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RULE §288.20Drought Contingency Plans for Municipal Uses by Public Water Suppliers

(a) A drought contingency plan for a retail public water supplier, where applicable, must include the following minimum elements.

  (1) Minimum requirements. Drought contingency plans must include the following minimum elements.

    (A) Preparation of the plan shall include provisions to actively inform the public and affirmatively provide opportunity for public input. Such acts may include, but are not limited to, having a public meeting at a time and location convenient to the public and providing written notice to the public concerning the proposed plan and meeting.

    (B) Provisions shall be made for a program of continuing public education and information regarding the drought contingency plan.

    (C) The drought contingency plan must document coordination with the regional water planning groups for the service area of the retail public water supplier to ensure consistency with the appropriate approved regional water plans.

    (D) The drought contingency plan must include a description of the information to be monitored by the water supplier, and specific criteria for the initiation and termination of drought response stages, accompanied by an explanation of the rationale or basis for such triggering criteria.

    (E) The drought contingency plan must include drought or emergency response stages providing for the implementation of measures in response to at least the following situations:

      (i) reduction in available water supply up to a repeat of the drought of record;

      (ii) water production or distribution system limitations;

      (iii) supply source contamination; or

      (iv) system outage due to the failure or damage of major water system components (e.g., pumps).

    (F) The drought contingency plan must include specific, quantified targets for water use reductions to be achieved during periods of water shortage and drought. The entity preparing the plan shall establish the targets. The goals established by the entity under this subparagraph are not enforceable.

    (G) The drought contingency plan must include the specific water supply or water demand management measures to be implemented during each stage of the plan including, but not limited to, the following:

      (i) curtailment of non-essential water uses; and

      (ii) utilization of alternative water sources and/or alternative delivery mechanisms with the prior approval of the executive director as appropriate (e.g., interconnection with another water system, temporary use of a non-municipal water supply, use of reclaimed water for non-potable purposes, etc.).

    (H) The drought contingency plan must include the procedures to be followed for the initiation or termination of each drought response stage, including procedures for notification of the public.

    (I) The drought contingency plan must include procedures for granting variances to the plan.

    (J) The drought contingency plan must include procedures for the enforcement of mandatory water use restrictions, including specification of penalties (e.g., fines, water rate surcharges, discontinuation of service) for violations of such restrictions.

  (2) Privately-owned water utilities. Privately-owned water utilities shall prepare a drought contingency plan in accordance with this section and incorporate such plan into their tariff.

  (3) Wholesale water customers. Any water supplier that receives all or a portion of its water supply from another water supplier shall consult with that supplier and shall include in the drought contingency plan appropriate provisions for responding to reductions in that water supply.

(b) A wholesale or retail water supplier shall notify the executive director within five business days of the implementation of any mandatory provisions of the drought contingency plan.

(c) The retail public water supplier shall review and update, as appropriate, the drought contingency plan, at least every five years, based on new or updated information, such as the adoption or revision of the regional water plan.

Source Note: The provisions of this §288.20 adopted to be effective February 21, 1999, 24 TexReg 949; amended to be effective April 27, 2000, 25 TexReg 3544; amended to be effective October 7, 2004, 29 TexReg 9384

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