Get Involved in the Regional Water Planning Process
During the recently-concluded regular legislative session, significant legislation relating to water funding passed. House Bill 4 and Senate Joint Resolution 1 (if approved by voters in November) provide a funding mechanism for city and other projects in the State Water Plan.
The bills require that each regional water planning group prioritize projects in its respective region using uniform standards established by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). The TWDB will then prioritize projects in the state water plan for the purpose of providing financial assistance. All this makes it vitally important for city officials to become involved in their regional planning process.
The planning process is not new. In 1997, the legislature established a new water planning process based on a “bottom-up,” consensus-driven approach. The water planning process involves 16 planning groups – one for each regional water planning area.
The regional water planning groups represent a variety of interests, including agriculture, industry, environment, public, cities, business, water districts, river authorities, water utilities, counties, groundwater management areas, and power generation. Each planning group holds public hearings and meetings to develop its regional water plan.
Once a regional water planning group adopts its regional water plan, the plan is then sent to the TWDB for approval. The TWDB then compiles the information from the approved regional water plans and other sources to develop the State Water Plan. The provisions of H.B. 4 and S.J.R. 1 add project funding priority to the process.
City officials may get involved in their regional water planning group by looking at the planning group meeting schedule and map of the regions on the TWDB website at: