The newest Texas 2022 water management plan is the first of its kind to have a chapter dedicated to water conservation, according to an article by the Texas Water Newsroom.
On July 7, 2021, the Texas Water Development Board, or TWDB, adopted the state’s 2022 water management plan, which is estimated to cost $80 billion to implement.
The main intention of this updated plan is to ensure that individuals in the agriculture, manufacturing, irrigation and livestock sectors have enough water to meet demand during potential dry seasons, said Temple McKinnon, director of water supply planning for TWDB, in the article.
College Station City Government water services resource coordinator Jennifer Nations discussed this management plan at the local level.
“Having a drought management strategy in place helps communities, manufacturers, farmers and herders stay resilient,” Nations said. “Most of the large reservoirs were built in response to the ‘record drought’ of the 1950s. When you look at population projections and understand that a [new record drought] are looming, it is clear that we must have strategies to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of drought.
the 2022 State Water Plan predicts a gradual increase in the state’s population over the next 50 years, from 29.7 million in 2020 to 51.5 million by 2070. This growth also implies a 9% increase in total demand for water. Peter Knappett, A&M associate professor of geology and geophysics, said that growth is being taken into account.
“Most of the expected population growth is in eastern and central Texas, which ranges from humid to semi-arid climate. said Knappett. “These regions depend on aquifers like the Carrizo-Wilcox with vast volumes of groundwater supply.”
Knappett said there is a distinction between water supply plans and flood plans, noting the importance of recognizing the new plan as subjectively for water supply.
“That’s why people save,” Knappett said. “Building dams all over Texas at the 20and century was like setting up savings accounts. Perhaps a better analogy is that past generations pass on wealth to their children.
A&M civil engineering professor Gretchen Miller said the state is constantly working on water bodies that keep up with modern technology and advancements. The plans are updated every five years and the next will be released in 2026.
“Texas law requires that the water plan be updated every five years and that each plan cover a 50-year horizon,” Miller said. “Given the information that needs to be compiled, the meetings that need to be held between planning groups and the public, and the enormous scope of the document, the Texas Water Development Board typically needs to begin work on the next body of water as soon as the current one is over.”
The Nations also declared that the Brazos G Regional Water Plan was completed in 2021 and incorporated into the 2022 National Water Plan.
“The Brazos G Regional Water Plan is comprised of population projections and water management strategies for various water user groups such as cities, counties, mining, irrigation, livestock, manufacturing and steam power,” Nations said. “Within the [Brazos G] Regional water plans are individual water supply plans for these water user groups. the  The state water body and regional water bodies contain important information that communities can use to plan their future water needs. »
Nations said it has done many studies on landscape irrigation efficiency and mentioned the importance of water conservation and management in this area.
“Conservation is absolutely essential in a state as drought-prone as Texas,” Nations said. “I like to say ‘the cheapest water we’ll ever have is the one we already have’, and it’s true. The total amount of water on Earth is fixed, but it is more or less available at all times due to the water cycle. I see conservation as another source of supply.
Nations talked about achieving goals as a community and focusing on water conservation with the help of the recently updated 2022 State Water Plan.
“When we can achieve the same goals while using less water, that water is made available for later use,” Nations said. “Conservation is not a punitive measure, but rather a more efficient use of resources.”