The Process 16 regions of Texas develop their own consensus-based regional plans for how to meet water needs during times of drought TWDB develops a comprehensive state water plan Every 5 years: At least 11 interest groups must be represented by one or more representatives along with non-voting members from federal, state, and local agencies Though liaisons from planning groups in adjacent regions are present, there is no accountability for regions coordinating with each other Drought of record used as benchmark, with firm yield as a minimum planning requirement Recommended strategies that involve interbasin transfers are a source of potential conflict Each step of the process is open to the public and provides numerous opportunities for public input An economically feasible water management strategy to meet water supply needs cannot always be identified by the planning groups Incorporating uncertainties of future conditions is a huge challenge There is no conflict resolution when combining the regional level plans
Climate Impacts ● Uncertainty and Risk in the Management of Water Resources o Incorporating various sources of uncertainty into the regional water planning framework to analyze a range of scenarios and potential outcomes o Focus on a benchmark risk instead of every possibility in planning All groups are required to plan based on firm yield ● Access global climate models suitability for use in Texas and methodology for downscaling ● Monitor climate science ● Access changes predicted by climate models ● Analyze and report data regarding climate variability
Environmental Flows ●New concept ●Methodologies ○ Freshwater inflow: Early studies led to a series publications for all of Texas’ major estuaries in the 1980s, updated in the 1990s and 2000s ○ Instream flow needs: Consensus Criteria for Environmental Flow Needs (regional water planning) ●Standards are still in process of developing ○ Senate Bill 2 (2001)-TWDB, TCEQ and TPWD work together to develop appropriate methodologies for determining environmental flows needed to protect rivers and streams. ○ Senate Bill 3 (2007)-new approach in developing environmental flow needs.
Environmental Flows ● According to Senate Bill 3 requirements, the standards and rules have been set for several water flow systems in 2013 by TCEQ. ● BBEST- Bays and Basins Expert Science Team
Environmental Flows ● Senate Bill 3 rules were not considered in development of 2012 State Water Plan. ● The new standards will be in place and will be incorporated within the surface water availability models and be considered in 2011 to 2016 regional water planning cycle.
Demand Management Population Projections ●Info from Texas State Data Center, US Census, and other federal & state agencies ●Projections for: ○ County Level ○ Cities (Pop. > 500) ○ Water utilities (Usage > 250k gal/day) ○ County-Other ●Allows for comments/revisions as recommended by regional stakeholders ●On a state level, projections from the 2010 regional water plans were within 1% of the actual 2010 US Census results
Demand Management Demand Considerations: ● Municipal ● Manufacturing ● Mining ● Steam-electric ● Livestock ● Irrigation Considerations are based on how much water would be needed during a drought of record
Economic Incentives Federal & State governments have a vested interest in water planning and development. State Revolving Funds - Established as part of Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act SWIFT - State Water Implementation Fund for Texas ● Low interest, deferred interest, state participation ● 20% must go towards conservation and/or reuse projects TWICC - Texas Water Infrastructure Coordination Committee ● Collection of agencies that assist communities with finding the most advantageous funding options available