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MARCH 2013

Texas Water Conservation Association 221 E. 9th Street, Ste. 206 Austin, Texas 78701-2510 512-472-7216 Fax: 512-472-0537 Luana Buckner, President Phillip J. Ford, President-Elect James M. Parks, Immediate Past President Leroy Goodson General Manager e-mail: Dean Robbins Assistant General Manager

Opinions expressed in Confluence are those of the writer and not necessarily those of TWCA, its officers, directors or staff. © 2013, TWCA

69th TWCA Annual Convention To Be Held in Austin

The 69th Annual Convention of the Texas Water Conservation Association will convene in Austin on March 6, 2013 with an impressive schedule of speakers, as well as Committee meetings, Panel Caucuses and the TWCA Board meeting. The conference is being held at the Sheraton Austin Hotel. More than 400 participants are expected to attend from all across Texas. Key committee meetings will begin the morning of Wednesday, March 6th, ending with the TWCA Risk Management Fund Annual Membership Meeting and luncheon. The Water Laws Session, that begins at 1:00 p.m., features Rep. Allan Ritter, Chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources, who will discuss important legislative topics. Also scheduled are presentations on Groundwater Management (Mary Sahs, Sahs & Associates, P.C.) and an update on “State of Texas v. State of New Mexico in the US Supreme Court” by Patrick Gordon, Rio Grande Compact Commissioner. Druing the Water Quality Session, topics for discussion include ; and The Policy Committee Meeting finishes off the afternoon. On Thursday, March 7th, the Panel Caucuses and Business Meetings kick off at 8 a.m, with each Panel electing directors to the TWCA Board and to the Exeuctive Committee. The Panel Speaker Session, with TWCA President Luana Buckner presiding, includes discussions of such critical issues as water contract negotiations; Hydraulic Fracturing; the record setting drought and the outlook for the coming summer; water issues for the 83rd Legisltive Session; and updates on the Texas Dam Safety program. Thursday’s the featured speaker for the NWRA-TWCA luncheon will be Todd Staples, Texas Commissioner of Agrigulture. Following the luncheon, the afternoon program addresses conservation and drought planning; the Texas Farm Bureau litigation regarding the Continued on page 6


President’s Message... Dear TWCA members, This has been such a great year for me serving as your president. The time has flown by. I would like to say thank you for this awesome opportunity. Leading TWCA has been one of the highlights of my career and such a honor.

Luana Buckner

I’ve enjoyed working with Dean and Leroy but that’s not the best part about being president. The best part is all of you. The members are the heart and soul of the great association. Your kind words and support during the past year have been terrific. I know you will do the same for Phil, our incoming president and I wish him the best. I’m encouraged by the bold steps taken by our leadership in Austin to begin work on funding the state water plan. It’s time to move forward to develop the water resources to insure sustainability for the future of this great state.



An Interview with Senator Troy Fraser, Chairman, Senate Natural Resources Committee

Troy Fraser was elected in 1996 to serve Senate District 24, a 17-county region that is located in the geographic center of Texas. Senator Fraser serves as chairman of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. Since his election in 1996, Senator Fraser has been consistently ranked by leading organizations as one of the most conservative members of the Texas Senate for his voting record on fiscal and social issues. For his probusiness, pro-Texas voting record during the 2007 legislative session, he was named a “Champion of Free Enterprise” by the Texas Association of

Business. Texans for Fiscal Responsibility awarded Fraser the Taxpayers’ Advocate Award in 2009. Senator Fraser has been recognized for his outstanding leadership and received numerous awards. Elected by his fellow Senators, Senator Fraser served as President Pro Tempore of the Texas Senate from June 2009 to January 2011. As President Pro-Tempore, Fraser was third in line for the Governor’s seat and was given the responsibility to serve in that capacity in the event that Governor Rick Perry and Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst were out of the state. Continued on page 4


Interview with Sen. Fraser...

Senate Bills 4 and 22 would make a onetime $2 billion allocation to the newly created State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) -- a dedicated revolving fund. The SWIFT will allow the Texas Water Development Board to finance water projects in the State Water Plan through their existing funding programs.

Continued from page 3 TWCA: Senator, Do you think this is the session the legislature will address the need for state financial assistance for water projects. If so, how? Sen. Fraser: Our state’s ongoing drought has made Texans realize that we must do something now to ensure we have water for Texas. If we don’t do something now, not only will our residents suffer but so will our economy. I believe that this will be the session that the Texas Legislature will be successful in finding a solution to funding the State Water Plan. The Texas Water Development Board has run models that show how much it would take under various funding schemes to fund the State Water Plan. I believe that a $2 billion infusion from the Economic Stabilization Fund will get us to our goal of having enough water to meet our future supply.

