The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) voted Thursday to resolve the Interregional Conflict between the 2011 Region C and Region D Regional Water Plans. Representatives from both Region C and Region D were given 10 minutes to address the Board prior to the vote. The Board then asked additional questions of both regions before voting on the conflict. In a 3-0 vote, the Board voted in favor of the Marvin Nichols Reservoir Project remaining in the Region C Regional Water Plan
Today’s decision by the Board instructs Region C to retain Marvin Nichols reservoir as a recommended strategy in its 2011 Regional Water Plan. The quantitative analysis requested by the Board has been received and reviewed by the Executive Administrator, who finds that Region C has complied with the Board’s interim order and current rules. The decision to build or not build the reservoir will ultimately be made by the project sponsor and various federal and state permitting agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
The official motion is as follows:
“I Move that the Board:
Adopt the proposed Order, determining that Region C’s 2011 Regional Water Plan together with the analysis and quantification submitted on October 29, 2014, is compliant and consistent with all statutory and regulatory requirements and considerations, as set forth in Sections 16.051 and 16.053 of the Texas Water Code and Chapters 357 and 358 of Agency Rules; and that the interregional conflict as asserted by Region D is hereby resolved with the inclusion of the Marvin Nichols Reservoir Project as a recommended water management strategy in the 2011 Region C Regional Water Plan;
Direct the Region C regional water planning group to revise, pursuant to Texas Water Code Section 16.053(h)(6), Chapter 10 of its 2011 Regional Water Plan, relating to the Plan Approval Process to reflect the mediation, this Board action, and other actions taken to effectuate this decision. Region C shall adopt the revisions and submit its revised Regional Water Plan and supporting documents to the Board on or before March 20, 2015, for Board consideration;
Direct the Region D regional water planning group to revise, pursuant to Texas Water Code Section 16.053(h)(6), its 2011 Regional Water Plan by revising all references to a conflict to reflect that the conflict has been resolved, and to revise Chapter 10 of its 2011 Region Water Plan, relating to the Plan Approval Process to reflect the mediation, this Board action, and other actions taken to effectuate this decision. Region D shall adopt the revisions and submit its revised Regional Water Plan and supporting documents to the Board on or before March 20, 2015, for Board consideration;
Direct the Executive Administrator to undertake an examination of current rules and guidance pertaining to the development of regional water plans as well as an evaluation of Board Staff’s review process, and identify any opportunities for: completing a more substantive review of the plans; ensuring that future regional and state water planning efforts include all statutorily-required analyses; involving the Regional Water Planning Groups Stakeholder Committee in considering ways to identify potential conflicts and facilitate resolution early in the planning process; and defining “interregional conflict” in a manner that is consistent with the ruling of the 11th Court of Appeals in Texas Water Development Board vs. Ward Timber, Ltd. Once the Executive Administrator has completed his review, the Executive Administrator will report back to the Board for further guidance;
Encourage the Region C and Region D regional water planning groups to continue to participate in the Sulphur River Basin Study;
Delegate authority to the General Counsel to make non-substantive changes to this Order, as necessary.
The TWDB is the state agency charged with collecting and disseminating water-related data, assisting with regional planning and preparing the state water plan for the development of the state’s water resources. The TWDB administers cost-effective financial assistance programs for the construction of water supply, wastewater treatment, flood control, and agricultural water conservation projects.