|(a) In its review and action on an application for a new or
amended water right, the commission shall consider the hydrological connection
between surface and groundwater and the effects, if any, from the granting
of the application on groundwater use, quality, or recharge. In its assessment,
the commission shall consider whether the proposed diversion is from a stream
that provides significant recharge to a "sole source" aquifer as designated
under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, an aquifer for which there is a
certified groundwater management plan under Texas Water Code Chapter 36, or
an aquifer that is located within all or part of a priority groundwater management
area designated under Texas Water Code Chapter 35.
(b) If the commission determines that the granting of an application
for a new or amended water right would significantly impair existing uses
of groundwater, groundwater quality, or springflow upon which existing surface
rights, water quality, aquatic and wildlife habitat, or bays and estuaries
depend, the commission may deny the application or place restrictions and
limitations in the water right necessary to prevent or mitigate such impacts.
(c) In determining the extent of the protection to be provided
in a proposed new or amended water right to existing downstream water rights
or environmental water needs, the commission may take into consideration instream
losses because of recharge occurring in the bed of the stream downstream of
the proposed diversion.