The Rio Grande Council of Governments serves as the administrative entity and public involvement coordinator for the Far West Texas Water Planning Group, a citizen body tasked with developing a 50-year regional water resources management plan under Texas Senate Bill1 (75th Legislative Session). This project, funded by the Texas Water Development Board and by contributions from local government entities and water supply districts, has enabled our region to prepare a legislatively mandated regional water plan for a seven county planning region in West Texas.
In FY2015, the Water Planning Group began the fifth cycle of regional water planning. Work will be focused on legislative monitoring, administrative budget development, and educational workshops/fieldtrips. Work has commenced on the 5-year update to Far West Texas regional plan. This work includes reviewing and assessing baseline planning information and examining proposed water management strategies for the development and collection of metrics.
The RGCOG’s role in the regional water planning process has three broad aspects:
- providing administrative support for the Far West Texas Water Planning Group;
- providing fiscal management of Texas Water Development Board funds which have been passed through to technical consultants to the Planning Group; and
- developing and implementing a comprehensive public involvement strategy to maximize local input and buy-in to the planning process.
The RGCOG therefore acts as fiscal agent and project manager for the regional planning effort.