HBA-SEP H.B. 3037 77(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3037 By: Walker Natural Resources 7/19/2001 Enrolled BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE 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. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY 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. ANALYSIS 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. EFFECTIVE DATE June 15, 2001.