CONFLUENCE NEWS | APRIL 3, 2020
The Latest News
TWDB FLOOD PLANNING UPDATE
By Water Laws Chair Howard Slobodin
On March 12, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) approved the adoption of a final rule package to implement Senate Bill 7. SB 7 created new vehicles to finance flood mitigation activities. TWDB’s final rule package may be found here . It also released the accompanying 2020 Flood Intended Use Plan and application (Word Doc). Abridged applications for first-round Flood Infrastructure Fund (FIF) assistance are due on May 14, 2020.

TWDB also plans to vote on its proposed map of flood planning regions at its April 9 meeting.  


A note of thanks to TWCA’s members that participated on the Flood Rulemaking Subcommittee. That group also prepared and submitted comments to TWDB’s proposed Senate Bill 8 implementing rule package. That final rule package remains pending adoption at this time.
TCEQ PROVIDES REGULATORY GUIDANCE FOR COVID-19

Click here to see the steps that TCEQ is taking to minimize impacts.
SHORTAGE OF WATER IN THE RIO GRANDE COULD IMPACT VALLEY FARMERS
By Sarah Kirkle, TWCA
A 1944 treaty between the U.S. and Mexico allots the U.S. one-third of the water reaching the main channel of the Rio Grande, or a minimum average of 350,000 acre-feet per year over a five-year cycle.  

As of early March, Mexico has delivered only 73 percent of the water allotted to the U.S. in the five-year cycle. Mexico has another six months to make up the deficit of 474,111 acre-feet.

WHAT TWCA MEMBERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE CARES ACT
 By Lauren Kalisek and Cole Ruiz, Lloyd Gosselink Rochelle & Townsend, P.C.
Last Friday, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), which appropriated $2 trillion toward economic relief and preparedness. The CARES Act will inevitably impact the majority of the nation’s businesses and people, as well as every state and many local governments. How does the Act impact water utilities and water resources?

See more from Lloyd Gosselink Rochelle & Townsend about the key takeaways for TWCA members.
A Changing Work Environment
CARES ACT & UNEMPLOYMENT
By Sheila Gladstone, Sarah Glaser, and Emily Linn , Lloyd Gosselink Rochelle & Townsend, P.C.
Lloyd Gosselink Rochelle & Townsend answer a member’s question about how the CARES Act impacts unemployment insurance, and whether members will pay for it for years to come.

GOVERNOR ISSUES STATEWIDE ORDER TO MINIMIZE NON-ESSENTIAL ACTIVITY: On Tuesday, Governor Abbott ordered Texans to minimize activity outside of their homes, except when needed to provide or obtain essential services. The order defines “essential services” as those listed in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, and broadly encompasses employees needed to operate drinking water and wastewater or drainage infrastructure. See more specific guidance on water and wastewater infrastructure here.
  • Helpful technical advice for obtaining and using video or telephone conferences  
  • Standards for how the public should be able to interact with the board 
  • Reminders on key requirements, such as posting the access information in public meeting notices, having speakers introduce themselves before talking, and making a recording of the meeting available to the public.
GUIDANCE AND CONSIDERATIONS FOR RESPONDING TO COVID-19
By Micheon Balmer, TWCA RMF
The TWCA Risk Management Fund recently distributed to all Risk Management Fund members a COVID-19 Best Practice Guide to assist districts in managing and responding to COVID-19 within their organization. The Best Practice Guide offers information on various topics including information technology, cyber security, hygiene and general precautions, working at home, and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Check out an excerpt from the Guide that provides nine general guidance and considerations for managing and responding to COVID-19.
COVID-19: TWCA has sent multiple updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. We will be sending more frequent updates to ensure important information is getting to you in a timely way. See what we have sent out related to COVID-19 here .
Board & Membership News
Reflections of COVID-19
A lot has changed over the past few weeks. We asked a random selection of TWCA members/staff a few questions to get their take on COVID-19. From reflective to funny, see how they responded .
Upcoming Events & Updates
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE UPDATE: The joint meeting of the Senate Water and Rural Affairs and Natural Resources committees that was scheduled for April 30, 2020 has been postponed until an unspecified date. As a reminder, the TWCA groundwater committee survey is due next Friday, April 10, 2020.
TWDB Board Meeting - April 9 at 9:30am (will be livestreamed)


TWCA Mid-Year Conference - CANCELED/POSTPONED . Click here for more information .

Membership Dues: Don't forget to renew so you can utilize all of your TWCA benefits. Renew here.

Standing Committees: Sign up!
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