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Groundwater Supplies and Availability in Texas: Results from the 2006 Regional Water Plans and the 2007 State Water Plan

Robert E. Mace and Sarah C. Davidson
Texas Water Development Board, P.O. Box 13231, Austin, Texas 78711-3231

Due to the increasing demand for water and the frequency of drought, the State of Texas has conducted statewide water planning since 1957 resulting in eight adopted water plans (in 1961, 1968, 1984, 1990, 1992, 1997, 2002, and 2007). The two most recent plans use regional water planning groups to assess projected supplies, demands, needs, and strategies for meeting these needs. Groundwater is an important source of water to the State of Texas, supplying about 59 percent of the 15.6 million acre-feet of water used by Texans in 2003. About 79 percent of the 9.3 million acre-feet of water produced from aquifers was used for irrigation. Most of the western half and a significant part of the eastern half of the State rely primarily on groundwater. The most recent planning shows that water supplies from existing groundwater sources are expected to decrease 32 percent, from 8.5 million acre-feet per year to 5.8 million acre-feet per year, between 2010 and 2060. Total groundwater availability in 2010, as assessed by the planning groups for drought conditions, is about 12.7 million acre-feet per year. This availability decreases to 9.9 million acre-feet per year by 2060 because of projected declines in availability in the Dockum, Edwards-Trinity (High Plains), Gulf Coast, Ogallala, and Seymour aquifers. Estimates of groundwater supply and availability will be revised during future planning efforts to reflect additional studies and changes in management policies resulting from the joint planning process for groundwater management areas.


AAPG Search and Discover Article #90069©2007 GCAGS 57th Annual Convention, Corpus Christi, Texas