Recent, record-setting rainfall stark reminder of Texas’ cyclical weather patterns, critical need to manage water supplies in times of rainfall and drought
As one water insider put it, House Bill 655 is “the most profound piece of water legislation this sesssion.”
Authored by state Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio), and sponsored by state Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock), House Bill 655 encourages the development of ASR systems here in Texas. In the water management world, ASR is short for Aquifer Storage and Recovery, the process of storing excess water supplies in underground aquifers.
“ASR allows Texans to store excess water supplies in aquifers, rather than reservoirs, where up to 50% of the daily yield is lost to evaporation,” said Rep. Lyle Larson, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Special Water Districts. “We are not inventing anything new: just look to the states west of Texas, where ASR continues to be an integral water management strategy.”
“House Bill 655 was a critically important piece of legislation, and is probably the biggest water related bill to pass this session,” said Sen. Charles Perry, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs.
Perry continued, “HB 655 sets up a streamlined permitting process that encourages the development of aquifer storage and recovery projects, which involve injecting treated surface water underground for storage and later recovery. These projects can save a tremendous amount of water from evaporation and can be used to store floodwater, such as the water that caused recent flooding in Austin and Houston. Aquifer storage and recovery projects are an excellent water supply strategy in many parts of the state, and will only become a more integral piece of meeting our state’s future water needs.”
In a discussion about ASR with state Reprentative Jim Keffer (R-Eastland), who serves as Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Keffer provided a chairman’s perspective on the state of water in Texas today. Among his comments was a warning not to let the recent rainfall make us lethargic in our pursuit of continued development of the state’s water supplies.
“We have a respite from the drought,” Keffer said. “But, we can’t look at the recent rain and say, boy, I’m glad that’s done. We need to say, how can we store and use God’s gift to continue the Texas dream.”
We just released the fourth video in the Our Water Story media series. This is the first of two videos that will feature Greg Meszaros, Director of Austin Water Utility. View the short video in which Greg Meszaros talks about the recent rainfall and the realities of supplying clean, affordable water for a million people.
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