TWCA: Please elaborate on the reasoning behind the reorganization of the Texas Water Development Board as contemplated by SB4. Sen. Fraser: The future of our state depends on us having adequate water to meet both current and future demand. We are giving the Texas Water Development Board $2 billion of our limited state revenue. The decisions about how we allocate those limited funds need to be made by a full-time board. These commissioners should be on the job every day making the best decisions on which water projects should be funded. Plus, a full-time board will be more accountable about the decisions that do get

made. TWCA: What other water issues are a priority for you this session? Sen. Fraser: One of our greatest challenges is educating people and businesses about the importance of conservation of water. It is hard for people to understand that water is limited when it is always available when they turn on the tap. It is time for our state to do whatever we can to conserve and preserve our fresh water. We have several water intensive industries in the state that especially need to start thinking about how they can reuse and recycle the water 4

that they use. I have been meeting with the oil and gas industry to work on how they can conserve and reuse water. I also have discussed conservation issues with representatives of the agriculture community since agriculture is by far the biggest user of water in Texas.


TWCA: How can an organization like the Texas Water Conservation Association, and water professionals generally, be helpful and effective in advising policymakers about their issues. Sen. Fraser: Don’t wait to contact my office if you recognize a problem with a particular bill or issue. Things move fast during the session. I would rather know now than in late May if I need to adjust legislation. It is important that we hear about a problem as soon as it is detected so that we can slow things down and work on the issue before it gets too far down the process. Water conservation is an important part of meeting our future water demand. All organizations, including the Texas Water Conservation Association, need to educate their members about what they can do to save our state’s water. 

Phil Ford, General Manager Brazos River Authority Phil Ford was appointed General Manager of the Brazos River Authority in March, 2001. Prior to joining the organization, Mr. Ford served for more than 34 years in the United States Air Force. He retired in July, 2000 with the rank of Lieutenant General. His last assignment was as deputy commander in chief of the U. S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. The command included responsibility for all U. S. Air Force and Navy strategic nuclear forces.


69th TWCA Convention Continued from page 1 TCRQ’s surface water curtailment rules; and water management districts and land trusts. Capping off the afternoon are the Policy Committee Meeting and the TWCA Board of Directors Meeting. Attendees are cordially invited to attend a Reception hosted by Kelly Hart, Attorneys at Law, at 6:00 p.m., followed by the Awards Dinner at 7:00 p.m., with Luana Buckner presiding. The Breakfast (7:00 - 8:30 a.m.) hosted by Freese and Nichols, starts the day off right. During the General Session, attendees will hear presentations by State Senator Kirk Watson, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith. The General Membership meeting starts at 11:00 a.m. with Panel and Committee Reports, and remarks from the incoming president, Phil Ford, Brazos River Authority. “We especially want to thank the generous hosts and sponsors (see list on page 16) of this year’s Annual Convention, as well as all our members and presenters who’ll take time away from their busy schedules to join us for this important annual meeting,” said Leroy Goodson, TWCA General Manager. “Being able to get together each year to share experiences and information, to get fresh perspectives on emerging issues that have the potential to impact all of us, and to have critical input by key elected and state officials helps us to make more informed choices in the future.” The TWCA 2013 Mid-Year Conference will be held June 19-21 at Moody Gardens Hotel in Galveston Texas.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS TWCA Mid-Year Conference June 19-21, 2013 Moody Gardens Hotel Galveston, Texas


Rep. Allan Ritter

Sen.Kirk Watson

Commissioner Todd Staples, TX Dept. of Agriculture

Carter Smith, TPWD

Two Recent Developments in Interstate Water Compact Litigation Before The United States Supreme Court Involving Texas: Tarrant Regional Water District v. Herrmann and Texas v. New Mexico by Andrew S. “Drew” Miller Since the previous issue of Confluence was published, and since Texas Water Conservation Association members last met in San Antonio in October 2012, there have been two important developments in the area of interstate water rights litigation at the United States Supreme Court as follows:  On January 4, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the petition for writ of certiorari filed by Tarrant Regional Water District (“Tarrant”) in Tarrant Regional Water District v. Herrmann, 656 F.3d 1222 (10th Cir. 2011), cert. granted, 133 S. Ct. 831 (2013). In doing so, the Supreme Court has decided to hear and decide the appeal, by Tarrant, of a decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, upholding Oklahoma laws that discriminate against the transport of water out of Oklahoma and effectively prevent Tarrant (and other Texas entities) from appropriating water from within Oklahoma’s boundaries.  On January 8, 2013, the State of Texas initiated litigation against the State of New Mexico in the U.S. Supreme Court – under that court’s original jurisdiction over controversies between two or more states – seeking to resolve long-standing disputes between Texas and New Mexico regarding rights to water in the Rio Grande allocated under the Rio Grande Compact. See State of Texas v. State of 7

