Water planning group finishing 50-year outlook
Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

Nov. 15, 2005 -- Work on the 50-year water plan for the 19 counties in the Region D Water Planning Group has come a step closer to completion, according to Walt Sears in the Region D office.

In their November meeting, the group voted to reserve comment on the results of a water availability model prepared by the Texas Water Development Board until the final version of the region’s plan is reviewed and approved on Jan. 3.  

The model, based on river flows at 20 sampling sites in Northeast Texas, is designed to project the region’s water surface supplies to 2060. The region includes four principal rivers, the Red, Sulphur, Cypress and Sabine. 

The group also asked its engineering consultants to request from the Texas Water Development Board the results of the model using only the Region’s water strategies.  The draft results of the model submitted include strategies from other regions, most notably from the Dallas water planning area, which includes the construction of Marvin Nichols reservoir to supply water for the Metroplex.  

� � Region C, including the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan areas, is looking for ways to get more water to meet the region's future demands, and several members of the Northeast Texas planning group said the Dallas area water strategies could have �serious implications� for the Northeast Texas area.�

"One of the strategies is to go to Texoma, which is in another region, or go to Toledo Bend, which is in still another region, or come to our region for a water supply," Sears said. 

Looking to Region D for additional water resources, especially the controversial Lake Marvin Nichols proposal, is prompting the planning group to ask for more information.

"In the initially-prepared plan, Region D Planning Group did not suggest Marvin Nichols as a water strategy," Sears said. "Region C did suggest that."

The plans from the 16 water planning strategy groups will go to the Texas Water Development Board, and a more final state-wide water plan for the future will be developed.

"With Marvin Nichols, for an example, that is going to be difficult to resolve," he said. "If the Water Development Board doesn't resolve it, the Texas Legislature ultimately has control over the process."

The Northeast Texas plan will be approved at a special meeting on Jan. 3 in Mount Pleasant and delivered to the Texas Water Development Board in Austin by Jan. 5, the deadline for submitting all 16 regional water plans in Texas.  

The final plan will be reviewed by the TWDB in workshops next June and, with the other regional plans, will become part of a proposed statewide plan to be considered by the Texas Legislature in 2007. 

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