Stewards of Water Resources from Amistad to the Gulf
The Rio Grande Regional Water Planning Group (Rio Grande RWPG) is one of 16 local bodies established under Senate Bill 1 to coordinate long-range water supply planning by bringing together stakeholders representing a variety of interests. The Rio Grande Regional Water Planning Area (also known as "Region M") includes Maverick, Webb, Zapata, Jim Hogg, Starr, Hidalgo, Willacy, and Cameron counties. Regional Facts
Region M News Archives
Water Crisis: Historic crop losses possible in the Texas Rio Grande Valley
"In spite of significant but short-lived rain in late April, an escalating water shortage in Deep South Texas has most farmers comparing this early crop year to 2006 crop when the Lower Rio Grande Valley region suffered an estimated $50 million dollars in crop losses. In fact, over two years of serious drought and an overdue delivery of water from Mexico that has caused additional water shortages have left both dryland producers and farmers who rely on irrigation wondering if 2013 crop losses will exceed historic levels, perhaps reaching as high as $100 million by the end of the year…" Southwest Farm Press, 3 May 2013
Special Report: Water in the RGV
"Water, it's a precious resource. Several parts of the Rio Grande Valley are in jeopardy of running out of this life-giving liquid for two main reasons the current drought conditions and Mexico's failure to deliver water under the 1944 International Water Treaty..." WATCH VIDEO, KVEO, 2 May 2013
Despite rain, South Texas crop losses could hit $100 million
"Despite drenching rains April 28, drought-stricken row crops growers in the Lower Rio Grande Valley may be in for another disastrous year, possibly doubling their $50 million drought losses of 2006, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts in Weslaco..." AgriLife Today, 1 May 2013
Cornyn Calls on Obama to Address Looming Water Shortage with President Nieto on Mexico Trip
"U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) today called on President Obama to address the looming threat of water shortages in Texas during his visit with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto: 'The water debt and uncertainty about supply harms Texas farmers, ranchers, and small businesses who rely on regular, reliable sources of water...'" Read full press release, 2 May 2013
Regional water authority board to fund media blitz dinging Mexico over water treaty
"U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela Jr., D-Brownsville, said he has no assurance that President Barack Obama will discuss the water debt owed to Texas farmers when he meets with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto today in Mexico City. Vela said it is unfair that the United States has always complied with the 1944 Water Treaty, always releasing required amounts of water from the Colorado River into the Rio Grande, while Mexico ignores its obligations..." Rio Grande Guardian, 2 May 2013
Third year of drought threatens South Texas crops
"Farmers in the Texas Coastal Bend who were lucky enough to get crops out of the ground this spring could still make an average or a little less than average crop if they get something close to normal rainfall for the rest of the growing season..." Southwest Farm Press, 30 April 2013
Opinion: Mexico must release more water
"Perhaps residents in the parched Rio Grande Valley should just do a rain dance. It might prove more fruitful than ongoing federal negotiations to persuade Mexico to release more water from the Rio Grande. Those negotiations have yet to produce much of anything, and there is no resolution in sight..." San Antonio Express-News, 30 April 2013
Barrera: Mexico must pay its water debt
"The Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas is suffering the effects of extreme drought from two sources: natural and manmade. There’s not much that can be done about a lack of rainfall, but when drought is exacerbated by political decisions, something can and should be done. A good time to start is when President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in Mexico City on Thursday." Read full op-ed column in the Austin American-Statesman, 29 April 2013
Lake Amistad reaches record low
"In just three years, water levels at Lake Amistad went from a near-record high to an all-time low. As a result, the amount of water released from Amistad to the Falcon Reservoir will be reduced beginning Sunday." Brownsville Herald, 26 April 2013
Drought takes toll on South Texas cotton acreage
"All indications are that cotton growers in the Lower Rio Grande Valley this year will produce one of the area’s smallest crops on record, according to experts at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco." AgriLife Today, 26 April 2013
As Texas prepares to fund water projects, McAllen utility drafts shovel-ready plans
"When federal stimulus money trickled down to Texas about three years ago, the McAllen Public Utility had shovel-ready plans — and saved millions. With the Texas Legislature now debating a $2 billion fund for water infrastructure projects, having construction plans ready could pay dividends again." McAllen Monitor, 25 April 2013
South Texas Irrigation District Almost Tapped Dry
"After each day without rain in Texas, Troy Allen's dread of the first week of June grows. Allen, the general manager of the Delta Lake Irrigation District in Edcouch, says that if current drought conditions persist, he will have bad news for farmers in the area come June 2..." Texas Tribune, 25 April 2013
Record drought could drag on
"When the spigot turned off in October 2010, it stayed off. And there’s no telling when it could turn back on again. The National Weather Service says the South Texas drought is the worst in modern memory, with only a 0.1 percent chance of happening during the past 120 years..." Brownsville Herald, 24 April 2013
Utility calls for voluntary water conservation
"Brownsville residents will be asked to begin voluntary water conservation May 1 as Stage 1 of the city’s drought contingency plan goes into effect. The plan, which was approved by the City Commission in 2006, asks citizens to voluntarily conserve and limit their water use through the end of the summer." Brownsville Herald, 23 April 2013
How much longer will South Texas be in a drought?
