Water

Clean Water Act jurisdiction. Support efforts to ensure that the definition of wetlands and navigable waters subject to federal regulatory authority does not extend federal jurisdiction to those waterways that do not demonstrate a functional or practical connection to navigable waters. Support those efforts to oppose the new Waters of the U.S. rule (WOTUS) that seeks to significantly expand Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)/ U.S. Army Core of Engineers jurisdiction beyond the traditional navigable waters covered by the Clean Water Act.

Endangered Species Act impact on water resources. It is critical to the development and productive use of state water resources that the needs of a growing population and economy not be minimized when federal agencies act to protect endangered species. Oppose proposals to list endangered species that will unreasonably control water supplies critical to maintaining public health and safety and economic opportunity, and support comprehensive reform of the Endangered Species Act to create balance in the Act between species protection and economic impact.

Environmental review of water supply projects. To meet future water needs, Texas will be required to develop and implement innovative and sustainable water supply sources, including new reservoir, desalination and aquifer storage projects. Support changes to streamline and improve the permitting and environmental review process for new water supply projects to ensure that needed water supplies are available in a time frame to meet the critical needs of Texas’ population and economy.

Overriding state water law. It is vital that the specific provisions of state water law that have guided and controlled each state’s allocation of water resources and economic and other water uses be respected by the federal government. Oppose efforts by federal agencies or Congress to effect local or regional water supply solutions by superseding state water law.

Water for electric generation. Federal regulations and actions can potentially limit the amount of water available for electric generation and manufacturing processes. Support efforts that will ensure that federal actions will not preclude the use of state water resources due to more stringent environmental regulatory controls (e.g., rules for cooling water intake structures) or negatively affect the operations of electric generators and oil and gas operators through regulation of groundwater or surface water sources.

Water quality standards. Oppose any efforts to promulgate or enforce surface water quality or drinking water standards that are not adequately based on clear and compelling scientific evidence and for which compliance options or compliance costs are unreasonable or unavailable.