2012 State Water Plan Now Available
The Texas Water Development Board’s 2012 State Water Plan is now available to the public at http://www.twdb.state.tx.us/wrpi/swp/swp.asp. The Texas Water Development Board 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 plan, updated every five years, was approved by the Board at its Dec. 15, 2011, meeting and was delivered to the governor and Texas Legislature Jan. 5.
The primary message of the 2012 State Water Plan is a simple one: In serious drought conditions, Texas does not and will not have enough water to meet the needs of its people, its businesses, and its agricultural enterprises. This plan presents the information regarding the recommended conservation and other types of water management strategies that would be necessary to meet the state’s needs in drought conditions, the cost of such strategies, and estimates of the state’s financial assistance that would be required to implement these strategies. The plan also presents the sobering news of the economic losses likely to occur if these water supply needs cannot be met. As the state continues to experience 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 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.