Agricultural Water Conservation
The Texas Water Development Board recognizes that agriculture is important to the Texas economy, and the cornerstone of many rural communities across the state. Access to adequate water supplies for irrigated agriculture underpins the state's iconic agricultural productivity. The Agricultural Water Conservation team develops estimates of irrigation water use and seeks to advance water use efficiency in agriculture throughout the state.
Irrigation in Texas is currently the largest water use sector, requiring about 9 million acre-feet annually. While irrigated agriculture has long been Texas's single greatest water user, water use by municipalities will likely surpass agricultural water use in the next 50 years. This shift is driven by growth in the urban centers in the state, along with declining water availability for irrigation and improvements in irrigation water use efficiency.
By 2070, agricultural water conservation strategies are projected to result in a savings of 1.3 million acre-feet of water annually—a significant portion of the state's water supply.
The mission of the Agricultural Water Conservation Department is to promote the voluntary adoption of agricultural water conservation best management practices in cooperation with local stakeholders, federal and state agencies, and institutions of higher education.
Through collaboration with USDA-NRCS, Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, local soil and water conservation districts, local groundwater conservation districts, irrigation districts, and the Water Conservation Advisory Council’s Agriculture Workgroup, our staff assists agricultural producers in maximizing irrigation efficiency through the following mechanisms:
- Developing Annual Irrigation Water Use Estimates
- Providing Education, Outreach & Technical Assistance
- Administering Conservation Grants
- Assisting with Conservation Loans
- Funding Demonstration Initiatives
New & Noteworthy
- Apply for an Agricultural Water Conservation Grant - Applications for Fiscal Year 2018 CLOSED February 14, 2018 at noon
- Take our Agricultural Grants Survey to provide your feedback and ideas for the future of the program
- Several projects we’ve funded have been recognized with Texas Environmental Excellence Awards, including the Texas Alliance for Water Conservation and the Texas Project for Ag Water Efficiency. Check them out!
- Blue Legacy Award winners are recognized bi-annually by the Water Conservation Advisory Council. Check them out!
Updated: April 26, 2018