"Looks like it’s going to be a hot, but not wet, South Texas summer. Corpus Christi and the rest of South Texas likely will remain in the clutches of an exceptional drought for the foreseeable future, based on short- and long term weather models published on Monday by the National Weather Service-Corpus Christi…" Corpus Christi Caller Times, 22 April 2013
Water on the way
"The International Boundary and Water Commission says it will begin releasing more water from Amistad Dam to meet irrigation and municipal water demand in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The increased water releases this month will bring a higher flow to the river, the U.S. section of the IBWC said in a statement Friday…" Valley Morning Star, 19 April 2013
News Release: Rio Grande Valley Suffers While Mexico Withholds Water
"Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Commissioner Carlos Rubinstein today urged the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) and the U.S. State Department to compel Mexico to deliver Rio Grande system water to the United States..." Read full release here, 16 April 2013
'Hurry up' cotton planting increases Texas Valley cotton acres
"Cotton acres in the Rio Grande Valley are increasing in mid-April, but, thanks to the drought and continuing water issues, current acreage represents only a percentage of historical planted acres…" Southwest Farm Press, 15 April 2013
Officials eye water conservation efforts
"As the drought lingers, emergency management officials are looking to coordinate efforts for minimizing water consumption." Valley Morning Star, 11 April 2013
House to feds: Pressure Mexico to release water
"The Texas House on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution that urges the U.S. State Department to pressure the Mexican government to release water owed to Texas under the terms of a 70-year-old treaty." The Monitor, 11 April 2013
Uncertainty over Mexico's Willingness to Pay Water Debt
"Mexico has yet to release the water it owes the United States as part of a mutual agreement between the two nations. The issue has drawn the attention of officials on the U.S. side of the border, particularly in the Rio Grande Valley." KRGV-TV, 10 April 2013
U.S. officials discuss water debt
"Extreme frustration about Mexico’s lag in providing water owed to drought-stricken Texas farmers, ranchers and cities was vented Wednesday at an International Boundary and Water Commission meeting." Valley Morning Star, 10 April 2013
State Department says ‘no word from Mexico’ about water delivery
"A U.S. Congressman from South Texas says water concerns are mounting among city leaders, residents and farmers in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas over the delivery of water from Mexico as required by a 1944 water treaty, especially after getting a letter April 1 from Thomas Gibbons, U.S. State Department assistant secretary of legislative affairs." Southwest Farm Press, 8 April 2013
McAllen considers plan to revamp splash parks
"Modifying McAllen’s splash parks to conserve water would cost $375,000, according to a drought plan released Monday by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. . . . Deputy Director Mike Hernandez presented Parks and Recreation’s drought plan to the McAllen City Commission on Monday. In addition to conservation measures, the wide-ranging plan includes proposals to drill test wells and buy water from irrigation districts." McAllen Monitor, 10 April 2013
Governor calls on Obama to intervene on Mexico’s debt
"Gov. Rick Perry has formally requested President Barack Obama intervene in the water dispute between the United States and Mexico. Perry on Tuesday sent a letter to Obama stating that without direction from the White House and the State Department, Texans along the Rio Grande will continue to suffer because of Mexico’s refusal to abide by the 1944 water treaty." Brownsville Herald, 9 April 2013
Valley demands more water
"Mexico has started to release water from its reservoirs to the United States, but federal, state and local officials say it is not enough to ease the concerns of South Texas farmers and municipalities. Worse, they fear water users will forgo practicing or initiating water conservation measures because of the release." Brownsville Herald, 8 April 2013
Official: Water release ‘a slap in the face’
"Mexico’s release of a small amount of water is an insult to a region where some cities may be have to share the cost of buying water for their residents, an irrigation district official said Monday." Valley Morning Star, 8 April 2013
Mexico water release called a 'pittance'
"Water from Mexico is on the way, but apparently not enough to bring much relief to parched Rio Grande Valley communities." San Antonio Express-News, 8 April 2013
Drought forces more plants to treat low-quality water
"As the prolonged drought tightens its grip on the Rio Grande Valley, reservoir levels continue to drop and city water treatment plants will be processing poorer quality raw water from the Rio Grande, regional, state and local water officials say." Valley Morning Star, 7 April 2013
Mexico to release water for Texas
"Mexico has agreed to release more water into the Rio Grande for use by agriculture and other interests on the Texas side of the river, according to the international commission that arbitrates water-rights disputes between the two neighbors." Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 7 April 2013.
