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HLS 10RS-457 ORIGINAL

Regular Session, 2010

HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 1

BY REPRESENTATIVES FANNIN, MORRIS, BURFORD, HENRY BURNS, TIM


BURNS, CHAMPAGNE, CHANDLER, CONNICK, CORTEZ, DANAHAY,
DOERGE, DOWNS, ELLINGTON, GEYMANN, HARRISON, HAZEL, SAM
JONES, LABRUZZO, LAMBERT, LEBAS, LIGI, LORUSSO, MCVEA, MILLS,
NOWLIN, PEARSON, RICHARD, ROY, SCHRODER, SIMON, SMILEY, GARY
SMITH, PATRICIA SMITH, ST. GERMAIN, STIAES, THIBAUT, AND WHITE
AND SENATORS ADLEY, LONG, AND SHAW

WATER/RESOURCES: Requests the Ground Water Commission to study and make


recommendations on the management of the state's groundwater and surface water
resources

1 A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

2 To request the Ground Water Resources Commission, through its chair, prepare a report on

3 the state's ground and surface water resources and to provide recommendations for

4 the optimal management and protection of the state's surface water and groundwater

5 resources, to be submitted to the House Committee on Natural Resources and

6 Environment and the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality no later than

7 March 1, 2011.

8 WHEREAS, the water resources of the state are a precious natural resource necessary

9 for public health, safety, and economic well-being; and

10 WHEREAS, Louisiana is underlain by thirteen major groundwater aquifer systems,

11 which are the Red River Alluvial Aquifer, the Mississippi River Alluvial Aquifer, the

12 Upland Terrace Aquifer, the Chicot Aquifer System, the Chicot Equivalent Aquifer System,

13 the Evangeline Aquifer, the Evangeline Equivalent Aquifer System, the Jasper Aquifer

14 System, the Jasper Equivalent Aquifer System, the Catahoula Aquifer, the Cockfield

15 Aquifer, the Sparta Aquifer, and the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer; and

16 WHEREAS, the water resources of the state and the United States, generally, are in

17 high demand and in danger of overuse; and

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HLS 10RS-457 ORIGINAL
HCR NO. 1

1 WHEREAS, based on information provided in the United States Geological Survey's

2 2005 Water Use in Louisiana report, approximately five hundred eighty-four thousand

3 millions of gallons of Louisiana's groundwater were withdrawn in 2005, with approximately

4 twenty two percent of that amount being used for public supply purposes, approximately

5 eighteen percent of that amount being used for industrial purposes, approximately three

6 percent of that amount being used for rural domestic purposes, and approximately fifty-

7 seven percent of that amount being used for irrigation; and

8 WHEREAS, based on information provided in the United States Geological Survey's

9 2005 Water Use in Louisiana report, approximately three million one hundred seventy-five

10 hundred millions of gallons of Louisiana's surface water were withdrawn in 2005, with

11 approximately seven percent of that amount being used for public supply purposes,

12 approximately eighty percent of that amount being used for industrial purposes, little to none

13 of that amount being used for rural domestic purposes, and approximately thirteen percent

14 of that amount being used for irrigation; and

15 WHEREAS, Article IX Section 1 declares that the "natural resources of the state,

16 including … water … shall be protected, conserved, and replenished insofar as possible and

17 consistent with the health, safety, and welfare of the people. The Legislature shall enact laws

18 to implement this policy"; and

19 WHEREAS, the legislature has empowered the Ground Water Resources

20 Commission with the authority to "continue the development … of a statewide ground water

21 resource management program that shall include but not be limited to evaluation of the

22 state's ground water resources including current and projected demands; development of a

23 water use conservation program; study of alternatives to ground water use, such as surface

24 water to include treatment and transmission systems, and reclaimed water; incentives for

25 conservation; use of alternative technologies; and education and conservation programs";

26 and

27 WHEREAS, the legislature has empowered the commissioner of conservation, who

28 is a member of the Ground Water Resources Commission, with the "administration of all

29 matters related to the management of the state's groundwater resources by providing for the

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HLS 10RS-457 ORIGINAL
HCR NO. 1

1 most advantageous use of the resource consistent with the protection, conservation, and

2 replenishment thereof"; and

3 WHEREAS, the legislature has empowered the Department of Environmental

4 Quality, which is represented on the Ground Water Resources Commission, with the

5 authority to "prohibit, control, or abate … water pollution" in the state; and

6 WHEREAS, the Legislature has empowered the Department of Health and Hospitals,

7 which is represented on the Ground Water Resources Commission, to ensure human health

8 and safety in relation to drinking water and the regulation of the treatment and disposal of

9 municipal or domestic sewerage; and

10 WHEREAS, the legislature has empowered the Department of Transportation and

11 Development, which is represented on the Ground Water Resources Commission, with the

12 supervision and overview of the construction, modification, operation, and maintenance of

13 dams within the state to the extent required to protect life and property and to provide for the

14 safety and welfare of the public within the state and with the authority to plan systems of

15 inland waterways, navigation drainage; irrigation and water conservation projects; foster the

16 maintenance, improvement, and extension of the Intracoastal Canal System and its feeders;

17 and initiate, sponsor, and carry through to completion all waterway projects which will

18 further develop and expand the water resources of Louisiana; and

19 WHEREAS, the legislature has empowered the Department of Wildlife and

20 Fisheries, which is represented on the Ground Water Resources Commission, with

21 controlling and supervising all wildlife of the state, including fish and all other aquatic life,

22 including the management, protection, conservation, and replenishment of wildlife, fish, and

23 aquatic life in the state. The department is also responsible for the conservation and

24 management of all renewable resources on all wildlife management areas, wildlife refuges,

