The South Central Texas Regional Water Planning Group (SCTRWPG), Region L, is one of 16 Texas water-planning groups established by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) to develop regional water plans as required by Senate Bill 1 of the 75th Legislative Session. The SCTRWPG is composed of planning group members representing various interest groups. It is guided by the Texas Water Development Board, led by an Executive Committee, governed by by-laws, and supported by the San Antonio River Authority and a team of technical consultants.
The regional plans provide for water conservation and drought management policies while ensuring the health of the public, economy, and the natural environment. The various elements that become part of the plan are developed through a series of planning meetings that take place over a four-year period. At these meetings, the planning group members review the results of various studies including population projections, existing and future needs for a number of water uses, and deliberate on potential supply options and strategies to meet the future need.
Senate Bill 1 requires that the plan address the needs of all waters users and suppliers unless a particular political subdivision opts out of participating. The resulting recommendations and strategies form the regional plan. The regional plan is submitted to the TWDB for consideration and, once approved, the plan is incorporated into the comprehensive statewide water plan. The plan is updated every five years – four years to form the regional plan and one year to gain acceptance and integration into the statewide plan.
As part of the planning process, the SCTRWPG is required to provide a public participation component to allow the community and various stakeholders an opportunity to comment and contribute to the plan’s development. Planning Groups must provide a process for public input, hold public meetings, and provide the public with the draft report for review and comment.
The development and adoption of each regional plan is crucial for meeting water demands throughout Texas. The TWDB only provides financial assistance to water supply projects that meet needs in a manner consistent with the approved regional water plan. Similarly, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission may not issue a water permit for municipal purposes unless it is consistent with an approved regional water plan.