Region E - Far West Texas
2001 Regional Water Plan Review
Basic Plan Facts
- Population is projected to double between 2000 and 2050
- Total capital cost of proposed water supply measures: $1,339 million
- No new reservoirs proposed
What's at Issue?
This region is facing extreme pressure on their limited water resources. The major aquifers - the Hueco Bolson and the Mesilla Bolson - are shared by Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico and provide for most municipal and industrial water needs. The freshwater reserves of these groundwater supplies are diminishing rapidly. As the groundwater resources in the region have not been managed sustainably, future generations may not have reasonable access to groundwater.
In addition, the region's main surface water supply, the Rio Grande, cannot be relied upon to support demands during times of drought. In all, without additional projects, El Paso will be unable to meet all customers needs during drought of record by 2030, and a total of eight cities in Region E will have unmet needs by 2050.
Here are some of the items the Region E Planning Group must address.
Conservation and Drought Management
For conservation and drought management, the plan needs to...
- Incorporate measures for reducing high per capita water usage in the main municipal areas. The 2001 plan already does this for the El Paso area.
- Make recommendations for more implementation of efficient agricultural irrigation technology.
- Include a drought management plan for limiting demand during water-short periods.
To secure the protection of flows for fish and wildlife, the plan needs to...
- Evaluate alternative water supply strategies for effects on environmental flows. In addition, the plan must discuss how these flows are affected by current projects and existing water permits.
- Identify individual springs, the habitats associated with each, and include information on how aquifer draw-down affects spring flows.
- Designate stream segments in the region that meet the criteria as having "unique ecological value". No segments were designated in the 2001 regional plan. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recommends 11 segments for designation in this region.
To ensure that only the most economically sound water supply strategies are implemented, the plan needs to...
- Compare the costs and benefits of the supply alternatives in a consistent and reasonable manner.
- TWDB Regional Water Planning Website
- The 2001 Region E Water Plan
- Region E's Website
The National Wildlife Federation analyzed the initially prepared plan using their Principles for an Environmentally Sound Regional Water Plan. Please contact us for more information about this analysis.