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2012 Texas State Water Plan


What is this site and what does it do?

As part of our ongoing efforts to promote awareness about water shortages and create transparency, TWDB launched this new interactive website that makes 2012 State Water Plan data easily viewable. This first-of-its-kind online application makes it easy to get details about potential water shortages and water management strategies that regional water planning groups recommended to address them:

  • In multiple planning decades over the next 50 years, with changes over time
  • At the community, state, region, county and entity level
  • With several map layer options

This new website lets water users statewide take an up-close look at data in the 2012 State Water Plan and how water needs change over time. The user-friendly website, which is also easily viewed on most mobile devices, now shows:

  • projected water demands,
  • existing water supplies,
  • the relative severity and projected water needs (potential shortages), and
  • the water management strategies recommended to address potential shortages

over the next 50 years in geographical and tabular forms. Note that all county-based water user group categories are mapped to the same location at the center of each county.

How do I find the information I'm looking for?

  1. Choose a type of water planning data from the four colored menu tabs near the top:
    • Projected Water Demands
    • Existing Supplies
    • Water Needs (potential shortages)
    • Recommended Strategy Supplies
  2. Use the dropdown menus or click on the map or table elements (depending on the view you are in), to select either:
    • the geographic area of interest (region, county, or water user group); or
    • the water usage type (e.g., irrigation), type of strategy (e.g., conservation), or water source of interest
  3. Choose a planning decade (2010 - 2060)
  4. You may also add and/or change map layers by clicking the small icon in the upper right hand corner of the map
  5. Hit the Home link in the upper right corner of the page to reset the page

State Water Plan Data

Development of the state water plan is central to the mission of the TWDB. Based on 16 regional water plans, the plan addresses the needs of all water user groups in the state – municipal, irrigation, manufacturing, livestock, mining, and steam-electric power – during a repeat of the drought of record that the state suffered in the 1950s. The regional and state water plans consider a 50-year planning horizon: 2010 through 2060.

During each five-year planning cycle, planning groups evaluate:

  • population projections,
  • water demand projections, and
  • existing water supplies that would be available during times of drought.

Planning groups identify:

  • water user groups that will not have enough water during times of drought, and
  • recommend strategies that could be implemented to address shortages.

At the end of each five-year regional water planning cycle, agency staff compiles information from the approved regional water plans and other sources to develop the state water plan, which is presented to TWDB's governing Board for adoption. The final adopted plan is then submitted to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and the Texas Legislature.

The 2012 State Water Plan is the ninth state water plan and the third plan based on the regional water planning process. In addition to incorporating the regional water plans, the state water plan serves as a guide to state water policy.


For these and other terms, see also the 2012 State Water Plan glossary.

Volume of water needed to cover 1 acre to a depth of 1 foot. It equals 325,851 gallons.


An aggregation of residential, commercial, and institutional water users in cities with less than 500 people or utilities that provide less than an average of 250,000 gallons per day, as well as unincorporated rural areas in a given county.


Term is generally applied to periods of less than average precipitation over a certain period of time. Associated definitions include meteorological drought (abnormally dry weather), agricultural drought (adverse impact on crop or range production), and hydrologic drought (below average water content in aquifers and/or reservoirs).


Period of time during recorded history when natural hydrological conditions provided the least amount of water supply. For Texas as a whole, the drought of record is generally considered to be from about 1950 to 1957.


Maximum amount of water available from existing sources for use during drought of record conditions that is physically and legally available for use.


Projected water demands in excess of existing water supplies for a water user group or a wholesale water provider. (i.e., potential shortage if no water management strategy is recommended).


Specific project or action to increase water supply or maximize existing supply to meet a specific need.


Portion of the demand for water that exceeds water supply after inclusion of all recommended water management strategies in a regional water plan.


Quantity of water projected to meet the overall necessities of a water user group in a specific future year.


Identified user or group of users for which water demands and water supplies have been identified and analyzed and plans developed to meet water needs. Water user groups are defined at the county level for the manufacturing, irrigation, livestock, steam-electric power generation, and mining water use categories. Municipal water user groups include (a) incorporated cities and selected Census Designated Places with a population of 500 or more; (b) individual or groups of selected water utilities serving smaller municipalities or unincorporated areas; and (c) rural areas not included in a listed city or utility, aggregated for each county.

