Laws & Regulations

AWBD's Legislative Principles & Priorities

Water districts efficiently, effectively, and continuously provide essential services, including water, wastewater, and drainage, to millions of Texans. To ensure that water districts can continue to provide essential services to protect residents and taxpayers.

AWBD Supports:

1.The efficient and effective daily operation of districts.  Water districts provide essential services, including water, wastewater, and drainage, to millions of Texans.

  1. Supporting greater public participation in meetings of the board of directors through improved and expanded options to conduct meetings by teleconference and videoconference.
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  3. Improving the process for obtaining certifications and representations of vendors and contractors.
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  5. Maintaining and improving the system of providing Notices to Purchasers for all land purchases in districts.

2. Developing and conserving the state’s natural resources.

  1. Responsibly developing water resources and innovative systems to treat, reuse and recycle water.
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  3. Supporting water districts’ abilities to develop parks and recreational facilities.
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  5. Improving rules and regulations that encourage water treatment, reuse, and recycling.
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  7. Supporting statutes and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) rules that allow water districts the option to use environmentally responsible, state of the art technology and operation.
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  9. Maintaining local autonomy in implementing water conservation measures.
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  11. Opposing efforts to prohibit the TCEQ from issuing wastewater discharge permits in certain regions or watersheds in the State.
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  13. Supporting voluntary regionalization of wastewater treatment facilities where it is environmentally and fiscally feasible. Reforming the TCEQ requirements for mandatory regionalization. Encouraging modern, state-of-the-art wastewater treatment technologies.
3. Fair, responsible, and timely oversight of water districts by the TCEQ.
  1. Continued TCEQ oversight of all water districts, including maintaining and enforcing TCEQ rules relating to the issuance and feasibility of bonds by water districts.
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  3. TCEQ user fees directly proportional to TCEQ’s costs of services to the water districts utilizing the services.
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  5. Maintaining and improving the efficiency of the TCEQ’s review and approval of district-related applications.
4. Improving the current legal relationship between municipalities and water districts.
  1. Protecting a water district’s rights to be created and operate within the jurisdiction of a municipality.
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  3. The ability of water districts and municipalities to enter into Strategic Partnership Agreements, agreements for the limited purpose annexation of land within water districts, and agreements for the sharing of sales tax revenues within limited purpose annexation areas.
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  5. Honoring and not impairing such existing agreements and maintaining all rights to create such agreements in the future.
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  7. Advocating for municipal regulations on utilities and development that are fair, not unduly burdensome, and not detrimental to housing affordability. Expediting municipal permits and approvals relating to utilities and development.

5. Improving the current legal relationship between counties and water districts.

  1. Protecting water districts against efforts to shift from counties to water districts the responsibility of maintaining facilities, including roads and related facilities, storm sewers, and drainage and detention facilities.
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  3. Encouraging counties and water districts to access state and federal funds to improve infrastructure.
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  5. Advocating for county regulations on utilities and development that are fair, not unduly burdensome, and not detrimental to housing affordability. Expediting county permits and approvals relating to utilities and development.
6. The financial and administrative independence of water districts.
  1. Protecting water districts against any limitations on a water district’s authority to (i) incur debt and levy taxes, subject to voter authorization and existing laws; (ii) adopt all necessary fees or charges for all water district services; and (iii) provide other statutorily authorized services.
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  3. Protect against any legislation that would reduce or limit the governmental immunity of water districts except by contract and enforcement of contracts.
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  5. Maintaining the number of uniform elections dates available to water districts for confirmation, directors, tax, and bond elections.
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  7. Allowing water districts to determine how to conduct their own elections, using either the best in-district voting accessibility to voters or joint election administration agreements for greater election efficiency.
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  9. Protecting water district’s right to contract for tax collections and opposing any mandate to centralize the tax collection process.
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  11. Maintaining truth in taxation laws for water districts that recognize the unique aspects of water districts and the importance of a water district’s multi-year plan of finance.
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  13. Continuing to make available on the Internet key financial and operational information.
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  15. Protecting water districts against legislation that would allow nontaxable users, including independent school districts, to avoid paying water district charges and fees.
7. Promoting good governance of water districts.
  1. Advocating for elections to confirm a proposed district, authorize property taxes, and authorize bonds payable from property taxes. For a district that proposes to charge fees that would be directly or indirectly paid by residents, all such residents shall be able to participate in the confirmation election.
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  3. Supporting appropriate representation of taxpayers and ratepayers on the governing body of water districts.

AWBD's Archived Bills List

Each session AWBD’s Legislative Affairs Committee tracks bills that correspond to AWBD’s legislative priorities. Below are bills that AWBD was following at the time of publication (early March). To search for up-to-date information on bills, visit https://capitol.texas.gov/.

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