Interactive map shows water needs in Texas

Water demand map
A new interactive website shows water demand and supplies for individual communities in Texas. (Image: Texas Water Development Board)

AUSTIN (KXAN) – A lack of rain combined people moving to the state has put a strain on Texas’ water supply. That strain will likely get worse in the future.

Now Texans can easily see how the drought will affect their communities. The Texas Water Development Board released a new website that shows where water supplies fall short of demand.

It also gives a deeper look at the statewide water demand in certain industries.

Austin, for example, needs about 156,000 acre-feet of water per year. That’s fine for now because it has access to 283,000 acre-feet of water. However by 2050, demand in Austin will outpace the current supply by about 30,000 acre-feet.

An acre-foot of water would fill a swimming pool the size of a football field with about 1 foot of water.

“Water demand projections are a key part of the state water plan,” said TWDB Board member Bech Bruun. “We are pleased that the new update will allow individuals interested in the water planning process to access this important data.”

Last November, voters in Texas approved creating a fund for water infrastructure, known as the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas or SWIFT. It put aside $2 billion to loan out for projects on the state water plan. The Texas Water Development Board will oversee that fund.

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