Liquid Assets: The State of Texas’ Water Resources
Region P Plan
Lavaca Region (P)
Exhibit 40: Map of the Lavaca Region (P)
Region P, also known as the Lavaca Region, comprises Jackson and Lavaca counties, as well as the southwest portion of Wharton County. The region contains the cities of Edna, El Campo and Halletsville. The Lavaca River is the region’s main source of surface water, while the Gulf Coast Aquifer provides groundwater. Main industries in the region include agribusiness, mineral production, oil and gas production and manufacturing (Exhibit 40).130
Strategies Used and Estimated Costs
The Lavaca region has only one strategy and it falls under the groundwater category. The strategy would provide 32,468 acre-feet of additional water supply by 2060, with no projected capital costs.131
Lavaca Region (P) Water Management Strategies
|Description||Capital Costs||Water Gained in Acre-Feet||Average Capital Cost per Acre-Feet|
Note: Capital cost figures do not include administrative, programmatic or other costs that may be required to implement water management strategies.
Source: Texas Water Development Board.
Status of Major Water Projects and Strategies
The Lavaca Region investigated several drought-related strategies for the area. The region’s original plan called for three separate strategies. However, since the release of the plan, the region has combined the two overdrafting strategies from Jackson and Wharton counties. Temporary overdrafting of the Gulf Coast Aquifer, which was found to be economically feasible, could provide adequate water for citizens and businesses. While the current implementation schedule of the region’s strategy is scheduled to begin in 2010 and provide 32,468 acre-feet by 2060 for agriculture, implementation on the project will not begin until drought conditions exist (Exhibit 41).132
According to the TWDB, if the strategy listed above is not implemented, Region P residents face losses of $3 million in income and 120 full- and part-time jobs from 2010 through 2060. In addition, state and local governments could lose $300,000 in tax annual revenue from 2010 through 2060.133
Regional Challenges and Successes
The Lavaca Region has 76,000 acres of irrigated farmland, with three-fourths solely in rice production. The planning group educates citizens on rice returns and futures. The area is crucial to national rice output. Any increase in production could result in a higher demand for groundwater. The region works to ensure adequate supply for rice farming and has successfully developed its own numbers and methodology to arrive at future plans recognized by the TWDB. Regional planners say they are prepared for drought conditions based on past experience and future planning.134
- 130 Texas Water Development Board, Water for Texas 2007 (Austin, Texas, January 2007), Volume II, p. 103, www.twdb.state.tx.us/publications/reports/State_Water_Plan/2007/2007StateWaterPlan/CHAPTER%202_REGIONAL%20P_final%20112706.pdf. (Last visited January 5, 2009.)
- 131 Texas Water Development Board, Water for Texas 2007 (Austin, Texas, January 2007), Volume II, pp. 104-108, www.twdb.state.tx.us/publications/reports/State_Water_Plan/2007/2007StateWaterPlan/CHAPTER%202_REGIONAL%20P_final%20112706.pdf. (Last visited January 5, 2009).
- 132 Texas Water Development Board, Water for Texas 2007, Volume II, pp. 104-108.
- 133 Texas Water Development Board, Water for Texas 2007, Volume II, p. 252.
- 134 Interview with Patrick Brozowski, general manager, Lavaca-Navidad River Authority, Edna, Texas, November 6, 2008.