Region N - Coastal Bend
2005 Regional Water Plan Overview
|Total Water Use: 2000||205,936 Acre-Feet|
|Total Water Use: 2060||308,577 Acre-Feet|
|Primary Rivers||Nueces, Frio|
|Major Aquifers||Gulf Coast, Carrizo-Wilcox|
|Annual Precipitation||24-36 Inches|
|Net Evaporation||40-52 Inches|
Basic Plan Facts
- Population is expected to grow by 63.7% between 2000 and 2060
- Total project cost of proposed water supply measures: 1.36 Billion dollars
- Projected Deficit: 46,084 Acre-feet
- Two new reservoirs proposed: Lake Texana Stage II (Located within Region P) and the Off-Channel Reservoir Near Lake Corpus Christi
What's at Issue?
The Coastal Bend Region is home to a productive coastline that supports an abundance of natural resources and industries, including fishing and travel. The bays and estuaries are home to a host of wildlife including fish, shrimp, blue crabs, and endangered whooping cranes. One of the challenges this region faces is protecting freshwater inflows to the economically important bays.
Given this challenge and the fact that the Coastal Bend region is in a relatively dry area of the state it only makes sense for the region to plan to use water as efficiently as possible. Unfortunately the group's current water conservation target is not as strong as it should be. In addition, the plan overcompensates for projected demands by identifying strategies to meet over four times the projected needs, thereby creating projects that are unnecessary and potentially damaging to the environment.
Here are some of the items the Region N Planning Group must address.
Conservation and Drought Management
For conservation and drought management, the plan needs to...
- Revise their water conservation goal. The group's current water conservation target-a recommendation that water user groups that use more than 165 gallons per capita per day reduce consumption by 15%-is not nearly as strong as it should be.
To secure the protection of flows for fish and wildlife, the plan needs to...
- Compare the costs of proposed water supply options in a consistent and reasonable manner. This should include municipal, agricultural and industrial water conservation, which is often the least expensive (and least environmentally damaging) supply option.
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.