Highlights of 2001 Regional Plan
Plan Amendment No. 1 (PDF, 1.2 MB): Recommendations for Inclusion of Brackish Groundwater and Sea Water Desalination as Water Management Strategies, August 12, 2003
KEY POINTS (as summarized in the State Water Plan, Jan. 2002, by the Texas Water Development Board)
GRAPHS (will open in a pop-up window)
The Planning Group identified water supply needs for 48 out of 83 water user groups in the region. The total needs by 2050 are about 832,583 AFY. There are 39 urban and rural municipalities and 6 irrigation user groups with needs in 2050.
Estimated capital costs of recommended water management strategies for meeting needs over the 50-year planning horizon are about $930 million. Nonspecific strategies recommended to meet all municipal needs include additional or advanced conservation measures ($18 million), nonpotable water reuse ($140 million), and acquisition of additional Rio Grande water ($455 million). The third strategy refers to redistribution, by sale and purchase, of existing river supplies. The Planning Group also recommended local groundwater development ($32 million) and the construction of a weir and channel dam ($81 million) as specific strategies to meet the needs of Laredo and Brownsville, respectively. The weir would capture excess flows that currently go past Brownsville and discharge into the Gulf of Mexico; it would impound 6,000 acre-feet while diverting 40,000 acre-feet of water.
To address irrigation needs, the Planning Group recommended agricultural water conservation involving improvement of the conveyance and distribution system ($98 million); improving on-farm water use efficiency by metering, volumetric pricing and pipes ($106 million); and modification of TCEQ rules for operation of the reservoir system (no cost). The third recommendation was implemented by TCEQ in the spring of 2001. The only unmet needs in 2050 are about 346,000 AFY for irrigation and 9,000 AFY for municipal.
The Planning Group further recommended that the water supply from the Rio Grande be optimized by:
The Planning Group also suggested that a surface water model be made available for the Rio Grande to help determine impacts of environmental flow needs, and it strongly recommended that the U.S. Government take all necessary and appropriate actions to ensure Mexico's full compliance with the terms of the treaty allocating and governing water on the river.
A compact disc containing Vol. I (Plan Report) and Vol. II (Technical Appendix) can be purchased for $10 from LRGVDC:Lower Rio Grande Development Council
311 N. 15th Street
McAllen, Texas - 78501-4705
voice: 956.682.3481; fax: 956.631.4670
Payments must accompany all orders. Checks, cashier's checks and/or money orders are acceptable. Make payable to LRGVDC, and please allow up to ten (10) working days for delivery. All prices include postage and handling.
Additionally, the complete plan (Volumes I and II) may be viewed at the Texas Water Development Board's Regional Water Plans web page.