84R11346 SLB-F
  By: Larson H.B. No. 3298
  relating to a study conducted by the Texas Water Development Board
  regarding the development of a market and conveyance network for
  water in this state.
         SECTION 1.  LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.  The legislature finds
               (1)  water is a valuable part of the natural capital of
  the state, serving vital economic, environmental, and social
               (2)  the growing water needs of the state require using
  water in an efficient manner and increasing the economic,
  environmental, and social productivity of water;
               (3)  the efficient use of water often requires the
  reallocation of water entitlements from one water user to another
  and the conveyance of water from one geographic location to
  another; and
               (4)  improving the efficient use of water in the state
  may be promoted by improving the laws regarding water transfers and
  markets and by constructing and operating an integrated network of
  water conveyance infrastructure.
         SECTION 2.  DEFINITION.  In this Act, "board" means the
  Texas Water Development Board.
         SECTION 3.  STUDY.  (a) The board shall conduct a study to
  evaluate improvements to the transfer of water entitlements in this
  state and the establishment of a water grid, including an
  integrated network of pipelines, pumping stations, reservoirs, and
  other works for the conveyance of water between river basins, water
  sources, and areas of water use in the state.
         (b)  In conducting the study, the board shall:
               (1)  review studies previously conducted as part of the
  state water planning process or otherwise;
               (2)  identify the necessary and useful features of an
  efficient market for water, including water rights, institutions,
  and infrastructure;
               (3)  examine case studies of water markets in other
  jurisdictions both within and outside the United States;
               (4)  identify and evaluate potential sources of water
  for the market and the water grid;
               (5)  identify and evaluate potential areas of use for
  water delivered by the water grid, including areas of water use for
  municipal, industrial, agricultural irrigation, recreational,
  environmental, and other purposes;
               (6)  evaluate alternative facilities with varying
  capacities, source and delivery points, and alignments, including
  subsea alignments, and whether the water grid should convey treated
  or untreated water in each conveyance reach;
               (7)  develop a strategy for the water grid that will
  achieve optimal results for water use efficiency, water supply
  reliability, economic efficiency, the functioning of a market for
  water transfers, and the protection and enhancement of water
  rights, investments, and the natural environment;
               (8)  connect the establishment, construction,
  operation, and management of the water grid to the state water
  planning process;
               (9)  evaluate alternative methods for ownership,
  construction, operation, maintenance, control, and financing of
  the water grid, including:
                     (A)  ownership by a state agency;
                     (B)  ownership by one or more special-purpose
  districts or authorities created under Section 59, Article XVI,
  Texas Constitution, for the purpose of providing wholesale water
  supply, improvement, management, or transportation, including
  river authorities and regional districts;
                     (C)  ownership by a public utility;
                     (D)  operation as a state-awarded concession;
                     (E)  operation as a public-private partnership;
                     (F)  development by private enterprises in a
  competitive market; and
                     (G)  development similar to other integrated
  networks for the conveyance of natural resources;
               (10)  identify and evaluate methods to fund the
  establishment of a water grid, including the appropriation of funds
  or the issuance of bonds by the state or a state agency and state
  participation in ownership of the facilities, the issuance of bonds
  or participation by one or more entities described by Subdivision
  (9)(B) of this subsection, the issuance of private activity bonds,
  and the use of private investment capital;
               (11)  evaluate methods of incorporating existing water
  conveyance infrastructure into a water grid, including:
                     (A)  purchasing all or a portion of the water
  conveyance infrastructure from the owners of that infrastructure;
                     (B)  requiring that public agency and public
  utility owners of water conveyance infrastructure make unutilized
  or underutilized capacity available in that infrastructure, on
  payment to the owner of reimbursable costs plus a reasonable return
  on investment;
               (12)  consult with the Texas Commission on
  Environmental Quality, the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the
  Railroad Commission of Texas, and the General Land Office; and
               (13)  offer the public an opportunity to submit written
  comments on the study for consideration by the board, with a comment
  period lasting at least 30 days following publication of a draft
         SECTION 4.  REPORT.  Not later than September 1, 2016, the
  board shall submit to the legislature a final written report
  containing the findings of the study conducted under this Act and
  the board's recommendations for any legislation or other action
  necessary to implement the program described by Section 3(a) of
  this Act.
         SECTION 5.  EXPIRATION.  This Act expires September 1, 2017.
         SECTION 6.  EFFECTIVE DATE.  This Act takes effect
  immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members
  elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas
  Constitution.  If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for
  immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2015.