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1615 N.St. Mary's St.
San Antonio, Texas,78215
The Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA) is a regulatory agency established by the 73rd Legislature in May 1993 with the passage of the Edwards Aquifer Authority Act to preserve and protect this unique groundwater resource. However, legal challenges prevented the E... more.
GM Ellis Law Firm P.C.
Harris Galveston Subsidence District
Groundwater Management Services, Inc.
Texas Water Foundation
Texas Water Commission
Member of EXECUTIVE BOARD
Bachelor of Business Administration
University of Texas at Austin
Doctor of Jurisprudence
University of Texas School of Law
EAA General Manager Greg Ellis said "Here, we have a very unique situation with our rain gauges, our stream flow measures and our aquifer measures to actually determine as that rain is falling how much of that is benefitting the region, how much is actually getting to the ground and into the aquifer."
Water Policy in Texas Legislature Rode on One Word :: Joe Nick Patoski
" 'Vested' would have created a constitutionally protected property right, making a statute of common law," said Gregory M. Ellis, the former head of the Edwards Aquifer Authority and now a lawyer who represents several groundwater districts.
"The threat would not have been to groundwater districts but to the water supply itself. Every landowner would be entitled to as many wells as they wanted, and they could pump as much as they wanted." Once the new law takes effect, Mr. Ellis said, "the districts can manage with more flexibility around the demand and have the tools they need to get the job done." Except for S.B. 332, the 82nd session was remarkable for being unremarkable when it came to water, one of the most crucial issues that the state will have to grapple with over the next century. In particular, Mr. Ellis admitted disappointment that the Legislature did not take on the bigger challenge inevitably facing Texas groundwater conservation districts and all of Texas: rising demand and declining supply. "Eventually, a district will either have to stop issuing permits or reduce pumping to accommodate new permits," he said. Unfortunately, Mr. Ellis added, legislation "doesn't create more groundwater."
Attorney Greg Ellis, special counsel to the Lost Pines groundwater board, said every groundwater conservation district's goals are protection of the aquifer, protection of those seeking permits, and protection of private property rights.
"When we can find a balance between these things, then we typically find a way to settle," said Ellis, the former general manager of the Edwards Aquifer Authority for more than seven years. "That's where the board is trying to go right now in both of these permits." Ellis said he understands the public's concern about the viability of the aquifer. "The board shares those concerns," he said.
"Despite our best efforts, the aquifers are dropping," said Greg Ellis, a lawyer for many GCDs and former general manager of the Edwards Aquifer Authority.
The authority has asked its users, which include the city of San Antonio, to reduce demand by 35 percent this year amid the drought. "The district has to have the ability to cut people back," he added.
Gregory M. Ellis, Esq.
Gregory M. Ellis focuses on all areas of water law in his practice. He was the General Manager of the Edwards Aquifer Authority from 1997 through 2004.