Region O - Llano Estacado
2001 Regional Water Plan Overview
Basic Plan Facts
- Population growth in Region O is projected to be moderate
- Total capital cost of proposed water supply measures: $182 million
- No new reservoirs proposed
What's at Issue?
This region is unique in that it is the only region whose water demand is expected to decrease over the planning period. While the population is projected to increase slightly, a decline in agricultural activity is expected over the 50-year planning period. Groundwater resources in the region have not been managed sustainably and future generations may not have reasonable access to groundwater.
Despite the anticipated drop in the regional water demand, Region O has to identify and develop additional resources in order to compensate continued exhaustion of groundwater reserves in the region. This area does not have the luxury of abundant surface water resources to draw upon. In addition, many of the historical springs and spring-fed streams have ceased to flow due to increased pressure on the region's groundwater reserves. Some of the major strategies proposed to fulfill the region's water needs include precipitation enhancement; building interconnecting pipelines between cities, feedlots and industries; and incorporating irrigation water conservation measures.
Here are some of the items the Region O Planning Group must address.
Conservation and Drought Management
For conservation and drought management, the plan needs to...
- Assess current conservation levels.
- Recommend advanced municipal water conservation efforts for individual cities. The plan incorporated conservation as a key approach to meeting irrigation demands, however, this same approach was not used in meeting future municipal demands.
- Develop a drought management plan. The 2001 regional plan identifies drought trigger conditions based on precipitation levels and establishes a framework for regional notification of these conditions.
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 3 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.
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.