The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) unanimously voted to adopt the 2022 State Water Plan on July 7, 2021.
“Adopting this new state water plan is a tremendous accomplishment for Texas,” said TWDB Chairwoman Brooke Paup. “The plan provides a clear and credible path to address the state’s long-term water needs while protecting its growing economy and population. It would not be possible without the support and dedication of the regional water planning group members, agencies and organizations, and other stakeholders that offered their time and input to make this bottom-up planning process successful.”
The plan projects a 73 percent population increase over the next 50 years, from 29.7 million in 2020 to 51.5 million in 2070. Along with that growth comes a projected 9 percent increase in total water demand. Texas’ existing water supplies—those that can already be relied on during drought—are projected to decline 18 percent during this time.
To meet potential water shortages during a drought of record, the 2022 State Water Plan contains 5,800 strategies, such as conservation and reuse, which together make up nearly 50 percent of strategy volumes; aquifer storage and recovery; brackish groundwater and seawater desalination; and surface water strategies. The estimated capital cost of implementing the 2022 plan is approximately $80 billion, and water providers anticipate needing $47 billion of that in state assistance.
“The TWDB has already committed almost $9 billion in financing for State Water Plan projects through the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas program,” said TWDB Board Member Kathleen Jackson. “This is a testament to the credibility of the entire state water planning process and communities’ active involvement in ensuring future generations have the water they need.”
If Texas does not implement the water supply strategies and projects in the State Water Plan, a severe drought could cause $110 billion of economic damages in the immediate future, increasing to $153 billion per year by 2070.
The TWDB produces a new state water plan every five years based on 16 regional water plans developed by regional water planning groups. Adoption of the 2022 plan marks the fifth state water plan created under Texas’ widely recognized regional water planning process. The 2022 State Water Plan is now available on the TWDB website and will be submitted to the governor, lieutenant governor, and the Texas Legislature by January 2022.
Additionally, the Interactive 2022 State Water Plan is available on the TWDB website. This site enables users to take an in-depth look at the 2022 State Water Plan data, projects, and strategies to see how water needs change over time, with filter options that allow viewing statewide details down to the water user level.
The TWDB is the state agency charged with collecting and disseminating water-related data, assisting with regional water and flood planning, and preparing the state water and flood plans. The TWDB administers cost-effective financial assistance programs for the construction of water supply, wastewater treatment, flood control, and agricultural water conservation projects.