New Mexico, et al., No. 22O141 ORG (U.S. filed Jan. 8, 2013). Tarrant Regional Water District v. Herrmann Tarrant Regional Water District (“Tarrant”) is a regional water district responsible for providing water to more than 1.7 million people in North Central Texas. Tarrant serves more than thirty wholesale customers including the cities of Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield and the Trinity River Authority. Tarrant filed applications with Oklahoma Water Resources Board (“OWRB”) in 2007 for permits to appropriate water in southern Oklahoma. It is clear that OWRB will deny those applications as it is required to do by restrictive permitting laws which discriminate against the use of water outside of Oklahoma, some of which were enacted specifically to prevent Tarrant from obtaining Oklahoma water. At the same time that Tarrant filed applications with OWRB, it also sued the members of OWRB in their official capacities, alleging that (1) Oklahoma’s discriminatory water laws violate the dormant Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution by unduly restricting interstate commerce in water; and (2) the Red River Compact preempts the Oklahoma statutes that prevent Tarrant’s appropriation of water. Tarrant sought a declaration Continued on page 8

Two Recent Developments...

Congress to allow state legislation to discriminate against interstate commerce in a manner that would otherwise constitute a violation of the Commerce Clause, congressional intent to do so “must be unmistakably clear.” Tarrant argues that the Compact language relied on by the Tenth Circuit “does not remotely speak with the clarity necessary to signify a congressional intent to displace the negative Commerce Clause.” Tarrant also argues that Oklahoma’s refusal to allow Texas to obtain the water it is allocated by the Red River Compact via the applied for appropriation by Tarrant is pre-empted by the Compact’s plain terms. In support of this argument Tarrant relies on language in the Compact that provides that the signatory States have “equal right to the use of” certain water. Tarrant argues that the 10th Circuit’s rejection of this argument is based on an incorrect interpretation of the Compact and that a presumption against pre-emption applied by the 10th Circuit does not apply to interstate compacts. The OWRB directors respond by arguing that congressional approval of the Red River Compact precludes the application of the dormant commerce clause doctrine. Regarding Tarrant’s alternative argument, the OWRB directors argue that the intent of the compact drafters and Congress, in ratifying the compact, was not that Texas could take its share of compacted water within Oklahoma, and that such an interpretation is not supported by any rational reading of the Compact. Amicus briefs have been filed in this case at the petition for writ of certiorari phase in support of Tarrant by: the City of Irving, Texas, City of Hugo, Oklahoma, and the Hugo Municipal Authority; Upper Trinity Regional Water District; North Texas Municipal Water District; and the State of Texas. Moreover, following a request by the Court, the Solicitor General of the United States filed an amicus brief. That brief urged the Court to grant the petition. Merits briefing in this case will occur in February and March 2013. Oral argument is set for April 23, 2013. Texas v. New Mexico The State of Texas has filed a Motion for

Continued from page 7 invalidating the Oklahoma statutes and an injunction prohibiting OWRB from enforcing them. The Commerce Clause and the “Dormant” Commerce Clause Article I, § 8 of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the authority “to regulate Commerce…among the several states.” Under what is known as the “dormant” or “negative” Commerce Clause – which is a court-developed doctrine – certain state laws regulating or burdening interstate commerce may be deemed by the federal courts to be constitutionally prohibited unless Congress has affirmatively authorized the states to regulate or burden that interstate commerce. The district court in Oklahoma granted summary judgment to OWRB on both claims. The Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed, holding that the Red River Compact, entered into by various states and ratified by Congress, insulated the discriminatory Oklahoma laws from the dormant Commerce Clause challenge. The court of appeals also held that the Red River Compact did not obligate Oklahoma to allow Texas entities to appropriate Texas’ share of certain water under the Compact from within Oklahoma’s boundaries, and Oklahoma laws that treated instate and out-of-state water use differently were not preempted by the Red River Compact. In its petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, Tarrant argues that the Tenth Circuit’s holding – that the Compact displaces Commerce Clause limitations on the regulation of water, thus allowing Oklahoma to discriminate against other states in a manner that would otherwise be unconstitutional – departs from applicable U.S. Supreme Court precedents and fosters economic protectionism. Tarrant points to law that states that in order for 8

