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House Committee on Natural Resources - 83rd R.S. (2013)

Committee Members
Allan Ritter, Chair
Eric Johnson, Vice Chair
Trent Ashby
Dennis Bonnen
William "Bill" Callegari
Jim Keffer
Tracy O. King
Lyle Larson
Eddie Lucio, III
Trey Martinez Fischer
Doug Miller
Charges
• Monitor the implementation of HB 4 (83R) and SJR 1 (83R) and the progress of the Texas Water Development Board and other entities in implementing this legislation to provide a stable, long-term funding source for the State Water Plan.
• Evaluate the availability, management, and development of groundwater in the state. Consider the economic, environmental, and social impacts of groundwater usage and production in the agricultural, municipal, and energy sectors. In particular, examine methods to facilitate further development of brackish groundwater resources and to improve the consistency and certainty of permitting by groundwater districts without undercutting reasonable regional and local regulation of groundwater.
• Explore opportunities to encourage voluntary protection and stewardship of privately owned lands in support of the state’s water supply and to protect environmental flow needs in Texas rivers. Examine methods in which state agencies, water rights holders, and non-governmental organizations can work together through programs like the Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Program and the Texas Water Trust.
• Examine strategies to enhance the use of aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) projects, including a review of existing ASR facilities in Texas and elsewhere.
• Monitor the use of funds provided or made available to Texas in relation to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and make recommendations on the appropriate use of these funds in the future. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Appropriations)
• Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 83rd Legislature. In conducting this oversight, the committee should:
a. consider any reforms to state agencies to make them more responsive to Texas taxpayers and citizens;
b. identify issues regarding the agency or its governance that may be appropriate to investigate, improve, remedy, or eliminate;
c. determine whether an agency is operating in a transparent and efficient manner; and
d. identify opportunities to streamline programs and services while maintaining the mission of the agency and its programs.

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