Other Plans

For the most recent Interactive State Water Plan website, visit

For all State Water Plans, please visit

Downloading Data

Data from the tables may be copied and pasted into spreadsheets.

All water volumes are in units of acre-feet/year.

Below each table is a "Download table" link to download a Comma-Separated Values (CSV) representation of the data in that table. CSV files can be opened with many software applications, including Microsoft Excel.

For any questions regarding the data or how to apply it, please contact:

Related data may be viewed through the Regional Water Planning Data Web Interface.


Data may be programmatically accessed using the Interactive 2012 State Water Plan API. See the API Description page for a description of API methods.

About Us

This website is a product of the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). This project is part of our ongoing efforts to communicate information from the 2012 State Water Plan to planners, scientists, policy makers, and the public.

TWDB is charged by the Texas Legislature with administering the regional water planning process and developing a state water plan every five years. The data presented are the result of that process and are based on the expertise of numerous people and organizations throughout the state of Texas who participated in development of the 2011 Regional Water Plans and the 2012 State Water Plan, including the more than 400 regional water planning group members, consultants, and administrative agencies; staff of the TWDB; Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Department of Agriculture, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and other state and federal agencies; and the individuals and organizations that provided public input during the planning process.

How Do We Plan?

Water planning in Texas starts at the regional level with 16 regional water planning groups, one for each of the 16 designated planning areas in the state. Each planning group consists of about 20 members who represent at least 12 interests, as required by Texas statute, including agriculture, industry, public, environment, municipalities, business, water districts, river authorities, water utilities, counties, power generation, and groundwater management areas.

Interactive 2012 Texas State Water Plan

During each five-year planning cycle, planning groups evaluate population projections, water demand projections, and existing water supplies that would be available during times of drought. Planning groups identify water user groups that will not have enough water during times of drought, recommend strategies that could be implemented to address shortages, and estimate the costs of these strategies. While carrying out these tasks, planning groups assess risks and uncertainties in the planning process and evaluate potential impacts of water management strategies on the state's water, agricultural, and natural resources.

Once the planning groups adopt their regional water plans, they are sent to the TWDB - the state's water supply planning and financing agency - for approval. TWDB then compiles the state water plan, which serves as a guide to state water policy, with information from the regional water plans and policy recommendations to the Texas Legislature. Each step of the process is open to the public and provides numerous opportunities for public input.

Data Sources

All data presented are based on the sixteen 2011 Regional Water Plans and the 2012 State Water Plan. The water planning data are based on the Regional Water Planning Data Application used to collect data from the regional water planning groups.

Summaries of the data presented were published in the 2012 State Water Plan.

For a list of rolled-up recommended water management strategies please see Appendix A.2 of the 2012 State Water Plan.

In the future, we will be adding information regarding projected population, water demands, existing water sources, identified water needs, and other associated data.

Site Policies

This website is an official TWDB ancillary website operated for authorized use only and provided as a public service. This policy describes the TWDB's privacy and security practices regarding information collected from visitors to the website, including what information is collected and how that information is used. Regardless of the information being transmitted to the TWDB, we will protect all such information consistent with applicable law. The privacy of our customers and the security of this website are of utmost importance to the TWDB.

Privacy Policy

The TWDB analyzes server logs for statistical purposes only and makes no attempt to personally identify website visitors. The TWDB does not collect any personally identifiable information, such as names, addresses, phone numbers or e-mail addresses, unless you choose to provide such information. Statistics such as time, date, or pages requested are used for accessing the information of most interest to users and identifying system performance or problem areas. This information is also gathered for anonymous File Transfer Protocol (ftp), remote account login, or for other comparable connections. Information that may be collected at this website through questionnaires, feedback forms, or other means, enables the TWDB to determine a visitor's interests, with the goal of providing better customer service.