Leave to File Complaint, a Complaint, and a Brief in Support of its Motion to File Complaint, seeking to invoke the U.S. Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction to settle long-standing controversies between Texas and New Mexico regarding rights to water in the Rio Grande pursuant to the Rio Grande Compact.

in order for water to be delivered to Rio Grande Project beneficiaries in southern New Mexico and in Texas, it must be released from Rio Grande Project facilities, and allowed to flow unimpeded through southern New Mexico, and then across the state line into Texas. The State of Texas alleges that New Mexico has, contrary to the purpose and intent of the Rio Grande Compact, allowed and authorized Rio Grande Project water intended for use in Texas to be intercepted and used in New Mexico, thus violating the purpose and intent of the Rio Grande Compact, and causing grave and irreparable injury to Texas. The State of Texas notes that the Rio Grande is the primary, at some places the only, source of supply for agricultural lands within Texas that are the intended beneficiaries of Texas’ allocation of Rio Grande water. In addition, the Rio Grande Project water supply constitutes, on average, 50% of the annual water supply for the City of El Paso.

The Supreme Court’s Original Jurisdiction Over Controversies Between States The U.S. Supreme Court has “original and exclusive jurisdiction” over controversies between two or more states. That means if two states cannot settle a dispute amongst themselves, and one party wishes to file a lawsuit, it may attempt to bring that dispute directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. Under the Court’s Rules, a state wishing to invoke this jurisdiction must file a motion for leave to file a complaint. The Court will examine two factors in deciding whether to grant leave to file such a complaint: (1) the nature of the interest of the complaining state with a focus on the “seriousness and dignity of the claim”; and (2) the availability of an alternative forum in which the issues may be resolved. If the Court grants leave to file a complaint, it appoints a Master to hear the evidence, determine facts, and recommend a decision. The Court leaves for itself the responsibility to hear and decide disputed legal issues. As explained by the State of Texas in its Complaint, the Rio Grande Compact is unique because it does not set forth a specific New Mexico delivery requirement at the New Mexico–Texas state line. Instead, it requires New Mexico to deliver water into Elephant Butte Reservoir, the major storage facility for the Rio Grande Reclamation Project (“Rio Grande Project”). The Rio Grande Project pre-dates the Rio Grande Compact, and is the basis and provides the means for the apportionment of the waters of the Rio Grande between Texas and New Mexico. The State of Texas further explains that 9

The State of Texas alleges that New Mexico has allowed Rio Grande Project Water intended for use in Texas to be intercepted and used in New Mexico in two ways. First, New Mexico has allowed post-Compact diversions of surface water and of underground water below Elephant Butte Dam, for use in New Mexico, thereby depleting the water available from the Rio Grande Project, and to which Rio Grande Project beneficiaries in southern New Mexico and in Texas are entitled pursuant to the Rio Grande Project Act and the Rio Grande Compact. Second, in state and federal court proceedings, and through its Rio Grande Compact Commissioner, Continued on page 10

Two Recent Developments... Continued from page 9

Red River

New Mexico has posited misguided interpretations of the Rio Grande Project Act and the Rio Grande Compact in an effort to wrest control of the operations of the Rio Grande Project from the United States, and to deprive Texas of its rights in the Rio Grande Project and under the Rio Grande Compact. The State of Texas asserts that neither New Mexico state court litigation, nor litigation that New Mexico initiated in federal district court in New Mexico, provide appropriate forums to resolve the disputes as between Texas and New Mexico over the interstate waters of the Rio Grande, and that only this U.S. Supreme Court, through the exercise of its original jurisdiction, can resolve those disputes. A response to the State of Texas’ motion for leave to file complaint is due on March 11, 2013.  Drew Miller is the 2012-2013 TWCA Water Laws Committee Chair and a partner at the Austin office of Kemp Smith LLP where he serves as the chair of his firm’s Environmental, Administrative and Public Law Department. Drew represents public and private entity clients across Texas in the areas of water and environmental law, specializing in groundwater regulation and issues involving contaminated property. If you would like additional information or have questions related to this article or other matters, please contact Drew at 512-320-5466 or

Our Appreciation and thanks to the following sponsors:

For sponsoring the reception

For sponsoring the Breakfast

For sponsoring the coffee breaks

For sponsoring the name badges 10


Texas Water Day Brings Encouraging News of a Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) By J. Tom Ray, Lockwood, Andrews, Newnam, Inc., Chair, TWCA Federal Affairs Committee Many House Members recognize the unintended consequences of “no earmarks”, particularly on WRDA where Members of Congress should have the ability to advocate on behalf of the water resource project needs in their Districts and States. This should be an integral part of the WRDA process. After being fully vetted and reviewed by Committees of jurisdiction, authorized by the Congress, and signed into law by the President, individual Members of Congress should also be able to support funding for these

There is a strong momentum for the 113th Congress to move forward on a WRDA reauthorization. as part of Texas Water Day, TWCA strongly supported this effort and welcomed the opportunity to work with the Members and staff of the Committees of jurisdiction in the House and Senate in a cooperative effort to identify key water infrastructure needs. John Anderson, Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, with jurisdiction over WRDA had some precautions but was optimistic. He reported to the group that Representative Bill Shuster (R-PA), the new chair of Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, was a strong supporter of a WRDA and had the energy to get one done in the 113th Congress. “I am as optimistic as I have been in six years that we may have a WRDA this Congress,” John reported. For a WRDA to happen, Chairman Shuster and Members of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, which includes Texas Member Eddie Bernice Johnson, will need support from many Members, including the Texas Delegation. TWCA was encouraged to actively support the WRDA process, to stay informed on its progress and to provide timely comments. Mr. Anderson reported on the precautions, which relate to the House ban on earmarks or Congressional authorizations for new projects. The traditional WRDA is essentially a compilation of Congressional directives, providing the US Army Corps of Engineers with authorizations to undertake identified projects and programs. The earmark ban makes this type of WRDA difficult if not impossible. 11

Federal Developments…

water. This monitoring will require follow-up with the contacts made during Texas Water Day. A WRDA strategy for TWCA will be discussed at the Federal Affairs Committee meeting during the Annual Meeting in March. Texas Priority Water Issues Each year, the TWCA Federal Affairs Committee proposes the statewide, priority water issues that are then reviewed with and approved by the TWCA Board of Directors. This year the priority water issues were divided into two categories (). A Briefing Paper on these issues explaining the issues related to Texas water management was distributed to the Texas Delegation as well as key Committee Members and staff, federal agencies staff and others. Texas Congressional Members that spoke to the Texas Water Day group recognized these issues. Each advised participants to “get involved” or “let us know your concerns” and “give us examples of the impacts.” Texas Water Day 2013 Texas Water Day 2013 greeted a new 113 th Congress with the same old issues—the federal debt, sequestration, and more concerns with regulations. The main event, the was held in a large, historic room in the Capitol Building. The day’s events were culminated with the Texas Water Day Congressional Reception. The Participants meet prior to the main event— on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning to receive a briefing on each priority water issue, to discuss the day’s events, and to hear from Larry Prather and Fred Caver on the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) and issues related to the budget challenges. Eight Members of our Texas Congressional delegation, including Senator Cornyn; the heads of the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner, and the Acting Head of the USGS as well as Staff directors of two key waterrelated House Congressional Committees made the Texas Water Speakers Series a real success. It also helped that we assembled in a large room in the Capitol Building, close to the action and where Members could be readily accessible.

Continued projects during the annual appropriations cycle through a public and transparent process. The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) is moving ahead with in its efforts to have a WRDA in the 113th Congress. Late in the 112th Congress, the EPW moved a “discussion draft” version, which is important for TWCA member to review in terms of the types of policies and directives that were included (a copy of the is available on the TWCA website). As part of briefing sessions during Texas Water Day, Fred Caver and Larry Prather discussed a number of the water resources policies, some potentially beneficial to Texas water management and some not. Working through the TWCA Federal Affairs Committee, the TWCA should monitor the development of WRDA, finding the opportunities to support a WRDA and those times to object if the polices or approaches will be negative for Texas



Texas Water Day Speakers Series 9:00 AM

Assemble & Opening Remarks

9:20 AM Mark Werkheiser, USGS Associate

Director for Water

9:45 AM

Congressman Michael Conaway

10:00 AM Congressman Ralph Hall 10:30 AM Congressman Bill Flores 10:45 AM Congressman Roger Williams 11:00 AM Congressman Pete Sessions 11:30 AM Commissioner Michael Connor Bureau of Reclamation 11:45 PM Senator John Cornyn Noon Lunch 13

1:30 1:50 2:15 2:30 2:50 3:10 3:40 4:00 4:50


Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy Mark Mazzanti, Chief Civil Works Programs Management Divsion Congresswoman Kay Granger Kiel Weaver, Water & Power, Natural Res Committee (Legislative initiatives for ESA/ Invasives – Kiel/Group) BREAK John Anderson, Majority Staff Director, Water Resources & Env (Legislative initiatives for WRDA – John/Group) Workshop on Leg provisions