Alamo joins area cities in tightening water restrictions
"Water use is becoming more precious as Alamo joins the list of cities cracking down on citizens for watering lawns and looks warily at the prospect of more hot, dry weather." McAllen Monitor, 6 April 2013
Region M approves resolution on Mexican water debt
At its April 2013 meeting, Region M approved a resolution requesting that the IBWC, U.S. Department of State, and the President take action to resolve issues with Mexico regarding compliance with the 1944 Treaty. Read the full resolution here.
Vela has strong message for IBWC, State Department
"Freshman U.S. Congressman Filemon Vela isn’t watering down his reaction to the U.S. State Department and the International Boundary and Water Commission: 'They don’t give a damn about South Texas,' he told The Brownsville Herald." Brownsville Herald, 2 April 2013
Rio Hondo imposes outdoor water restrictions
"Officials are cracking down on water use to urge residents to conserve water as persistent drought could force the city to buy water." Valley Morning Star, 1 April 2013
No water worries in Harlingen
"Despite water use restrictions for some Rio Grande Valley cities, Harlingen WaterWorks officials learned this week they can rely on an adequate water supply this year." Valley Morning Star, 29 March 2013
TWDB accepting applications for ag water conservation grants
The Texas Water Development Board’s Agricultural Water Conservation Fund is accepting applications for grants for the state fiscal year 2013. Political subdivisions, state agencies, and state institutions of higher learning are eligible to apply for grants totaling up to $600,000 for agricultural irrigation water use measurement equipment, agricultural irrigation system improvements, and feasibility and assessment study of remote sensing technologies to assist with estimating irrigation water use. Applications are due April 17. READ MORE
Conservation rules could impact McAllen’s splash parks
"On April 1, McAllen will impose so-called 'Stage 2' water conservation rules. While the rules don’t specifically address McAllen’s splash parks, they do forbid non-recycling fountains. The Stage 2 water restrictions also limit how often homeowners may water yards and wash cars." McAllen Monitor, 24 March 2013
Lawmakers seek status of water negotiations
"Cameron County Judge Carlos H. Cascos says it might be time for U.S. congressmen from South Texas to get President Barack Obama involved in talks about getting Mexico to release water it owes to this country." Brownsville Herald, 23 March 2013
Bold Proposal: Willacy mulls desalination plant at Port Mansfield
"As a crippling drought takes hold in Willacy County, a proposal has surfaced to build a desalination plant at Port Mansfield and a pipeline along Highway 186 to Raymondville to provide a second water source." Valley Morning Star, 22 March 2013
Cascos: Time for Obama to get involved in treaty talks
"[F]ederal lawmakers were still waiting Friday evening for a response from the U.S. State Department on the status of its negotiations with Mexico about meeting its obligations under a water-sharing treaty. Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos suggested that congressional leaders ask for President Barack Obama’s help." Valley Morning Star, 22 March 2013
DIRE STRAITS: Valley leaders ask Mexico to release more water
"U.S. Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, D-Mercedes, said officials have been in negotiations with Mexico to address Mexico’s water deficit, which is exacerbated by the drought." Valley Morning Star, 20 March 2013
Edinburg rancher: Dry times mean lean herd
"It isn’t just crops and growers that are in trouble in the midst of the Valley’s lingering drought. Ranchers, too, are suffering as badly as citrus growers, sugar growers and row crop farmers, said D.V. Guerra Jr., of Edinburg, a lifelong rancher who has greatly reduced his herd rather than buy hay to feed them as he did during a drought in the 1960s." Valley Morning Star, 19 March 2013
