Public Comment Requested on Proposed Revision of State Water Supply Enhancement Plan
Jun 19, 2014 | 1150 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Public Comment Requested on Proposed Revision of State Water Supply Enhancement Plan





TEMPLE - The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board requests that the public and affected stakeholders review and provide comment on the proposed revision of the State Water Supply Enhancement Plan. The State Water Supply Enhancement Plan serves as the State's comprehensive strategy for managing brush in all areas of the state where brush is contributing to a substantial water conservation problem. Comments must be received no later than July 7, 2014.

The State Water Supply Enhancement Plan, formerly the State Brush Control Plan, must be updated and revised in order to continue implementing provisions of House Bill 1808 passed by the 82nd Texas Legislature. The State Water Supply Enhancement Plan is promulgated by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board under the authority of Texas Agriculture Code §203.051

The State Water Supply Enhancement Plan also serves as the programmatic guidance for the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board’s Water Supply Enhancement Program. The purpose of the Water Supply Enhancement Program is to increase available surface and ground water through selective control of brush species that are detrimental to water conservation. The State Water Supply Enhancement Plan documents the goals, processes, and results the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board has established for the Water Supply Enhancement Program, including goals describing the intended use of a water supply enhanced by the Program and the populations that the Program will target.

The State Water Supply Enhancement Plan discusses the competitive grant process, the proposal ranking criteria, factors that must be considered in a feasibility study, the geospatial analysis methodology for prioritizing acreage for brush control, how the agency will allocate funding, priority watersheds across the state for water supply enhancement and brush control, how success for the Program will be assessed and reported, and how overall water yield will be projected and tracked.

In prioritizing water supply enhancement projects for funding, the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board must consider the need for conservation of water resources within the territory of a proposed project, based on the State Water Plan as adopted by the Texas Water Development Board. The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board also considers whether or not a Regional Water Planning Group has identified brush control as a water management strategy in the State Water Plan.

The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board also requests that the public and affected stakeholders review and provide comment on proposed amendments to 31 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 517, Subchapter B, Cost-Share Assistance For Water Supply Enhancement, concerning the agency’s administration of the Water Supply Enhancement Program. These rules are promulgated under the authority of Texas Agriculture Code §203.012.

The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board last adopted a comprehensive revision to the Water Supply Enhancement Program rules in March 2012. These rules must be amended in order to continue implementing provisions of House Bill 1808. Further, these proposed revisions to the rules are necessary to ensure consistency with the State Water Supply Enhancement Plan and other programmatic policies and documents. The proposed amendments to the rules have been published in the Texas Register for a 30-day public review and comment period.

Notice of the availability of the State Water Supply Enhancement Plan for public review and comment has been published in the Texas Register. The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board is accepting written comments on the proposed document from June 6, 2014 through July 7, 2014. Written comments on the proposed plan may be submitted by email to Aaron Wendt at awendt@tsswcb.texas.gov. The draft document is available online at the agency’s website http://www.tsswcb.texas.gov/brushcontrol.

The draft State Water Supply Enhancement Plan and the proposed rule amendments will be discussed at a public hearing scheduled for July 1, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. at the headquarters office of the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board located at 4311 South 31st Street, Suite 125, Temple, Texas, 76502. At the hearing, persons and entities may present information and suggestions for any changes to the proposed plan.

After the public hearing and comment period, the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board will address comments received and incorporate them into a final State Water Supply Enhancement Plan that will be considered for adoption by the agency in late July 2014.

For more information about the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board’s efforts to revise the State Water Supply Enhancement Plan, please contact Aaron Wendt at (254) 773-2250 ext. 232 or awendt@tsswcb.texas.gov. Additional information on the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board’s Water Supply Enhancement Program is available at http://www.tsswcb.texas.gov/brushcontrol.

The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board administers Texas’ soil and water conservation law and delivers coordinated natural resource conservation programs through the State’s 216 soil and water conservation districts. The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board is the lead agency for planning, implementing, and managing programs for preventing and abating agricultural and silvicultural nonpoint sources of water pollution. The agency also administers a water supply enhancement program to increase available surface and ground water through the targeted control of water-depleting brush; works to ensure the State’s network of 2,000 flood control dams are protecting lives and property; and facilitates the Texas Invasive Species Coordinating Committee.

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