Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3037
By: Walker
Natural Resources


Prior to the 77th Legislature, state law provided only minimum guidelines
regarding the ability of groundwater conservation districts (district) to
regulate the spacing and production of wells.  As a result, districts had
to do their best to interpret what latitude they had in regard to
regulating wells and enforcing those regulations.  House Bill 3037 provides
more explicit guidelines.   


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


House Bill 3037 amends the Water Code to authorize a groundwater
conservation district (district), by rule, to regulate: 

_the spacing of water wells by requiring wells, with consideration of
production capacity, pump size, or other characteristics related to the
construction or operation of the well, to be spaced a certain distance from
property lines or adjoining wells or imposing other spacing requirements
adopted by the board of directors of a district; and 

_the production of groundwater by setting production limits on wells,
limiting the amount of water produced based on acreage or tract size,
limiting the amount of water that may be produced from a defined number of
acres assigned by the district to an authorized well site, limiting the
maximum amount of water that may be produced on the basis of
acre-feet-peracre or gallons-per-minute per well site, or any combination
of the listed methods. 

In promulgating any rules limiting groundwater production, the district is
authorized to preserve historic use prior to the effective date of these
rules to the maximum extent practicable consistent with the district's
comprehensive management plan.  In regulating the production of groundwater
based on tract size or acreage, a district is authorized to consider the
service area of a retail water utility.   


June 15, 2001.