New Weslaco water treatment plant under way
"At the city water treatment plant near Mile 9 and Texas Boulevard, crews were busy Thursday afternoon digging in a large open pit, which will soon turn raw water into drinking water." McAllen Monitor, 3/18/13
South Texas farmers face tough decision as deadline approaches
"Friday, March 15, is the annual deadline to sign up for federal crop insurance for Spring seeded crops such as corn, soybeans, spring oats and grain sorghum, and while farmers from the Texas Rio Grande Valley to the Coastal Bend are anxious to get seed in the ground, another looming year of drought and a shortage of soil moisture has kept most from rolling equipment into their fields." Southwest Farm Press, 3/12/13
Lawmakers: Mexico Falling Short on Water Agreement
Sounding the alarm over a 70-year-old treaty that governs the release of water to Texas by Mexican officials, state and federal lawmakers say that Mexico is again falling short on its part of the agreement and that water users in the Rio Grande basin are feeling the impact. Texas Tribune, 3/13/13.
Texas legislators to call for Mexican water releases
Texas legislators are joining the campaign to ask Mexico to release more water into the Rio Grande in compliance with a 1944 treaty. McAllen Monitor, 3/13/13
Group seeks state funding for water conservation
A grassroots movement to save the state’s rivers will be in Brownsville on Thursday to solicit support for the cause. Brownsville Herald, 3/12/13.
If push comes to shove: Drought puts Willacy cities in precarious spot
"With water levels in the Rio Grande’s reservoirs dropping to their lowest points since 2002, Raymondville’s plight underscores local concerns as the South Texas drought shows no sign of abating." READ MORE
Mexican Water Debt Focus of Regional Debate
"With the drought worsening in South Texas and Mexico falling behind on its water payments to the United States, interest in building a third international dam on the Rio Grande is growing." More at Rio Grande Guardian.
Water shortage in Valley again fuels tensions with Mexico
"Farmers already are running out of water, and since irrigation water 'carries' municipal water through the Valley's vast system of irrigation canals, 13 cities and two municipal suppliers have gotten letters warning that their water may soon run out." Full story from San Antonio Express-News.
Water rights seminar provides perspective on Valley water crisis
Valley stakeholders gathered in Weslaco on Monday, March 4 for a "Seminar on Water Rights and Public Policy: The Lower Rio Grande." Leaders from the IBWC, TCEQ and Region M served as panelists in an open discussion with local leaders, farmers, and irrigation district personnel about what the future may hold in the face of critical water shortages. "At this point, we can say there will be irrigation districts that are going to run out of water this year," TCEQ Chairman Bryan Shaw told the group. "Municipalities will fall short of having enough water as will industry, including agriculture." READ MORE
Drought, lack of water from Mexico a serious threat to farmers, municipalities in the Valley
A lack of rainfall combined with Mexico’s refusal to release water to the U.S. could cause serious problems for farmers in the Valley this spring. Producers are rethinking their planting schedules after being informed that they may be limited to one irrigation application for commercial crops. As meteorological forecasts predict little rain and Mexico’s treaty-based water debt grows, municipalities can also expect to feel the pinch of a decreased available water supply. READ MORE
Valley and State Officials To Meet with U.S. State Department on Mexico's Growing Water Debt
Valley irrigation districts and commodity groups at the Texas Ag Water Forum in Austin highlighted the serious issues issues stemming from Mexico's failure to comply with treaty obligations. A March trip to D.C. Is planned with Rep. Eddie Lucio III and TCEQ Comm. Carlos Rubinstein to meet with U.S. State Department. Full story here.
