Three communities facing especially critical water situations

For immediate release.  Contact: Kimberly Leggett at 512-463-5129

AUSTIN - (October 18, 2013) - The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) today approved financial assistance totaling $60,066,024 for water projects in Texas communities. That funding included help for three communities facing especially critical water situations.

  • $10,090,393 to the City of West (McLennan County). Governor Rick Perry declared West in a state of disaster in April as a result of a deadly fertilizer plant explosion that killed and injured residents and destroyed part of the city. Since May, TWDB staff has worked closely with West to identify funding for water and wastewater system repair, as well as to replace aging infrastructure throughout the city.
  • $1,935,000 to the City of Sweetwater (Nolan County). Because of ongoing drought, Sweetwater’s existing surface water sources may be depleted or restricted in the near future. The funding will help the city expand its existing groundwater supply by developing a new well field, construct transmission facilities, and improve the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system to provide a more reliable supply of water.
  • $2,380,000 to the City of Breckenridge (Stephens County). Severe drought conditions have caused the city’s water supplies to dwindle—Hubbard Creek Reservoir, Breckenridge’s main source of water, is expected to be restricted or depleted entirely by the end of 2014. The city plans to install an emergency floating pump station, continue to implement water conservation measures, and determine modifications needed to purchase water from Stephens Regional Special Utility District in emergency situations.

The Board also approved population and water demand projections, which are the first step in the regional water planning process and the foundation for developing the 16 regional water plans and the state water plan. Population is projected to grow to over 51 million by 2070. Total recommended annual water demand projections for the state increase from 18.4 million acre-feet in 2020 to 21.6 million acre-feet in 2070. Municipal demand projections are projected to be significantly reduced from those used in the 2012 State Water Plan, indicating that water conservation measures are being implemented in Texas communities at a greater rate than was previously anticipated.

TWDB developed the projections in coordination with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Department of Agriculture, and the regional water planning groups. Planning groups will use the projections as part of their process to evaluate and recommend strategies to meet the state’s future water needs during drought. These strategies will be included in the 2017 State Water Plan.

More information about the projections can be found on our website. Details about the three projects and other projects receiving financial assistance can be found here.

The TWDB is the state agency charged with collecting and disseminating water-related data, assisting with regional planning and preparing the state water plan for the development of the state’s water resources. The TWDB administers cost-effective financial assistance programs for the construction of water supply, wastewater treatment, flood control, and agricultural water conservation projects.