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Public input sought on 2026 regional water plan

Buchanan Dam

An aerial photograph of Lake Buchanan and Buchanan Dam by Keith Bedard. Courtesy photo

A public meeting to discuss development of the 2026 Region K regional water plan, which includes the lower Colorado River basin from the Highland Lakes to Matagorda Bay, is planned for 10 a.m. Sept. 15, at the Lower Colorado River Authority’s Dalchau Service Center, Building A, 3505 Montopolis Drive in Austin.

With the state’s population expected to jump 73 percent from 2020 to 2070, regional water planning boards are regularly reviewing and revising their water management plans for current and future needs.

The Region K Water Planning Board is holding the pre-planning meeting to discuss scope of work and inter-regional coordination. Regional plans will be submitted to the Texas Water Development Board for review and inclusion in the 2027 State Water Plan. The meeting is a chance for the public to provide input on the plan.

A public comment period will be open until 30 days past the Sept. 15 meeting.

Regional water planning strategy took root in Texas in 1997 with a focus on local involvement and input. The state consists of 16 regional water planning areas with each one represented by different industries, municipalities, and interests within the individual regions.

Under state law, the regional water planning groups maintain a five-year planning cycle. The boards evaluate population projections, water demand projections, and existing water supplies as the members update their region’s plan.

The regional plans, once adopted by the individual planning groups, are sent to the state water development board for review and approval. The TWDB will use those 16 regional plans to prepare the state water management plan.

Under state law, each step of the regional and state water management planning will be open to the public with multiple opportunities for public input.

Following the Sept. 15 Region K Water Planning Group meeting, the public can submit written comments until Oct. 15 to Annette Keaveny, Lower Colorado River Authority, P.O. Box 220, Austin, TX 78767-0220. People can also email comments to administrative@regionk.org.

The public can review the current 2021 Region K Water Plan and the scope of work for the 2026 water plan on the group’s website.

The 2022 State Water Plan is available on the water development board website.

daniel@thepicayune.com