Presenter: Cindy Loeffler

Commission Agenda Item No. 15
Texas Water Planning Process and TPWD's Role in Water Planning
November 2005

I. Executive Summary: The Texas Legislature has directed the Water Development Board (TWDB) to guide and fund water planning. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) serves a pivotal role in the planning process by providing natural resource information and technical assistance to the regional planning groups and TWDB. The briefing will summarize that role.

II. Discussion: In response to extensive drought conditions and projected rapid population increases, the 76th Texas Legislature in 1997 passed Senate Bill 1, an omnibus water bill requiring comprehensive long-term water planning. The TWDB guides and funds sixteen Regional Water Planning Groups (RWPG's) in the development of regional water plans and compiles the state water plan. Additional planning requirements were added with the passage of Senate Bill 2 in 2001. TPWD participates in water planning by providing natural resource information and technical assistance to the RWPG's and TWDB and by serving as a non-voting member of each RWPG. The 2002 State Water Plan was the first product of that process. The second round of five-year regional water planning began in early 2002. Initially prepared regional water plans are due to TWDB by June 2005; the final regional plans are due to the TWDB by January 2006 and final state plan to the legislature by 2007. TWDB rules now require regions to quantify potential environmental impacts of water management strategies. TPWD staff has completed comment letters on each of the sixteen regional plans. There has been good progress on addressing environmental issues related to the various regional plans in many regions. There remains room for improvement in others. The briefing will summarize that progress.