Since water is vital to all aspects of our economy and environment, the State Water Plan - which directs state funding for water development - affects all Texans. Unfortunately, the 2007 State Water Plan failed to balance human water demands with the needs of fish, wildlife, and the environment. The plan also overstated the need for expensive new dams and pipelines by inflating Texans' need for water. These proposed projects would cause great loss of forest, farms, and irreparable harm to our rivers and bays and their wildlife.
What is Water Planning?
The state's regional planning process was initiated by Senate Bill 1 Regional Water Planning Groups representing 16 different regions of the state are currently drafting plans to meet the water needs of Texas for the next 50 years. These 16 regional plans will be rolled up into the 2012 State Water Plan. The water supply decisions they make now will have far-reaching consequences for Texas' natural environment. As these regional groups and the Texas Water Development Board plan to meet human water needs, they can protect the state's abundant wildlife resources and cherished landscapes. Poor planning, however, could set the stage for the de-watering of Texas rivers and the collapse of a vibrant coastal ecosystem.
The Regional Water Planning Groups are composed of at least 11 members, each representing a different interest or kind of water user. These interests include: Public, Counties, Cities, Industry, Agriculture, Environmental, Small Business, Electric Generating Utilities, River Authorities, Water Districts, Water Utilities, and any other interest the group feels is necessary to ensure all user groups are covered. Membership information for each group is located on the Texas Water Development Boards Regional Water Planning website.
When does this all take place?
The current round of panning is underway:
March 2010 Regional water planning groups submit Initially prepared Regional Water Plans (IPPs) to the TWDB for review.
September 1, 2010 Regional water planning groups submit adopted Regional Water Plans for TWDB approval.
January 2011 - January 2012 TWDB develops State Water Plan. Timeframe includes development, public comment phases, and adoption by the Texas Legislature.
The previous cycle of regional planning wrapped up in December 2006. The 2006 Regional Water Plans and the 2007 State Water Plan are available for review at the TWDB website.
See Myron Hess' comments on the 2007 State Water Plan in the
Texas Parks and Wildlife documentary The State of Flowing Water
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Concerned About Water?
To find out how you can get involved in water issues in your area, email or call us at 512-476-9805. Here are just a few things you can do.
Add your organization or local government to the growing list of those endorsing the Principles for Protecting Texas' Water Resources Find Out More
Visit the TWDB Regional Water Planning website to find out what's happening now with the State Water Plan.