25 scenic rivers, and wildlife preserves that it may own or lease; and

26 WHEREAS, the legislature has empowered the Department of Agriculture and

27 Forestry, which is represented on the Ground Water Resources Commission, to advise and

28 assist soil and water conservation districts, which administer the conservation, development,

29 utilization, and disposal of water within their districts for the benefit of local farmers; and

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HLS 10RS-457 ORIGINAL
HCR NO. 1

1 WHEREAS, the legislature has empowered the Governor's Office of Coastal

2 Activities, which is represented on the Ground Water Resources Commission, to provide

3 leadership and support to the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and to direct and

4 coordinate the development and implementation of policies, plans, and programs which

5 encourage multiple uses of the coastal zone and achieve a proper balance between

6 development and conservation, restoration, creation, and nourishment of coastal resources;

7 and

8 WHEREAS, the Ground Water Resources Commission also has representatives of

9 a geologic or engineering expert in groundwater resource management; the Louisiana

10 Chemical Association, the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association, the Louisiana

11 Association of Business and Industry, and the Louisiana Pulp & Paper Association; the

12 Louisiana Farm Bureau; the Police Jury Association of Louisiana; Louisiana Municipal

13 Association; the Sparta Groundwater Conservation District Board of Commissioners; the

14 Capital Area Groundwater Conservation District; individuals residing or working in the area

15 underlain by the Chicot Aquifer; the Louisiana Landowners Association; and the Louisiana

16 Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, and the League of Women

17 Voters; and

18 WHEREAS, from October 2008 to March 2010, the Ground Water Resources

19 Commission met seven times throughout Louisiana to learn and discuss issues involving the

20 management of groundwater, including the study of alternatives to groundwater use, such

21 as surface water; and

22 WHEREAS, several legal opinions have been requested from the Attorney General

23 regarding water rights and related issues in the last year; and

24 WHEREAS, a February 5, 2010, memorandum was issued by the attorney general

25 and the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources advising: that under Louisiana law

26 persons, with the possible exception of riparian landowners, are not authorized to remove

27 state owned surface water without obtaining the prior written approval of the state and

28 without paying fair value; in the event that a state agency or state political subdivision is

29 presented with a request to transfer or sell state owned surface waters within its statutory

30 jurisdiction the state agency or political subdivision should first review its statutory authority

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HLS 10RS-457 ORIGINAL
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1 to determine if it is in fact authorized to sell the state owned surface waters; if it is so

2 statutorily authorized, the state agency or political subdivision may enter into negotiations

3 with the private entity for the sale of state owned surface water with the understanding that

4 any such sale must be for fair value and that any agreement must be reduced to writing in

5 the form of a contract or cooperative endeavor agreement and that any such agreement is

6 subject to prior approval by the office of the attorney general and the Department of Natural

7 Resources; and

8 WHEREAS, the Department of Natural Resources, following the unanimous

9 recommendation of the Ground Water Resources Commission, has retained the services of

10 a consultant to further study and evaluate the state's ground water resources to preserve their

11 quality and sustainability by evaluating current and projected demands, development of a

12 water use and incentives conservation plan, providing alternatives to groundwater use and

13 solutions to mitigate and prevent further water level decline and water quality decline in

14 areas of concern identified throughout the state; and

15 WHEREAS, the Department of Transportation and Development has entered into a

16 contract, under the oversight of the Department of Natural Resources, with a consultant to

17 further study and evaluate the state's surface water resources to develop a statewide reservoir

18 priority and development program, including identification of the conditions of the state's

19 nine water basins and water resource supplies and demands, the sustainable yields of

20 streams, rivers, lakes and reservoirs, the development of groundwater and surface water

21 interactive models, and the development of a reservoir prioritization model and plan. The

22 evaluation process is critical to determine whether constructing a new reservoir is needed

23 and warranted.

24 THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of Louisiana does hereby

25 request the Ground Water Resources Commission, through its chair, to prepare a report on

26 the state's water resources, both groundwater and surface water, and to provide

27 recommendations for the optimal management and protection of the state's water resources,

28 both groundwater and surface water, including but not limited to the following: the study of

29 impacts and potential impacts to water quality in surface water and groundwater, as well as,

30 current federal, state, and local efforts to protect water quality; surface water and

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HLS 10RS-457 ORIGINAL
HCR NO. 1

1 groundwater resource management and protection policies in the areas of groundwater

2 concern as designated by the commissioner of conservation, areas of the state that have

3 experienced increased water usage associated with the hydraulic fracturing used in the

4 production of natural gas from shale-gas formations, and the areas of high water use in

5 Southwest Louisiana and the capital area region; the procedure for selling running water and

6 water in naturally navigable water bodies owned by the state for private purposes; necessary

7 changes to current water resource management law in order to implement recommendations

8 for the optimal management and protection of the state's water resources, both groundwater

9 and surface water; the necessary changes to current government procedures to make the

10 management and protection of the state's surface water and groundwater resources both more

11 efficient and comprehensive; and water recycling and conservation incentives, including tax

12 incentives. The report shall be submitted to the House Committee on Natural Resources and

13 Environment and the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality no later than March 1,

14 2011.

15 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this Resolution be transmitted to the

16 secretary of the Department of Natural Resources.

DIGEST

The digest printed below was prepared by House Legislative Services. It constitutes no part
of the legislative instrument. The keyword, one-liner, abstract, and digest do not constitute
part of the law or proof or indicia of legislative intent. [R.S. 1:13(B) and 24:177(E)]

Fannin HCR No. 1

Requests the Ground Water Resources Commission, through its chair, to prepare a report on
the state's groundwater and surface water resources and to provide recommendations for the
optimal management and protection of the state's water resources to be submitted to the
House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment and the Senate Committee on
Environmental Quality no later than March 1, 2011.

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