Water Conservation Best Management Practices

Best Management Practices (BMPs) are a menu of options for which entities within a water use sector can choose to implement in order to achieve benchmarks and goals through water conservation.  BMPs are voluntary efficiency measures that are intended to save a quantifiable amount of water, either directly or indirectly, and can be implemented within a specified timeframe. Each BMP structure has several elements that describe the efficiency measures, implementation techniques, schedule of implementation, scope, water savings estimating procedures, cost effectiveness considerations, and references to assist end-users in implementation.

The Water Conservation Implementation Task Force developed the Water Conservation Best Management Practices Guide and the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) published the guide as TWDB Report 362 in November 2004. Since that time, any updates or additions to the original document are published online as stand-alone documents. BMPs are published as ‘mini guides’ in five categories (Agricultural, Commercial and Institutional, Industrial, Municipal, and Wholesale) and as individual ‘practice’ documents by category on this webpage.

The Water Conservation Advisory Council (WCAC), established in 2007 by the 80th Texas Legislature via passage of Senate Bill 3 and House Bill 4, is directed by statute to “monitor new technologies for possible inclusion by the board as best management practices in the best management practices guide developed by the Water Conservation Implementation Task Force”. Members of the WCAC, through the WCAC workgroups, develop new BMPs and revise existing BMPs to be considered for publication. The status of BMPs is tracked on the WCAC’s website (www.savetexaswater.org). Working with TWDB and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the WCAC established a stakeholder process to review and revise BMPs.

Best Management Practices Implemented by Utilities

Many utilities currently implement a range of BMPs as part of their water conservation program. Open the spreadsheet to view the BMPs implemented by utilities as reported to TWDB: 2017-2021 BMPs.

Best Management Practices Guides

Browse the following menu of resources to access complete BMPs guides or to download individual practices.

Understanding BMPs
Understanding Best Management Practices

The best management practices identified in the guides are offered to the state's regional water planning groups, water providers, and water users as a tool for planning and designing effective water conservation programs.  During the regional water planning process these practices can be evaluated for potential water savings and cost effectiveness.  The objectives of these best management practices is to identify information about the elements of successful conservation programs, good cost estimates, and reliable water savings estimates for use in water resource planning.

Agricultural BMPs
Best Management Practices for Agricultural Water Users

Best management practices for agricultural water users are combinations of site-specific management, educational, and physical practices that have proven to be effective and are economical for conserving water.  These developed practices focus on helping agricultural producers and irrigation districts to improve water use efficiency.  These agricultural best practices provide a means of measuring the success of agricultural water conservation programs, their costs, and schedules of implementation.

Commercial and Institutional BMPs
Best Management Practices for Commercial and Institutional Water Users

The commercial sectors represent a major component of the Texas economy and our institutions form the backbone of the necessary services to make the economy work.  These best management practices and technologies have been identified for the commercial and institutional sectors to help reduce water and wastewater costs while improving water use efficiency.  A systematic approach should be used when examining water use and evaluating the application of BMPs.

Industrial BMPs
Best Management Practices for Industrial Water Users

For many industrial water users in Texas, water is an integral part of a product or a process.  Best management practices for industrial water users are a combination of proven management and physical practices that a water user can use to achieve efficient and economical conservation of water.

Municipal BMPs
Best Management Practices for Municipal Water Providers

Water supplied by water utilities to serve municipal water customers is driven by a wide variety of domestic, commercial, industrial and institutional needs.  It is important that water utilities focus on the efficiency of their supply operations while promoting water efficiency to their customers.  Best management practices have been developed for utilities to both improve water use efficiency of their own operations and for programs to improve the efficiency of their customers.

Wholesale BMPs
Best Management Practices for Wholesale Water Providers

These best management practices are a resource for wholesale water providers that supply potable water to their wholesale utility customers.  Wholesale providers can work in cooperation with their wholesale customers to identify and remove potential disincentives to conservation that are created by water management policies.  These practices provide more detail on how a wholesale agency can focus efforts on customer assistance programs, technical assistance and outreach, and incentivized rate structures.