Developed every five years and funded by the Texas Water Development Board through allocations by the Texas Legislature, the Texas State Water Plan identifies both water needs and management strategies over a 50-year planning horizon. The State Water Plan is constituted of 16 regional water plans that evaluate various water resources challenges faced throughout the state and the targeted strategies recommended to address them.
Carollo served as the lead consultant in the development of the 2021 North East Texas Regional Water Plan, an effort that encompassed a planning period from 2020 to 2070 for a 19-county region with an ever-growing population.
Our scope of work covered the following key tasks:
- Review and refine population and water demand projections.
- Model surface and groundwater source availabilities and evaluate the water supply capability to legally and physically access these sources with existing infrastructure.
- Perform water needs assessments for more than 200 water user groups and wholesale water providers to identify surpluses or shortages.
- Develop and assess feasible water management strategies (WMSs) in terms of potential costs, impacts to the environment, agriculture, and existing water resources of the State.
- Develop policy and administrative recommendations relevant to water supply planning.
- Facilitate public engagement to adequately capture the region’s unique perspectives in a manner consistent with the State’s planning regulations.
The Plan identified 78 water user groups, many of whom are municipal users, who are projected to potentially experience water needs during the planning period and, to meet projected demands, a total of 111 water management strategies were recommended. The Plan resolved 29 shortages by simply renewing, extending, or increasing existing water purchase contracts; 8 shortages by implementing advanced water conservation measures; and 60 shortages by developing and using additional groundwater supplies.
Remaining shortages were holistically addressed through user- and location-specific strategies, including opportunities for voluntarily reallocating supplies, securing local supplies used for domestic livestock local supplies, implementing indirect reuse, and developing infrastructure to utilize existing surface water resources in the region.