Rep. Eddie Lucio III commends Congressional efforts on Mexican water debt
In a Feb. 19, 2013, press release, Rep. Eddie Lucio III commends action on Valley drought issues and says "alleviating the drought has become a top issue on my agenda in the Texas Legislature." MORE
As Mexico Shares Less Water With Texas, Lawmakers Watch and Worry
February 13, 2013 - State lawmakers and agency heads discussed Mexico’s lack of water contribution to the Rio Grande River, the state of the State Water Plan and invasive species at the House Natural Resources committee meeting at the Capitol yesterday...READ MORE
Region M elects new Executive Committee, calls for new members
Region M elected a new Executive Committee at their February 6, 2013 meeting. The new committee members are: Glenn Jarvis, Chair; Tomas Rodriguez, Vice-Chairman; Mary Lou Campbell, Secretary/Treasurer; and members Frank Schuster and Sonny Hinojosa. In addition, the group is seeking letters of interest from persons willing to serve Region M as a member in one of four different categories: Small Business, County, River Authority, and Agriculture. For more information on how to apply, call 956-682-3481.
Governor Again Renews Drought Certification
On January 25, 2013, Gov. Rick Perry again renewed the disaster proclamation of July 5, 2011, that exceptional drought conditions pose a threat of imminent disaster in a specified number of counties in the State of Texas, including Cameron, Hidalgo, Maverick, Webb, and Willacy counties. "[A]ll rules and regulations that may inhibit or prevent prompt response to this threat are suspended for the duration of the state of disaster." The Governor had previously renewed the proclamation several times. Click here for the full text of the latest proclamation.
Report recommends water action, recognizes South Texas project
"Despite significant investments over the past decades, rapid population and business growth, lack of financial resources, gaps in authority and the declining quality of water resources contribute to significant water and water infrastructure needs" along the U.S. border with Mexico, says the Good Neighbor Environmental Board in its 15th annual report on environmental infrastructure needs within the U.S. states contiguous to Mexico. The Environmental, Economic and Health Status of Water Resources in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region was released Dec. 12, 2012.
The report recommends a number of specific actions to be initiated by the federal government that will lead to increased collaboration and coordination, reduced discharge into border water bodies, enhanced drinking and wastewater infrastructure, and improved financial conditions.
It also cites as a water supply case study the Agricultural Water Conservation Demonstration Initiative (known as the Texas Project for Ag Water Efficiency) being conducted by the Harlingen Irrigation District (see page 31 of the report).
The Good Neighborhood Environmental Board is an independent federal advisory committee managed by the US Environmental Protection Agency that advises the President and Congress of the United States on good neighbor practices along the U.S. border with Mexico.
Governor Again Renews Drought Certification
On November 30, 2012, Gov. Rick Perry again renewed the disaster proclamation of July 5, 2011, that exceptional drought conditions pose a threat of imminent disaster in a specified number of counties in the State of Texas, including Cameron, Hidalgo, Maverick, Webb, and Willacy counties. "[A]ll rules and regulations that may inhibit or prevent prompt response to this threat are suspended for the duration of the state of disaster." The Governor had previously renewed the proclamation several times. Click here for the full text of the latest proclamation.
US & Mexico Agree to New Rules on Sharing Colorado River Water
The United States and Mexico on Tuesday November 20, 2012 signed a pact for new rules on sharing water from the Colorado River, capping a five-year effort on how to spread the pain of drought and reap the benefits of wet years. Read full story here; click here for a timeline of key Colorado River water use events.
Texas A&M AgriLife Research has released a set of recommendations for South Texas growers facing an extended drought and dwindling water supplies. Read the story here, and read the Irrigation Management Recommendations here.
Governor Again Renews Drought Certification
On November 2, 2012, Gov. Rick Perry again renewed the disaster proclamation of July 5, 2011, that exceptional drought conditions pose a threat of imminent disaster in a specified number of counties in the State of Texas, including Cameron, Hidalgo, Maverick, Webb, and Willacy counties. "[A]ll rules and regulations that may inhibit or prevent prompt response to this threat are suspended for the duration of the state of disaster." The Governor had previously renewed the proclamation on July 13, 2012. Click here for the full text of the latest proclamation.
FY 2013 Rio Grande Watermaster Assessment
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has approved a $50 base rate assessment fee on water rights accounts served by the Rio Grande Watermaster for the fiscal year September 2012 - August 2013. The rate does not apply to "no charge" water and certain excess flow permits. The assessments, totaling just under $780,000, will fund Rio Grande Watermaster operations for the year. The fee was approved by TCEQ Commissioners at their September 19th agenda. Details here. FY 2013 assessments will be mailed in September and October.
