do this, y'all for our kids and those behind them. Texas, our Texas, is depending on us.