REGION H WATER PLANNING GROUP MEETING
JUNE 2, 1999
MEMBERS PRESENT:James Adams, Chairman, Roosevelt Alexander, John Bartos,Robert Bruner, Robert Eckels, Mark Evans, Mary Alice Gonzalez, Jack Harris, David Jenkins,Carolyn Johnson, Tom Manison, Marvin Marcell, James Morrison, James Murray, Ronald Neighbors, Frederick Perrenot, Tom Ray, Ernest Rebuck, Jack Searcy, Michael Sullivan, William Teer, Steve Tyler, Danny Vance, Harold Wallace, Kerry Whelan.
APPROVE MINUTES OF MAY 5, 1999 MEETING:
Motioned by Danny Vance. Seconded by Alexander Roosevelt. Motion carried.
CONSIDER AND APPOINTMENT REPLACEMENT FOR FRED PERRENOT:
Judge Evans moved that Item 3 be removed as no longer necessary since Mr. Perrenot is still representing the City of Houston. Seconded by Judge Harris. Motion carried.
BRIEFING AND DISCUSSION BY LEGISLATIVE TRACKING SUBCOMMITTEE FINAL REPORT:
Judge Evans reported on bills sent to the Governor such as SB272, SB657, and SB658 by Senator Brown; HB2660 by Swinford. Jack Searcy notes HB2965 went to Governor creating North Harris County Regional Water Authority. Chairman Adams noted Senate Bill 1 limited liability passed, extended deadline of four (4) months passed. Fifty (50) and seventy-five (75) percent requirement deleted. Funded to complete the process. TNRCC funding for modeling of river basins.
UPDATE BY BROWN & ROOT/APPROVE OF MAJOR WATER PROVIDER LIST:
Project description provided background details for region, existing suppliers, and water users, emphasizing the importance of Region H. Two-thirds of petrochemical industrial facilities in the country exists in Region H. Major provider by definition delivers and sells significant amounts of water for municipal and manufacturing use, providing a significant portion of regionís population and industry, developing major water supply projects in the region. Demand and supply to be computed for each town, city, and county, to look at existing ability to meet projected water demands. Future management strategies to be evaluated on whether any one of the major water providers can institute that management strategy. A list of top nine (9) major water suppliers provided. Recommendations for determining criteria: (1)currently hold greater than 100,000 acre feet of water supply to cities, municipalities, or industry and (2)provide service to at least 10,000 customers, and (3)those entities most likely to play the role of a regional water supplier in the future based on what they have historically done in the past, and (4) must be a source water provider. The designation would be based on some, but not necessarily all, of the criteria.
Judge Eckels suggested 1 and 3 or 2 and 3 be used as criteria. Mr. Jenkins suggested the list be flexible, as it does not consider agricultural rights. Following extensive discussion five (5) entities were suggested and agreed upon. They were the City of Houston, Gulf Coast Water Authority, Trinity River Authority, San Jacinto River Authority, and Brazos River Authority. Twenty-five (25) to thirty (30) percent of water supply lies outside the five entities suggested.
Harold Wallace motioned to accept the criteria submitted by the consultants. Seconded by Ron Neighbors. James Murray motioned to amend the criteria as 1 or 2 and 3. Seconded by Danny Vance. Amendment accepted by Harold Wallace. Motion carried.
Water supply numbers identifying whom has what in the region to be presented shortly. Danny Vance suggested looking at what the TNRCC has in terms of its water rights.
DISCUSS NEXT ROUND OF PUBLIC MEETINGS AND LOCATIONS:
Glenda Callaway gave an overview of recent public meetings with handouts. John Bartos suggested an even longer lead-time for notification of meeting time and location for the next group of meetings. Michael Sullivan complimented Glenda on her summary of the last round of public meetings and requested that she continue to provide the RHWPG with summaries for all future public meetings. Glenda Callaway and Jeff Taylor agreed.