NOTICE TO PUBLIC
Notice of Application for Regional Water Planning Grant Funding For the Completion of the Fourth Cycle of Regional Water Planning
TWDB Accepting Public Comments on Draft 2012 State Water Plan
The Texas Water Development Board is accepting public comments on the draft 2012 State Water Plan. A formal public hearing will be held October 17 in Austin, Texas. Comments are also being accepted via mail and e-mail through October 25. For more information about the plan and how to comment, visit the TWDB State Water Plan web page.
Addendum to RFQ
Region M has issued an addendum to the RFQ entitled "Prepare Regional Water Plan For Rio Grande Regional Water Planning Group (Region M, TWDB)"
Public Notice: RGRWPG to Hold Public Meetings about Fourth Cycle of Regional Water Planning
Region M is seeking input from the public on the scope of planning activities to be considered during the Fourth Cycle of Regional Water Planning. The Public Meetings have been scheduled for Tuesday, May 10 and Thursday, May 12, both from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. noon. They will be held at the Zapata County Courthouse (2nd floor) LRGVDC Transportation Center, located at 200 7th Avenue 510 S. Pleasantview Drive in Zapata, Texas. Written comments must be submitted to the LRGVDC or TWDB by Friday, May 13, 2011, Attn: Mr. Kevin Ward, Executive Administrator Texas Water Development Board, 1700 N. Congress, Austin, Texas 78711 or Attn: Mr. Kenneth N. Jones, Jr., Executive Director Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council, 311 N. 15th Street, McAllen, Texas 78501. Read the full public notice here.
Public Notice: RGRWPG to Sumbit Application for Grant Assistance from Texas Water Development Board
Region M has has designated the LRGVDC to submit an application to the Texas Water Development Board for state financial assistance for funding for preparation of the 2011-2016 planning cycle. The application deadline is April 8th, 2011. Copies of the application may be obtained from the LRGVDC from Mr. Kenneth N. Jones, Jr., Executive Director Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council, 311 N. 15th Street McAllen, Texas 78501. For additional information read the full public notice here.
Request for Statement of Qualifications
The Rio Grande Regional Water Planning Group (Region M, TWDB) located at 311 N. 15th Street, McAllen, Texas; hereby requests sealed Request for Statement of Qualifications for the following title:
Prepare Regional Water Plan For Rio Grande Regional Water Planning Group (Region M, TWDB)
Request for Qualifications packets may be obtained at the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council offices located at the address indicated above or can be downloaded from the web site lrgvdc.org/procurement and riograndewaterplan.org. RFQ response must be received on or before 5:00 p.m. (CST) Friday, May 13, 2011 at the address above. The envelope must be clearly marked with the RFQ Title.
Any informational questions for the Request for Statement of Qualifications may be directed to LRGVDC Procurement Director at 956-682-3481.
The Rio Grande Regional Water Planning Group (Region M, TWDB) reserves the right to reject any and all proposals submitted, and reserves the right to seek new proposals if it is in the best interest of the Rio Grande Regional Water Planning Group (Region M, TWDB). The Rio Grande Regional Water Planning Group (Region M, TWDB) reserves the right to conduct interviews with any and all firms prior to selection. Request for Statement of Qualifications submitted past the date and time mentioned above will not be accepted.
Rio Grande Regional Water Plan Adopted by TWDB
After three years of study, feedback, and revisions, an updated Rio Grande Regional Water Plan was approved by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) on December 16, 2010.
An overview of the revised plan that was prepared by TWDB staff shows that the Rio Grande Region’s population is expected to grow at a much faster rate than the rest of Texas between now and 2060. To meet future demands for water from agriculture, municipalities, and industries, the Rio Grande Regional Water Planning Group has recommended a variety of water management strategies, including irrigation conservation, reuse, brackish water desalination, and surface water reallocations. The entire plan can be read, chapter by chapter, on the Water Plan page of this website.
The state’s 16 regional water plans will be incorporated into the 2012 State Water Plan.
Rio Grande RWPG Adopts Revised Regional Plan for 2010
The Rio Grande Regional Water Planning Group unanimously adopted its revised regional water plan on Wednesday, September 29. After three years of study, the new plan includes updated information on projected water supplies, water demands, and water management strategies through 2060. The plan is nearly 1,500 pages long. Before its adoption, consultant Jacob M. White, P.E. of NRS Consulting Engineers thanked every member of the Region M RWPG for his or her involvement in crafting the plan. He also thanked the Texas Water Development Board’s (TWDB) liaison to Region M, Connie Townsend, for her thoroughness in reviewing the plan which led to many improvements.