All information collected, including server log information and information submitted on electronic forms, is subject to disclosure to others upon request according to the requirements of the Public Information Act (codified at Texas Government Code, Section 552.011, Vernon's 2000) and the State Government Privacy Policies Act (codified at Texas Government Code, Section 559, Vernon's 2001). Information collected by electronic mail and by web forms may be subject to the Public Information Act; however, email addresses of those who correspond with the TWDB are confidential and may not be disclosed unless the sender agrees to such. Exceptions to confidentiality may be reviewed at Texas Government code, Section 552.137.

By sending the TWDB an electronic mail message or submitting a web-based form, you may be sending the agency personally identifying information, such as name and address. In these cases, the TWDB may retain the information as long as necessary to respond to your request or otherwise resolve the subject matter of your e-mail. The TWDB may redirect your message to another government agency or person who is in a better position to answer your question as necessary. Please be aware that e-mails and web-based forms are not necessarily secure from third-party interception or misdirection. For your own protection, you may wish to communicate sensitive information using another method.

Review of Personal Information

An individual who submits information in electronic format through this website is entitled, on request, to receive and review the information that the TWDB collects about the individual, and to have TWDB correct the information. To make a request, please contact the following person:

Public Information Officer
Telephone: (512) 463-8165
Info Desk: (512) 463-7847


For website security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, the TWDB employs monitors and filters to identify and block unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage to the information on this website. Unauthorized access, modification, or destruction of this website are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Texas Penal Code Chapters 33 (Computer Crimes) or 33A (Telecommunications Crimes).

Website Link Policy

This website provides links to other websites, both public and private, for informational purposes. This policy does not apply whenever visitors leave the Interactive 2012 Texas State Water Plan website and follow a link to another website, including the websites of other state agencies and local governments. Links to other websites from this website are provided solely as a courtesy. The TWDB has no control over the posting of material to such websites and cannot take responsibility for the validity of the content. The TWDB endeavors to follow the State Website Link and Privacy Policy, which addresses linking to and from state agency websites. TWDB encourages organizations that link to this website to comply with the provisions of the State Website Link and Privacy Policy, especially regarding protection of the privacy rights of individuals, and to make reasonable efforts to provide accessible websites.


A cookie is a small text file that resides on the user's hard drive, created at the request of the web server to track specific information. The Interactive 2012 Texas State Water Plan Website will use cookies to create session information to facilitate your use of the site. The information contained in these cookies is randomly created information and contain no personally identifiable information, so your anonymity is preserved. These cookies are not stored or tracked after the session ends.


With respect to documents or information available from this website, or documents or information from other servers made available through this website, neither the TWDB nor any of their employees, nor any of their contractors, subcontractors, or their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights.

TWDB makes no effort to independently verify, and does not exert editorial control over, information on pages outside of the Interactive 2012 Texas State Water Plan website. TWDB advises website visitors to read the privacy policies of any third-party websites accessed through this website. TWDB does not endorse any of the products, vendors, consultants, or documentation referenced in this website. Any mention of vendors, products, or services is for informational purposes only.

Copyright Policy

The TWDB freely grants permission to copy and distribute its materials. The agency would appreciate acknowledgment.

Accessibility Policy

In accordance with Texas Government Code, Chapter 2054, Subchapter M, the TWDB is committed to making its websites and other electronic and information resources accessible to individuals with disabilities, including members of the public and agency employees, according to the standards set forth by Title 1 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 205 and Chapter 213.

To ensure that we comply with state and federal law, we review each new web page or application for compliance with the Worldwide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. We also review previously existing web pages and applications for accessibility when we make significant modifications to them. Nonetheless, much of our current content was produced before these guidelines were developed. We are working to ensure that these older web pages and applications also become accessible.

To Get Information in a Different Format

If you use assistive technology and the format of any material on our website interferes with your ability to access information, please e-mail the TWDB's accessibility coordinator through

When you contact us, please be sure to tell us each of these points:

  • The nature of your accessibility problem
  • The format in which you prefer to receive the material
  • The web address of the requested material
  • How we can contact you

With this information, we will be able to respond in the most helpful way possible.

To Ask Us to Review Specific Content

You may also contact us if you would like to suggest that we review a specific web page or application for compliance with WCAG. In that case, be sure to also let us know specific issues you have accessing the content.

To Learn More

Additional information about accessibility programs in Texas is available from the Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities.

Related Information