Sep 23rd 2019 | Posted in Water by Texas Government Insider

Nineteen senators from nine states asked the Trump administration to intervene in a fight over water authority with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

The Corps is proposing to take more control of supplies at reservoirs around the U.S. It owns or operates 30 reservoirs in Texas.

Texas leads states’ revolt against U.S. Corps move for greater water control

Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota wrote a letter to the Office of Management and Budget contending that the Corps’ water supply rule ignores precedent and statute that the waters in the states should remain under state jurisdiction regardless of water supply infrastructure ownership.

USACE holds authority over rivers, flood risk management, and conservation. Under the new regulations, the Corps is proposing to redefine “surplus water” and alter the process for withdrawing water from reservoirs.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) officials opposed the proposed rule that would give the federal government more power over allocating and managing water rights in the state. Commission leadership believes that any rulemaking regarding water allocation should not interfere with the state’s authority, according to a TCEQ statement.

If approved, the rules would be effective October 1.