Why a Committee?
Groundwater is vital to the health and economy of Texas. In 1999, groundwater provided 58% of the water used in Texas. Texas groundwater is used as drinking water, irrigation for crops, and has numerous industrial functions. Managing such an essential resource requires a lot of coordination. Nine state agencies and an association of groundwater districts manage aspects of groundwater. Together, these entities comprise the Texas Groundwater Protection Committee (TGPC).
Created by the Texas Legislature's House Bill 1458 in 1989, the TGPC bridges the gap between state groundwater programs, improves coordination between member agencies, and works to protect groundwater as a vital resource. A brochure (TCEQ publication GI-088) and a flyer describing the TGPC are available.
Texas Water Code, Title 2, Subtitle D, Chapter 26, Subchapter J, Section 401 gives the TGPC its mission, sets non-degradation of the state's groundwater resources as the goal for all state programs, and asserts that groundwater be kept reasonably free of contaminants that interfere with its present and potential uses.
The TGPC implements the State's groundwater protection policy which:
- calls for non-degradation of groundwater
- requires that pollution discharges, waste disposal, and other regulated activities not harm public health or impair current or potential groundwater use
- recognizes the variability between aquifers
- acknowledges the importance of water quality
- balances the protection of the environment and the long-term economic health of the state
- recognizes the use of the best professional judgment of the responsible state agencies to implement the policy.
- Railroad Commission of Texas
- Texas Department of State Health Services
- Texas Department of Agriculture
- Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board
- Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts
- Texas A&M AgriLife Research
- University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology
- Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
TGPC Organization Chart (August 2015, PDF)
Funding: TCEQ funds the activities of the TGPC through a United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Water Act Section 106 grant.
Committee meetings are held at least quarterly and Meeting Record are available. In addition, the Committee works on special issues through several Subcommittees.
The Texas Groundwater Protection Committee:
- Improves coordination between State and Federal agencies to protect groundwater.
- Reports on its activities and recommends new protection programs to the Legislature.
- Publishes numerous reports. Please see the Publication's Page.
- Advises the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on the development of agricultural chemical plans for groundwater.
- Develops, implements, and updates a comprehensive State
Groundwater Protection Strategy and an annual Joint Groundwater Monitoring and Contamination Report.
Rules regarding the Texas Groundwater Protection Committee are found in Texas Administrative Code: Title 31, Part 18, Chapter 601, in Subchapter A and B.
Committee Ethics Policy
The Texas Groundwater Protection Committee approved its Ethics Policy on October 29, 2008.
Committee Public Information Officer Charge
The Texas Groundwater Protection Committee approved its Public Information Officer Charge on January 16, 2013.