With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, the excitement of the Christmas season begins. Whether it’s attending one of our many Christmas parades across East Texas, witnessing the lighting of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Pumping Unit, or simply enjoying the sights and sounds of the season, there’s no shortage of activities to keep us busy. Amidst all of the hustle and bustle though, it’s my hope that each of us will do something to brighten someone else’s day. From helping at a local food pantry, visiting a shut-in, donating a coat to a local school, or placing an extra dollar or two in a Salvation Army Red Kettle, let us never forget it’s better to give than receive.
With that, here’s our final interim committee update from your State Capitol. . .
House Interim Charge: Natural Resources
This week we’ll be “diving” into the water committee of the Texas House — the House Committee on Natural Resources. This 11-member committee has jurisdiction over the conservation and development of water resources across our state. The committee also regulates all local water-related entities, such as groundwater conservation districts, and oversees several larger entities like the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas Water Development Board.
As a member of this committee for several sessions, I have been fortunate enough to play an active role in addressing the needs of a growing and thirsty state, while also ensuring the protection of our region’s most precious natural resource. This interim our committee has been hard at work finding solutions to the unique challenges facing our state as a result of Hurricane Harvey, increased rainfall across the state, and general water availability.
Our committee has held hearings in almost every corner of the state to hear from regional experts on how our state can best address their distinct challenges. For example, in Houston, we heard from members of the Harris County Flood Control District as we examined the role of local entities in developing flood mitigation infrastructure and operating dams during large-scale rain events. In Del Rio, we heard testimony from water experts about the status of groundwater policy in Texas, and discussed how our state can promote innovative solutions like the development of brackish groundwater to help meet the needs of Texans living in regions with water scarcity. In Waco, we heard from representatives with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality about the importance of updating our water availability models so that we can accurately assess and anticipate future water concerns.
Though the committee had an ambitious interim agenda, I am very pleased with the progress the House Committee on Natural Resources made over the last several months. Through continued cooperation with state and local entities across the state, we can ensure that our state will continue to properly meet the needs of all Texans.
With the holiday season upon us and many special events in all areas of House District 57, please be advised that the mobile office has suspended its regular Wednesday schedule until the start of 2019. For any questions, you may have, or issues you need help resolving, please reach out to one of our offices. We will make every effort to facilitate meetings and respond to your needs. Our district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762, or you can call our Capitol office at (512) 463-0508.