From The Ground Up: States take issue with who regulates water

KBTX Brazos Valley This Morning(Recurring)
Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 9:38 AM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Water is vital to every part of life and now who controls water is up for debate.

On March 30 the Environmental Protection Agency’s final revised definition of the Waters of the United States rule will go into effect, and some states are taking issue with who gets to regulate water.

The new rule expands jurisdiction on streams, wetlands and other bodies of water under the Clean Water Act.

“Agriculture has been really adamant and progressive at trying to find the ways they can produce food and fiber more efficiently, more effectively and environmentally friendly. And I think when you start having rules that have a federal government in DC coming in and telling what you should do in a rural area of Texas,” said Shaw Engineering President Bryan Shaw. “You tend to have a regime that is overly burdensome and causes a lot of undue economic challenges without really any measurable environmental benefit.” Shaw was also named Chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality under former Texas Governor Rick Perry.

While access to safe and reliable water seems like the status quo in Texas, the constant need for more water is putting a strain on the supply.

“Water has been contentious and will become even more. And as our population grows as our industrial water use grows, even though AG is becoming more efficient with water, there are more straws going in than there is water being saved by new technologies.” said Bryan Shaw, a member on former Texas Governor Rick Perry’s staff.