Development of the state water plan shall be guided by the
(1) The state water plan shall provide for the preparation
for and response to drought conditions.
(2) The regional water plans and state water plan shall
serve as water supply plans under drought of record conditions. RWPGs
may, at their discretion, plan for drought conditions worse than the
drought of record.
(3) Consideration shall be given to the construction
and improvement of surface water resources and the application of
principles that result in voluntary redistribution of water resources.
(4) Regional water plans shall provide for the orderly
development, management, and conservation of water resources and preparation
for and response to drought conditions so that sufficient water will
be available at a reasonable cost to satisfy a reasonable projected
use of water to ensure public health, safety, and welfare; further
economic development; and protect the agricultural and natural resources
of the affected regional water planning areas and the state.
(5) Regional water plans shall include identification
of those policies and action that may be needed to meet Texas' water
supply needs and prepare for and respond to drought conditions.
(6) RWPG decision-making shall be open to and accountable
to the public with decisions based on accurate, objective and reliable
information with full dissemination of planning results except for
those matters made confidential by law.
(7) The RWPG shall establish terms of participation
in its water planning efforts that shall be equitable and shall not
unduly hinder participation.
(8) Consideration of the effect of policies, water
management strategies, or water management strategy projects on the
public interest of the state, water supply, and those entities involved
in providing this supply throughout the entire state.
(9) Consideration of all water management strategies
the RWPG determined to be potentially feasible when developing plans
to meet future water needs and to respond to drought so that cost
effective water management strategies and water management strategy
projects which are consistent with long-term protection of the state's
water resources, agricultural resources, and natural resources are
considered and approved.
(10) Consideration of opportunities that encourage
and result in voluntary transfers of water resources, including but
not limited to regional water banks, sales, leases, options, subordination
agreements, and financing agreements.
(11) Consideration of a balance of economic, social,
aesthetic, and ecological viability.
(12) For regional water planning areas without approved
regional water plans or water providers for which revised plans are
not developed through the regional water planning process, the use
of information from the adopted state water plan and other completed
studies that are sufficient for water planning shall represent the
water supply plan for that area or water provider.
(13) All surface waters are held in trust by the state,
their use is subject to rights granted and administered by the Commission,
and the use of surface water is governed by the prior appropriation
doctrine, unless adjudicated otherwise.
(14) Existing water rights, water contracts, and option
agreements shall be protected. However, potential amendments of water
rights, contracts and agreements may be considered and evaluated.
Any amendments will require the eventual consent of the owner.
(15) The production and use of groundwater in Texas
is governed by the rule of capture doctrine unless and to the extent
that such production and use is regulated by a groundwater conservation
district, as codified by the legislature at Texas Water Code §36.002
(relating to Ownership of Groundwater).
(16) Consideration of recommendations of river and
stream segments of unique ecological value to the legislature for
(17) Consideration of recommendation of sites of unique
value for the construction of reservoirs to the legislature for potential
(18) Consideration of water planning and management
activities of local, regional, state, and federal agencies, along
with existing local, regional, and state water plans and information
and existing state and federal programs and goals.
(19) Designated water quality and related water uses
as shown in the state water quality management plan shall be improved
(20) RWPGs shall actively coordinate water planning
and management activities to identify common needs, issues, and opportunities
for interregional water management strategies and water management
strategy projects to achieve efficient use of water supplies. The
Board will support RWPGs coordination to identify common needs, issues,
and opportunities while working with RWPGs to resolve conflicts in
a fair, equitable, and efficient manner.
(21) The water management strategies and water management
strategy projects identified in approved RWPs to meet needs shall
be described in sufficient detail to allow a state agency making a
financial or regulatory decision to determine if a proposed action
before the state agency is consistent with an approved RWP.
(22) The evaluation of water management strategies
and water management strategy projects shall use environmental information
in accordance with the Commission's adopted environmental flow standards
under 30 TAC Chapter 298 (relating to Environmental Flow Standards
for Surface Water) where applicable or, in basins where standards
are not available or have not been adopted, information from existing
site-specific studies or state consensus environmental planning criteria.
(23) Consideration of environmental water needs including
instream flows and bay and estuary inflows, including adjustments
by the RWPGs to water management strategies to provide for environmental
water needs including instream flows and bay and estuary needs. Consideration
shall be consistent with the Commission's adopted environmental flow
standards under 30 TAC Chapter 298 in basins where standards have
(24) Planning shall be consistent with all laws applicable
to water use for the state and regional water planning area.
(25) The inclusion of ongoing water development projects
that have been permitted by the Commission or a predecessor agency.
(26) Specific recommendations of water management strategies
and water management strategy projects shall be based upon identification,
analysis, and comparison of all water management strategies the RWPG
determines to be potentially feasible so that the cost-effective water
management strategies which are environmentally sensitive are considered
and adopted unless the RWPG demonstrates that adoption of such strategies
is not appropriate. To determine cost-effectiveness, the RWPGs will
use the process described in §357.34(e)(3)(A) of this title (relating
to Identification and Evaluation of Potentially Feasible Water Management
Strategies) and, to determine environmental sensitivity, the RWPGs
shall use the process described in §357.34(e)(3)(B) of this title.
(27) RWPGs shall conduct their planning to achieve
efficient use of existing water supplies, explore opportunities for
and the benefits of developing regional water supply facilities or
providing regional management of water facilities, coordinate the
actions of local and regional water resource management agencies,
provide substantial involvement by the public in the decision-making
process, and provide full dissemination of planning results.
(28) RWPGs must consider existing regional water planning
efforts when developing their plans.