Why should water matter to you?
We cannot live without water. It is our most precious resource. We use water for all parts of our life; to swim in, to drink, to cook with, to bathe in, to grow our food, to water our plants and lawns, for boating and fishing, and for countless other uses. However we are not the only ones that rely on our water resources. The availability of water in our rivers, streams, and aquifers, and flowing in to our bays and estuaries, is essential to the survival of fish and wildlife species and the healthy ecosystems that support them.
Water is a finite resource and it is up to us to decide how to use the resource sustainably. In Texas, our growing population is leading water suppliers to seek new sources of water. The consequences of increasing water use reach far beyond your monthly water bill. Some of these consequences are reduced stream flow, impaired bay and estuaries, displacement of people, wildlife and habitat due to reservoir construction, aquifer depletion, and pressure on existing water systems and infrastructure.
If you want to learn more about water in Texas, you can start with the publication Facts About Texas Water. This booklet contains basic information about water that will help you understand this important resource and how to use and protect it. You can view it or download it online or you can order free copies by calling (512) 477-1729.
This website is intended to be an in-depth resource on water issues in Texas. Here is an overview of each of the main pages to help you with navigation.
- Water Planning
- Environmental Flows
The leaders and lawmakers of Texas have mandated the development of a water plan for the state. This section covers the water planning process and how it is proceeding. Find out what water planning region you are in and what is happening in that region. There is also a timeline for the planning process and issue papers on selected planning topics.
Groundwater and how it is used is a hot topic in Texas right now. In addition to general groundwater information and numerous publications, you can also find out what water ranching is and what the Senate Select Committee on Water Policy and its subcommittee is doing on groundwater.
Conservation is Texas' best answer to increased water demand without harmful environmental impacts. This section is packed with information on how you and your community can conserve water. It also discusses the choices we face if we don't conserve, as well as information on new laws about water conservation.
Have you ever wondered about what is left in the rivers and streams after we have taken the water out for our communities? A healthy environment in Texas depends on an adequate amount of water being left in our rivers and streams to support wildlife and their habitats. This is called environmental flows. This section discusses the value of environmental flows, how to protect them, and several other topics.
Water is money, and not just in the fact that when you turn on the faucet you have to pay for the water that comes out. In most human enterprises water plays a vital role, from growing food to making computer chips. Consequently when planning for water use in Texas, economic impact must be a primary consideration. These impacts can be the costs of constructing a reservoir vs. the cost of intensive water conservation programs. Likewise economic consideration includes use of considering the value of water taken from rivers and streams versus the value that water provides to our ecosystems, like the estuaries that provide habitat and nursery areas for many kinds of aquatic life. In this section you will find information about use of economic analysis and principles in the water planning process.
Our Resource section offers lots of additional information. This includes contacts for the Texas Living Waters Project, news articles about water and water issues, and press releases from the TLW partners. In addition, you can access electronic files of all of our publications including booklets, issue papers, policy updates, and conference proceedings. There are also links provided for additional information, including state agencies involved with water use and planning, and the legislature.