According to Ms. Townsend, the TWDB is tentatively scheduled to consider the Region M plan during its December 16th board meeting in Austin.
In the News
Gov. Perry requests federal funding for Valley flood control Read More
Region M Finalizing 2010 Regional Plan
The Rio Grande Regional Water Planning Group (RGRWPG) has completed the public input process, and is finalizing its updated regional water plan. The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) will take each of the state’s 16 regional water plans and incorporate them into the 2011 State Water Plan. The deadline for most planning groups to adopt a revised plan is September 1, 2010; Region M has requested an extension until October 1. They will meet on Sept. 29 for final approval of the plan.
Read the 2010 Region M report that will be up for final approval at the next meeting (file format is PDF, requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader):
Socioeconomic Impacts of Projected Water Shortages for the Rio Grande Regional Water Planning Area (Region M)
Administrative rules require that regional water planning groups evaluate the impacts of not meeting water needs as part of the regional water planning process, and rules direct staff of the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) to provide technical assistance: “The executive administrator shall provide available technical assistance to the regional water planning groups, upon request, on water supply and demand analysis, including methods to evaluate the social and economic impacts of not meeting needs” [(§357.7 (4)(A)]. Staff of the TWDB’s Water Resources Planning Division designed and conducted the following report in support of the Rio Grande Regional Water Planning Group (Region M).
This document summarizes the results of their analysis and discusses the methodology used to generate the results. Section 1 outlines the overall methodology and discusses approaches and assumptions specific to each water use category (i.e., irrigation, livestock, mining, steam-electric, municipal and manufacturing). Section 2 presents the results for each category where shortages are reported at the regional planning area level and river basin level. Results for individual water user groups are not presented, but are available upon request.
Read the report here.
Planning Group Honors Board Members
The Rio Grande Regional Water Planning Group honored retiring board member Roberto Gonzalez during its June 2, 2010 meeting. Mr. Gonzalez served as general manager of the City of Eagle Pass Water Works System for more than 27 years, representing municipalities on the planning group board since 1998.
Born in Zaragoza, Mexico, Mr. Gonzalez attended Uvalde and Eagle Pass public schools before graduating from Texas A&I University. He was the first Mexican-American city manager of Eagle Pass when he was first hired in 1977. He has been an active member of his community, participating in various civic and regional initiatives, including serving as board president for Futuro Empowerment Zone Inc.
Because of his retirement from the City of Eagle Pass, Mr. Gonzalez is also resigning his position on the Region M board.
The board’s vice chairman, Jim Darling, presented Mr. Gonzalez with a plaque honoring his many years of service.
The board also observed a moment of silence in honor of former board member Charles Browning, Jr., who passed away in May. Mr. Browning was the general manager of the North Alamo Water Supply Corporation. He was a charter member of the Rio Grande Regional Water Planning Group, representing water utilities.
Updated IPP Chapters Available for Review and Comment
Updated chapters of the Initially Prepared Plan (IPP) are available for public review and comment. Public comments are still being accepted through June 28 at the contact information listed at the bottom of the page. The original versions of all ten chapters are also available at the bottom of this page.
Read the updated IPP by downloading the following chapters:
For those desiring to edit the chapters by typing comments directly into the files, Word docs are also available. Keep in mind that fonts and formatting may not transfer to your version of Word.
Rio Grande Regional Water Planning Group Solicitation of Nominations
The Rio Grande Regional Water Planning Group (RGRWPG) is seeking nominations to fill vacancies on the voting membership. Nominations will be accepted for one (1) vacancy in the County Category, and (1) vacancy in the Small Business Category.
Nominations will be open until positions are filled.
Nominations must be submitted in written form to the RGRWPG Executive Committee, c/o Kenneth N. Jones, Jr., Executive Director of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council (LRGVDC), 311 North 15th Street, McAllen, Texas 78501-4705.
Details regarding eligibility criteria for the interest categories identified, the conditions of membership, and other questions regarding objectives of the RGRWPG may be obtained by contacting the LRGVDC at the above address or by calling 956-682-3481.
