"The plan underscores the importance of implementing the projects in the state water plan. Without those projects in place, Texas will face an 8.9 million acre-foot shortage of water in 2070 in a drought and economic losses of approximately $151 billion by 2070," said Peter Lake, a member of the Texas Water Development Board.

Texas Draft 2017 Water Plan Out for Comments

"The plan underscores the importance of implementing the projects in the state water plan. Without those projects in place, Texas will face an 8.9 million acre-foot shortage of water in 2070 in a drought and economic losses of approximately $151 billion by 2070," said Peter Lake, a member of the Texas Water Development Board.

The Texas Water Development Board announced March 8 that the public comment period for the Draft 2017 State Water Plan is open, and public comments on it will be accepted until 5 p.m. on April 25.

"Years of hard work by hundreds of regional water planning group members and TWDB staff have led to the board's publication of the Draft 2017 State Water Plan for public comment," said TWDB Board Chairman Bech Bruun. "Texans will now have their first look at the newest, most comprehensive state water plan ever produced. We look forward to receiving and incorporating public comments on the draft plan so that we can proceed with final adoption this summer."

That process includes a notice of the board's intent to adopt the 2017 State Water Plan that will be published in the Texas Register March 18 and a hearing where public comments will be accepted on April 18 starting at 6 p.m. The hearing will be held in Austin at the Stephen F. Austin Building, 1700 North Congress Avenue, Room 170.

"For the first time, the Draft 2017 State Water Plan includes an online, interactive website as an integral component of the plan. This addition is a significant achievement for the state, as it allows the public to take an up-close look at water planning data specific to their county or city," said Kathleen Jackson, a member of the board. "Technology is a key part of the plan and by engaging the public through the interactive website, we have the ability to broaden our reach when it comes to educating Texans on the future of water in our state."

According to the board, the draft plan includes approximately 5,500 strategies Texas communities will use to meet their water needs over the next 50 years at a total capital cost of $62.6 billion. "The plan underscores the importance of implementing the projects in the state water plan. Without those projects in place, Texas will face an 8.9 million acre-foot shortage of water in 2070 in a drought and economic losses of approximately $151 billion by 2070," said board member Peter Lake.

Stakeholders unable to attend the hearing can submit written comments to Connie Sanders, Office of General Counsel, TWDB, P.O. Box 13231, Austin, Texas 78711-3231 or by email to PUBLIC-COMMENT@twdb.texas.gov.

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