Water Conservation Plans
The purpose of a Water Conservation Plan is to ensure water use efficiency within your operation. The Water Conservation Plan is a strategy or combination of strategies for reducing the consumption of water, reducing the loss or waste of water, improving or maintaining the efficiency in the use of water, or increasing recycling and reuse of water. It contains best management practice measures to try to meet the targets and goals identified within the plan.The effectiveness of your water conservation plan is in the implementation of your water conservation program. Reviewing your program annually will help to evaluate program successes and needs. The water conservation plan, including targets and goals, must be revised every 5 years.
- Water Conservation Plan Checklist (TWDB Form -1968) - The WCP Checklist outlines the components of what your plan should contain.
- Water Conservation Plan FAQs - The WCP FAQs are a list of common questions and answers received regarding WCPs.
- Water Conservation Plan Tutorial - The WCP Tutorial provides additional step by step guidance on how to develop a water conservation plan.
- Water Conservation Plans ~ Identifying Targets and Goals - The WCP Tutorial provides additional step by step guidance on how to identify targets and goals for your water conservation plan.
Do I have to submit a Water Conservation Plan?
There are three instances when a water conservation plan should be submitted to the TWDB:
- Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) rules require that entities that are applying for or receiving financial assistance of more than $500,000, to develop, submit, and implement a water conservation program for the life of the loan and report annually on the progress of the program. More information can be found at TWDB Rules for Water Conservation Plans (Chapter 363). (The links to these rules change periodically, so please scroll down to Chapter 363, Financial Assistance Programs and look for Sections 363.15 and 363.71 in the document.)
- In 2007, the 80th Texas Legislature amended Section 13.146 of the Texas Water Code to require each retail public utility that provides potable water service to 3,300 or more connections to submit a water conservation plan to the TWDB. The plans were due on May 1, 2009. The code also requires the plan to be reviewed and updated once every five years thereafter and for the entity to report annually on the progress of program implementation. The Water Conservation Rules for entities with 3,300 or more connections can be found here.
- Each entity that is required to submit a water conservation plan with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) should also submit a copy of the plan to the TWDB and report annually to the TWDB on the entity's progress in implementing their plan.
How to prepare your Water Conservation Plan
The Water Conservation Plan should contain all the components listed in the Water Conservation Plan Checklist (TWDB Form -1968). Some of those key components are:
- Utility Profile (TWDB Form-1965)
- Drought Contingency Plan
- Table for 5 year and 10 year targets and goals (TWDB Form-1964) and a schedule for achieving those targets and goals
- A water rate structure which is cost-based and which does not encourage the excessive use of water
- Long-term elements such as ongoing public education activities, universal metering, water accounting and water savings from reuse/recycling activities, leak detection and repair, and other conservation activities
- A method for implementing the plan and tracking progress on implementation.
Tools to assist you in developing your Water Conservation Plan
- Water Conservation Best Management Practices Guide - This guide was created by the Water Conservation Task Force in order to further water conservation efforts throughout the state. The guide identifies the practices, techniques, programs, and technologies that help protect water resources, reduce consumption, reduce waste, improve water use efficiency, and increase recycling and reuse of water to allow for the future availability of water supplies. The guide is structured to deliver useful, proven, and cost-effective conservation measures.
- Quantifying the Effectiveness of Various Water Conservation Techniques in Texas - This study evaluates the potential effectiveness of 6 residential and commercial water conservation techniques for each regional water planning area. The study calculated and determined estimated costs, potential water savings, identified expected customer participation rates, and projected lifetime for each measure.
- Alliance for Water Efficiency Tracking Tool
If your entity is required to submit a WCP to the TWDB or the TCEQ, then you must also file a Conservation Plan Annual Report to the TWDB on the entity's progress of program implementation for your water conservation plan.