78R6311 MI-F

By:  Luna                                                         H.B. No. 1370

relating to the study and implementation of seawater desalination. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1. The legislature finds that: (1) it is in the public interest to develop and maintain a diversified portfolio of drought-proof water supply alternatives to meet the water needs of the state; (2) ongoing advances in water treatment technology and the growing demand on water resources make seawater desalination a more attractive drought-proof water supply option for the state; and (3) additional information is necessary to further assess the implementation of and future opportunities for seawater desalination in the state. SECTION 2. Subchapter C, Chapter 16, Water Code, is amended by adding Section 16.060 to read as follows: Sec. 16.060. DESALINATION STUDIES AND RESEARCH. (a) The board shall undertake or participate in research, feasibility and facility planning studies, investigations, and surveys as it considers necessary to further the development of cost-effective water supplies from seawater desalination in the state. (b) The board shall prepare a biennial progress report on the implementation of seawater desalination activities in the state and shall submit it to the governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the house of representatives not later than December 1 of each even-numbered year. The report shall include: (1) results of the board's studies and activities relative to seawater desalination during the preceding biennium; (2) identification and evaluation of research, regulatory, technical, and financial impediments to the implementation of seawater desalination projects; (3) evaluation of the role the state should play in furthering the development of large-scale seawater desalination projects in the state; and (4) the anticipated appropriation from general revenues necessary to continue investigating water desalination activities in the state during the next biennium. (c) The board shall actively pursue federal sources of funding for desalination projects in the state. SECTION 3. 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, 2003.