Session 1: Legal Issues with Permitting Amenity Ponds - Amenity ponds are often constructed in new subdivisions for aesthetic, recreational, drainage, and irrigation purposes. Depending on the location and source of water for the pond, such as state-owned surface water, groundwater, storm water, or reclaimed water, the permitting requirements can vary greatly. Review the various permitting requirements and the legal hurdles associated with these ponds.
Session 2: The Prior Appropriation Doctrine: Still Appropriate for Texas? - In TCEQ v. Texas Farm Bureau, the Texas Commission for Environmental Equality (TCEQ) stated it needed the authority to amend the "first in time is first in right" rule, in order to protect public health and welfare. This position garnered numerous support from the amici. Hear experienced practitioners weigh in on the statement, and what it might mean for surface water rights in Texas.
Session 3: Desired Future Conditions: Will Process Changes Increase Accountability? - Through SB 660 (2011) and HB 200 (2015), the Legislature imposed new requirements for developing desired future conditions, including a best available science standard, and created an appeal process utilizing the state office of administrative hearings. Explore how these changes may affect groundwater conservation districts and their DFC decisions.
Session 4: Bush School Capstone Report: Reorganizing Groundwater Regulation in Texas - Review the regulatory practices of the local groundwater conservation districts, which concludes that Texas has a regulation-induced shortage of groundwater. Learn the four alternative regulatory options—based on four metrics—and find that substantial improvements are possible.
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