Region M Holds Public Hearings on Initially Prepared Plan
The Rio Grande Regional Water Planning Group (Region M) held two public hearings in April on its Initially Prepared Plan (IPP), which is an updated version of the 2005-06 regional water plan. The first public hearing was held on April 21, 2010 at Weslaco City Hall, with the second public hearing occurring on April 28, 2010 at the Laredo Public Library. At both hearings, interested people came to learn more about what will be included in the plan.
Audience members asked questions about where the plan’s population numbers come from, where the Laredo brackish groundwater desalination project will be built, what the lower Valley thinks of Laredo’s plan to build a low-water weir, and if impacts to the area’s endangered species are being considered in the plan. The planning group’s consultant, Jake White of NRS Consulting Engineers, answered their questions. At the Laredo hearing, the city’s director of utilities, Tomas M. Rodriguez, Jr., also answered many questions.
Residents in the Rio Grande Regional Water Planning area (Maverick, Webb, Zapata, Jim Hogg, Starr, Hidalgo, Cameron, and Willacy Counties) are encouraged to read the updated plan and send comments to the planning group before the June 28, 2010 deadline.
Each chapter of the plan can be downloaded and read below, along with instructions on how and where to send comments.
Water Planning Group Adopts IPP; Public Notice: Dates Set for Public Hearings
The Rio Grande Regional Water Planning Group (RGRWPG) adopted its Initially Prepared Plan (IPP) during a public meeting on February 17, 2010. The IPP updates information previously contained in the 2006 regional water plan. The updates to the Rio Grande Regional Water Plan, like those of the state’s other regions, will be incorporated into the 2011 State Water Plan.
Public hearings on the IPP were set for Wednesday, April 21, at 10 a.m. at the Weslaco City Hall Legislative Chamber, 255 S. Kansas St., Weslaco, TX 78596, and Wednesday, April 28, at 11 a.m. at the Laredo Public Library located at 1120 Calton Road. Electronic copies of the chapters are linked below; hard copies of the chapters are available for public review in each county's County Clerk office, and in one library in each county, as well as the LRGVDC office. Click here to read the full public notice, which includes county clerk and library locations.
Read the IPP by downloading the following chapters:
Please send written comments on the IPP to:
For additional information please contact Mr. Jones at (956) 682-3481. The deadline for comments is 60 days after the Laredo public hearing, or June 28, 2010.
Inital Review of Chapters 3, 5, 6, & 7 of Next "Initially Prepared Plan" for Region M Now Available
Region M reviewed four more proposed chapters of the region’s next Initially Prepared Plan (IPP) at its Feb. 3 workshop.
Please read Chapter 3 here (PDF version) or here (Word version).
January Revisions of Chapters 1 & 2 of Next "Initially Prepared Plan" for Region M Now Available
At its December and January meetings, Region M reviewed and offered revisions to two proposed chapters of the region’s next Initially Prepared Plan (IPP). Those revisions have been incorporated into the chapters, and the updated versions are now available.
Please read Chapter 1 revised January 2010 here (PDF version) or here (Word version).
Public Notice: Two Public Workshops in February to Review Chapters of Initially Prepared Regional Water Plan, Public Meeting to Adopt Initially Prepared Plan on February 17, 2010
The Rio Grande Regional Water Planning Group (Region M) will hold two workshops in February so board members can continue to review draft chapters of the region’s Initially Prepared Plan (IPP) as they are finalized (READ FULL PUBLIC NOTICE HERE). A January 14, 2010 workshop was held to review Chapters 1 & 2 which described the planning area in detail and reviewed population and water demand projections.
The next workshop will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 3, after the Rio Grande Regional Water Authority meeting.
The last workshop will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 17, before the Region M board meets at 11:00 a.m. that day to consider final adoption of the IPP.
All of these meetings are held at the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council’s Transportation Center located at 510 S. Pleasantview Drive in Weslaco.
The chapters that are currently being finalized are as follows:
The IPP must be submitted to the Texas Water Development Board by March 1. After feedback from TWDB and the general public, the regional plan will be finally adopted in August. All of the state’s regional water plans will then be incorporated into the 2011 State Water Plan.
Rio Grande RWPG Administrative AgentLower Rio Grande Valley Development Council
311 N. 15th Street
McAllen, TX 78501-4705