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Public comment period on draft 2017 State Water Plan is now open

For immediate release. Contact: Media Relations at 512-463-5129

AUSTIN – (March 8, 2016)  The public comment period for the Draft 2017 State Water Plan is now open. The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) will receive public comments on the Draft 2017 State Water Plan until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 25, 2016.

"Years of hard work by hundreds of regional water planning group members and TWDB staff have led to the Board's publication of the Draft 2017 State Water Plan for public comment," said TWDB Board Chairman Bech Bruun. "Texans will now have their first look at the newest, most comprehensive state water plan ever produced.- We look forward to receiving and incorporating public comments on the draft plan so that we can proceed with final adoption this summer."

The TWDB will publish notice of the Board's intent to adopt the 2017 State Water Plan in the Texas Register on Friday, March 18, 2016.

The Board will receive public comment on the Draft 2017 State Water Plan at a hearing to be held on Monday, April 18, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. The hearing will be held in Austin at the Stephen F. Austin Building, 1700 North Congress Avenue, Room 170. The draft plan is posted on the TWDB website.

"For the first time, the Draft 2017 State Water Plan includes an online, interactive website as an integral component of the plan," said TWDB Board member Kathleen Jackson. "This addition is a significant achievement for the state, as it allows the public to take an up-close look at water planning data specific to their county or city. Technology is a key part of the plan and by engaging the public through the interactive website, we have the ability to broaden our reach when it comes to educating Texans on the future of water in our state."

The combined information of the interactive website and the Draft 2017 State Water give Texans more in-depth information about water planning than ever before.

"The state water plan spells out approximately 5,500 strategies Texas communities will use to meet their water needs over the next 50 years, at a total capital cost of $62.6 billion," said TWDB Board member Peter Lake. "The plan underscores the importance of implementing the projects in the state water plan. Without those projects in place, Texas will face an 8.9 million acre-foot shortage of water in 2070 in a drought and economic losses of approximately $151 billion by 2070."

Interested stakeholders who are unable to attend the hearing can submit written comments to Connie Sanders, Office of General Counsel, TWDB, P.O. Box 13231, Austin, Texas 78711-3231 or via email to PUBLIC-COMMENT@twdb.texas.gov.

For questions regarding the Draft 2017 State Water Plan, please contact Matt Nelson at 512-936-3550 or Matt.Nelson@twdb.texas.gov.

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.