Water planning in Texas is the process where officials take a long-term look at Texas’ water needs and how to meet them. The current method of water planning stems from the passage of Senate Bill 1 by the 75th Texas Legislature in 1997. This bill set its goals providing for the development, management, and conservation of water resources and preparation for responding to drought conditions.
The planning process takes place to ensure that sufficient water will be available at a reasonable cost for public health, safety, and welfare. It is also designed to further economic development and protect the state’s agricultural and natural resources.
The planning process is designed to work from the bottom up, with local groups determining needs for their specific areas that are then incorporated into plans for 16 regional groups within the state. These groups submit their plans to the Texas Water Development Board, which is tasked with developing a statewide plan.
Senate Bill 1 also called for local groundwater districts to develop plans to provide for the most efficient use of groundwater, control subsidence, and address conjunctive use of surface water issues and natural resource issues. These plans are also incorporated into the state water plan.
Three regional planning areas overlie the Brazos River basin: Region C in the upper Plains area, Brazos G in Central Texas, and Region H in the southern portion of the basin.