Region E - Far West Texas
2005 Regional Water Plan Overview
|Total Water Use: 2000||665,793 Acre-Feet|
|Total Water Use: 2060||721,071 Acre-Feet|
|Primary Rivers||Rio Grande|
|Major Aquifers||Hueco Mesilla-Bolson, Cenozoic, Pecos Alluvium|
|Annual Precipitation||8-20 Inches|
|Net Evaporation||52-68+ Inches|
Basic Plan Facts
- Population is projected to more than double between 2000 and 2060
- Total capital cost proposed water supply measures: not available
- 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. In addition, the region's main surface water supply, the Rio Grande, cannot be relied upon to support demands during times of drought.
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 information about future conservation and reuse efforts for user groups within the region.
- Include drought management as a water management strategy. Each water user group with a shortage should use a drought management strategy derived from its drought management plan as a way to meet their water needs. The regional plans in the state are based on a drought of record and it only makes sense that drought management should play a large role in planning to meet the region's water needs during that drought period.
To secure the protection of flows for fish and wildlife, the plan needs to...
- Provide for reasonable levels of environmental flows within the region.
- 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.
- Include descriptions of the springs in the region, i.e. relative flow rates, associated aquatic and wildlife habitats, etc. This is especially important for use in evaluating the proposed water management strategies for impact on springflow in the region and for assessing potential threats to water and natural resources.
To ensure the long term viability of the state's groundwater resources, the plan needs to...
- Adopt a clear definition of "sustainable management" and of the concept of "near sustainable management" that is proposed for some of the region's aquifers.
- Discuss the potential impacts from withdrawing and/or transferring water from the Capitan Reef aquifer and the Dell City area to El Paso County including any potential impacts to springflow in the 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.