CONSIDER AND APPROVE FINAL POPULATION AND DEMAND PROJECTIONS:
Mark Lowry presented population water demand by county, compiled by using Water Development Board default, adjusted populations based on Water Development Board guidance and Texas State Data Center numbers on projections from 1998 to 2000. In the four counties where Water Development Board numbers were higher, the Water Development Board numbers were used. If TSDC projections were higher starting in 2000, projections were calculated from there with Water Development Board growth rates and the higher numbers were used. The increase in population projections from the Subsidence District was put into county other, resulting in a rather large county other category where Subsidence District projections were available.
Ron Neighbors commented on the need to be careful not to affect the Subsidence Districtís ability to use and develop the population numbers that it has.
Mark Lowry responded that applicable county totals are the Subsidence Districtís county totals. As a city grows and the new areas are taken into the city the numbers will change from county other to city category. There is an amendment process within Senate Bill 1 to consider this. Jeff Taylor added that every countyís projections must be changed.
Mark Lowry responded to Tom Rayís inquiry regarding allocation problems, that unless you know where cities are going to grow and what areas they are going to annex, the consultants canít arbitrarily allocate additional population to the cities. That amount was put in county other with the anticipation that annexation, movement and growth of cities will transfer that population from county other into a specific city population during the 50-year plan.
Chairman Adams pointed to the attached page for Trinity County suggesting that the population number is 6886 for that portion of the county in Region H. Other correction is to Montgomery County, which was attached.
There is a five-year mandated update on these projections. Ernie Rebuck suggested the need for review of census population numbers and agriculture numbers. Jeff Taylor added that population numbers for this region is 12-13 percent higher than what the board suggested at the beginning of the process. Water demand numbers will be about 300,000-acre feet higher 50 years from now than what the board projected, about a 10 percent increase.
Motioned by Michael Sullivan to accept the summary of changes to population and water demand information as presented by the consultants. Seconded by Roosevelt Alexander. Motion carried.
Judge Harris made a motion to add an addendum to the report saying that because of the unusual growth of population in Region H these figures should be reviewed following the 2000 census. Seconded by Judge Evans. Motion carried.
PRESENTATION BY BRAZOS RIVER AUTHORITYíS DROUGHT CONTINGENCY POLICY:
A presentation was made by Alfredo Rodriguez of the Brazos River Authority, stating that BRA covers Regions O, G, C, and H, owns and operates four reservoirs with nine federally owned reservoirs. The Water Resources Division is in charge of the water supply for operations, emergency management, and drought monitoring, forecasting lake levels, water use, tracks releases downstream, monitoring water rights for protection, and monitoring the drought contingency plan, coordinating with the USGS for stream flow gages for the Corps of Engineers, for release of water from the lakes to TNRCC, for water rights issues, and with the customers for water use. BRA checks the capacity of the reservoirs for inflows, monitoring other hydraulic parameters such as rainfall in operations, stream flow, tracking the Palmar Drought Index, looking for new releases, obtaining information through the internet from the Noah site on predictions and station outlook, temperature outlook, and expected weather conditions.
Policy is based on occasion, the current reservoir capacity, projected demand, reservoir classification, and local use reservoir and system use reservoir, drought levels such as watch drought, warning drought, and emergency drought. The rules require prorated water allocation provisions. They require some surcharges and may grant variations. The question arose whether this was total storage capacity? The response was affirmative. Reservoirs varying considerably in terms of their capacity, the yield capacity, and the continuation.
BRA only sells water under long term contracts related to long term, firm yield in the reservoir.
Are trigger levels based on conservation storage or total storage, including hydropower pools and sedimentation? Water supply conservation storage.
The authority has a system permit to operate reservoirs. Four of the reservoirs are water supply reservoirs only. All have sedimentation. BRA has a Lower Basin Monitoring Plan with major customers, such as Dow Chemical, Chocolate Bayou, Gulf Coast Water Authority, and the Reliance.
TEXAS WATER DEVELOPMENT BOARD COMMUNICATIONS:
Ernest Rebuck discussed public presentations for Region H, which were held in Trinity, Walker and Montgomery County Commissioners Courts. Meetings in July will be in Leon, Liberty, and Chambers Counties. Consultant workshop postponed.
REGION H WATER PLANNING GROUP FINANCIAL REPORT:
John Bartos presented a financial report to the group.
July 7, 1999