TWDB releases 2017 State Water Plan
AUSTIN, TX The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) has released the 2017 State Water Plan. Regional water planning groups throughout the state developed the regional water plans that would form the basis for the 2017 State Water Plan.
The plan concludes that Texas faces significant water shortages over the next 50 years if steps are not taken to conserve and develop additional water supplies. Rapid population growth is expected, increasing more than 70 percent between 2020 and 2070, from 29.5 million to 51 million people. Water demands are projected to increase by approximately 17 percent between 2020 and 2070, from 18.4 million to 21.6 million acre-feet per year.
In the same 50-year period the state's existing water supplies are expected to decline by approximately 11 percent, from 15.2 million to 13.6 million acre-feet per year. Texas would need to provide 8.9 million acre-feet of additional water supplies to meet all its demand for water in 2070.
About 5,500 water management strategies recommended in the 2017 plan would provide 3.4 million acre-feet per year in additional water supplies in 2020 and 8.5 million acre-feet per year in 2070. Conservation is by far the most frequently recommended strategy found in all regional water plans.
The estimated capital cost to design, construct, and implement approximately 2,500 recommended water management strategy projects by 2070 is $63 billion, including over $4 billion in costs associated with conservation projects.
The TWDB offers financial support programs to fund state water plan projects, including the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas program (SWIFT). The application period for the 2017 funding cycle of SWIFT is open through Feb. 3.