By: Special to The Laredo Sun
The plan, updated every five years, was approved by the Board at its Dec. 15 meeting and was delivered to the governor and Texas Legislature Jan. 5. The purpose of the State Water Plan is to ensure that our state’s cities, rural communities, farms, ranches, businesses, and industries will have enough water to meet their needs during a drought of record.
The plan lays out recommended conservation and water management strategies, the cost of the strategies, and estimates of the amount of financial assistance that would be required by the state to implement the strategies.
The population of Texas is expected to increase 82 percent by 2060, and existing water supplies are expected to decrease 10 percent in the same time period.
If the state does not implement new water supply projects or management strategies, Texans will not have enough existing water supplies to meet demand in times of drought.
By 2060, the state is projected to need 8.3 million acre-feet of additional water supply per year in the event of a drought. Annual economic losses from not meeting water supply needs could result in a loss of $11.9 billion in income a year if current drought conditions persist, and as much as $115.7 billion annually by 2060, with over a million lost jobs.
As the state experiences rapid growth and declining water supplies, implementation of the plan is crucial to ensure public health, safety, and welfare and economic development in the state.
The TWDB is the state agency charged with collecting and disseminating water-related data, assisting with regional water supply planning and preparing the State Water Plan for the development of the state’s water resources.
The TWDB administers cost-effective financial programs for the construction of water supply, wastewater treatment, flood control, and agricultural water conservation projects.