Federal Developments

69TH TWCA Convention Sponsors

Continued from Page 13 Each speaker brought their perspective on water for the nation and water for Texas; and, importantly, each speaker stood for questions from the Participants. The was keynoted by Congressman Pete Session, the new Chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee. At noon, Senator John Cornyn addressed the group. Again this year, the Texas Members speaking represented a cross-section of the Texas delegation. There were Members with seniority, including the Representatives Ralph Hall, Reyes, Pete Sessions, and Kay Granger; there was Roger Williams, a freshman Member and importantly a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that oversees WRDA in the House; several junior members, including Representatives Michael Conaway and Bill Flores. All Members spoke of the pending sequestration as a milestone in the 113th Congress. Each had a genuine interest in Texas water issues, was well aware of the challenges facing federal support and investment in Texas water projects, and, importantly, wanted to hear from the Participants. Congressional Reception The finale of Texas Water Day 2012 was the Congressional Reception. We were pleased that Senator Cruz joined us and addressed the group at the Reception. There was excellent attendance that included Members and Committee staff as well as David Reynolds with the Association of California Water Agencies, and Amy Larsen with the National Waterways Conference. We were pleased to have the Corps well represented again this year. MG Michael Walsh, Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations, addressed the group. ď “

PLATINUM SPONSORS Klotz Associates, Inc. Lloyd Gosselink Rochelle & Townsend, P. C. GDS Associates, Inc. Halff Associates, Inc. SAIC Energy, Environment & Infrastructure, LLC Tarrant Regional Water District HDR Engineering, Inc. ARCADIS U.S., Inc. Alan Plummer Associates, Inc. Trinity River Authority of Texas GOLD SPONSORS First Southwest Company San Jacinto River Authority Aqua Water Supply Corporation Ron Lewis & Associates Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta LLP RPS Espey Brown & Gay Engineers, Inc. J. Stowe & Company HillCo Partners Kimley-Horn & Associates, Inc. Carroll & Blackman, Inc. KEMP SMITH LLP SILVER SPONSORS Robert J. Brandes Consulting Booth, Ahrens & Werkenthin, P.C. TWCA Risk Management Fund BRONZE SPONSORS

Tom Ray of Lockwood,Andrews & Newnam, has followed national water issues for more than 20 years. He can be reached at

Law Offices of Timothy L. Brown Jones & Carter, Inc. Law Offices of Glenn Jarvis


Rep. Michael Conaway

Jim Parks and Senator John Cornyn

Rep. Kay Granger

Rep. Bill Flores

Kent Satterwhite, Susan Butler, Tom and Sandy Ray

Mike Rickman, MG Michael Walsh and Linda Christie. 15


Kris Polly, editor-in-chief of the Irrigation Leader magazine, presenting framed April 2012 issue to Bill West, general manager of the GuadalupeBlanco River Authority.

TWCA Risk Management Fund Safety Awards...Top row, left to right: Kent Satterwhite, Canadian River Municipal Water Authority; Carl Horecky and Benny Baker, Galveston County Consolidated Irrigation District. Front row: Ron Neighbors, Harris-Galveston Subsidence District; Mary Beth Stengler, Chambers-Liberty Counties Navigation District; and Luana Buckner, Medina County Groundwater Conservation District.

Brigadier General Thomas W. Kula, US Army Corps of Engineers, Southwestern Division, and Robert E. Slockbower, P.E., Director of Programs, USACE, SW Division.

Remy Halm (left) and Trevor Boomstra (right) of Rubicon Water present framed October 2012 issue of Irrigation Leader magazine to Sonia Lambert, general manager for Cameron County Irrigation D i s t r i c t # 2 a n d C a m e ro n C o u n t y Drainage District #3. The magazine cover shows Ms. Lambert with some of her district’s automated Rubicon gates.

Billy Bradford, Chair, TWDB, and Leroy Goodson, TWCA General Manager. 16

New member Larry LaHaie, Northwest Harris County MUD 15, was welcomed at the reception by Al Rendl, North Harris County Regional Water Authority, and David Harkins, RPS Espy, chair of the Membership and Services Committee. One of the goals of this committee is to introduce new members and/or first time TWCA meeting attendees to other members and to the organization.

Melinda Silva, P.E., Brown & Gay Engineers, Inc, and Jun Chang, P.E., DWRE, Deputy Director, City of Houston, Public Works & Engineering, at the Membership and Services Committee Reception hosted by Brown & Gay Engineers.

M.S. Franco (The Artist and His Angels)

INTRODUCING an exciting new biography of Manuel S. Franco, who followed his dream to become an artist in spite of formidable obstacles… persevering with passion, unwavering commitment, and a wry sense of humor. A great read, punctuated by color photos of his signature paintings and sculpture.

RESERVE your advanced copy today – autographed by the artist! ATTEND a special Launch Celebration, Saturday, June 15, 2013, During the famous Dumas Dogie Days! 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM at THE ART CENTER, 1810 S. Dumas Ave, DUMAS, TEXAS 79029 Info: (806) 935-5312

The Last Water Hole A starkly moving work of art by M.S. Franco, donated by the artist to raise funds for water conservation education, is one of his many paintings featured in the new biography. For additional information about the online auction and The Art of Water Conservation, please visit:

The presentation by Commissioner Jerry Patterson, Texas General Land Office, was one of the highlights of TWCA’s Fall Meeting 2012. • Also visit online:


Water use, economic value of irrigated agriculture examined in new report by Danielle Kalisek,TWRI Project Manager In 2007, statewide irrigated agriculture had a $4.7 billion economic value, according to the Texas Water Development Board and Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board. Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts recently released a report, Status and Trends of Irrigated Agriculture in Texas, highlighting the current status of irrigation impacts in Texas. “Irrigation is very important to agriculture in Texas,” said Dr. Kevin Wagner, associate director of the Texas Water Resources Institute and lead author of the special report, published by the institute. “Not only does it contribute billions to our economy, it helps farmers mitigate production risk in the state’s semi-arid climate while also improving crop quality and value.” According to the report, regional impacts of irrigated agriculture vary greatly, and in regions such as the High Plains, the economic impact is significant. In that region alone, the total economic

impact of converting all irrigated acres to nonirrigated dryland farming would be an annual net loss of more than $1.6 billion of gross output, more than $616 million of value added and nearly 7,300 jobs. In addition, loss of irrigation in the Winter Garden (Frio, Medina, Uvalde and Zavala counties) would result in a loss of $55 million in vegetable and melon production, $22 million in additional economic activity and 872 jobs. Finally, in the rice-producing middle Gulf Coast region (Colorado, Matagorda and Wharton counties), the irrigation-dependent rice industry contributed $441 million in annual output to the region and supported 3,900 jobs across all sectors based on 2008–2010 data. Projected economic impacts from lost irrigation are due not only to reduced production and associated processing, but also to reduce demand for inputs such as fertilizer, chemicals, energy and machinery. All of these factors are linked throughout the state’s economy, according to experts. “Irrigation is critical to our food production 18

and food security and is a vital component of Texas’ productive agricultural economy,” Wagner said. Because of drought conditions and water supply concerns, he said Texans are looking to improve water conservation and management strategies across the board. “Decision makers need the facts on just how much water agriculture is using as well as how much food and fiber it’s producing with that water.” The content in the report was drawn primarily from data published by Texas A&M University AgriLife Research, AgriLife Extension, Texas Water Development Board and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. “The report aims to be a concise survey of the most current body of knowledge on irrigated agriculture in Texas,” Wagner said. “Over the past several decades, significant advances have been made in irrigation efficiency, as many irrigators now use high-efficiency advanced irrigation technologies, such as low-pressure center pivot sprinkler systems or subsurface drip irrigation,” said Dr. Dana Porter, associate professor and Extension agricultural engineering specialist, who also contributed to the report. “However, challenges remain and there are opportunities for continued improvements in water-use efficiency through application of situation-appropriate efficient irrigation technologies and best management practices, including irrigation scheduling, and through use of

drought- tolerant crop varieties and integrated crop and pest management practices,” she said. Highlights from the report include:  While statewide agricultural irrigation application rates have stayed relatively constant since the mid-1970s, agricultural yields have increased significantly as improvements in irrigation technology and management, crop management and crop genetics have been developed and implemented.  Texas agricultural irrigation averages less than 18 inches per acre annually. In comparison, a College Station study found that average households supplemented rainfall by applying 22 inches of water annually to lawns.  The statewide economic value directly derived from irrigated agriculture was $4.7 billion in 2007.  Agriculture is a part of the broader food and fiber sector–which accounts for 9 percent of the state’s economy.  Although both surface water and groundwater are used for agricultural irrigation, the source of most agricultural irrigation water is groundwater. In 2000, 86 percent of the irrigated acres in the state used groundwater.  Irrigation efficiency has gone from 60 percent to 88-95 percent in much of the state today, allowing Texas to get much more value and agricultural output from its water. The rep ort c an be v iewed onl i ne a t 2012/em-115/.

As of 2008, center pivot sprinklers are used on nearly 80 percent of Texas’ irrigated acres.

Reprinted with permission, txH2O, Volume 8, number 1, Winter 2013, Texas Water Resources Institute, Texas A&M AgriLife Research


TWCA’s Confluence Newsletter Gratefully Acknowledges The 2013 Sponsors Who Make This Communication Among Members Possible PLATINUM

Lavaca-Navidad River Authority Lower Neches Valley Authority Metropolitan Water Company, L.P. Northeast Texas Municipal Water District North Harris County Regional Water Authority Nueces River Authority Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District Ron Lewis & Associates RPS Espey Sabine River Authority of Texas San Jacinto River Authority Titus County Fresh Water Supply District #1 TWCA Risk Management Fund Upper Neches River Municipal Water Authority

AECOM Alan Plummer Associates, Inc. Angelina & Neches River Authority ARCADIS U.S., Inc. Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta LLP Brown & Gay Engineers, Inc. Diamond Plastics Corporation GDS Associates, Inc. Halff Associates, Inc. HDR Engineering, Inc. Klotz Associates, Inc. Layne Christensen Company Lloyd Gosselink Rochelle & Townsend, P. C. Lower Colorado River Authority MWH Americas, Inc. North Texas Municipal Water District SAIC Energy, Environment & Infrastructure LLC Tarrant Regional Water District Trinity River Authority of Texas

SILVER Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District Booth, Ahrens & Werkenthin, P.C. Cameron County Drainage District #1 Canadian River Municipal Water Authority Evergreen Underground Water Conservation District Franklin County Water District J. Stowe & Co., LLC K. Friese & Associates, Inc. Kimley-Horn and Associates Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District Robert J. Brandes Consulting TWCA Risk Management Fund

GOLD Alan Plummer Associates, Inc. Aqua Water Supply Corporation Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta LLP Brazoria Drainage District No. 4 Brazos River Authority Brown & Gay Engineers, Inc. Carroll & Blackman, Inc. Chambers-Liberty Counties Navigation District Colorado River Municipal Water District First Southwest Company Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority Harlingen Irrigation District Cameron County #1 Harris-Galveston Subsidence District HillCo Partners J. Stowe & Company Jefferson County Drainage District #6 KEMP SMITH LLP Kimley-Horn & Associates, Inc.

BRONZE Bell Engineering & Consulting, Inc. Jones & Carter, Inc. Klotz Associates, Inc. Law Offices of Glenn Jarvis Law Offices of Timothy L. Brown Parsons Water & Infrastructure Plum Creek Conservation District Steve Walden Consulting Texas Water Foundation, Inc. 20

TWCA WELCOMES NEW MEMBERS Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District Contact: Robert Patterson Springtown, TX 76082 Hazen and Sawyer Contact: Robert C. Reach 17304 Preston Road, Suite 800 Dallas, TX 75252 Ken Kramer 4204 Sinclair Avenue Austin, TX 78756 GDS Associates, Inc. Contact: Chuck Loy 919 Congress Avenue, Suite 800 Austin, TX 78701 Good Company Associates, Inc. Contact: Robert King 515 Congress Ave., Suite 1510 Austin, TX 78701 Rubicon Water Contact: Trevor Boomstra 4563 Denrose Court Fort Collins, CO 80524 The Carlton Law Firm, P.L.L.C. Contact: John Carlton 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, TX 78746 Layne Christensen Company Contact: Bob Ereth 1717 West Park Ave. Redlands, CA 92373 SWAC Environmental Consultants Contact: James O. Jones 4407 Monterey Oaks Blvd, Bldg.1, Suite 110 Austin, TX 78749-4412 James L. Machin 505 East Huntland Dr., #250 Austin, TX 78752

Charles Porter 2103 N. Oak Canyon Road Austin, TX 78746 Abeinsa Contact: Susan V. Roberts 2600 Via Fortuna, Suite 220 Austin, TX 78746 VRX Global, Inc. Contact: Michael F. Thuss 2500 N. Dallas Parkway, Suite 450 Plano, TX 75093 Mustang Special Utility District Contact: Shelley Wright 7985 FM 2931 Aubrey, TX 76227 LaCosta Environmental, LLC Contact: Scott Swanson 3712 Goodnight Trail Leander, TX 78641


EDITORIAL SERVICES... Barbara Payne 281-893-2099 22

TWCA Confluence  

Texas Water Conservation Association March 2013 Newsletter

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