Texas - 2012 State Policy Information Texas State Flag 

Below are results for Texas from the 2011/2012 Water Efficiency and Conservation State Scorecard survey.

Use the links below to jump to a specific question:

Q1. State Agencies  Q8. Water Loss  Q15. Implementation Requirements 
Q2. Toilet Regulations    Q9. Permitting     Q16. State Funding for Conservation 
Q3. Showerhead Regulations  Q10. Drought Plans  Q17. Technical Assistance 
Q4. Urinal Regulations  Q11. Conservation Plans  Q18. Volumetric Billing   
Q5. Clothes Washer Regulations  Q12. Authority to Approve Plans  Q19. Metered Connections  
Q6. PRSV Regulations  Q13. Plan Update Frequency  Q20. ET Microclimate Information   
Q7. Building or Plumbing Codes  Q14. Planning Framework  Additional Information 

 

 

 

 

 
  


  1. What state agency or agencies are in charge of drinking water conservation/efficiency?

    Texas Water Development Board 

    Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
     
  2. Does the state have a water consumption regulation for toilets that is more stringent than the federal standard?  

    Yes.

    TEX. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE ANN. TITLE 5 § 372.002

    "(a) A person may not sell, offer for sale, distribute, or import into this state a plumbing fixture for use in this state unless: (1) the plumbing fixture meets the water saving performance standards provided by Subsection (b)… (b) The water saving performance standards for a plumbing fixture are the following standards… (6) except as provided by Subsection (h), for a toilet sold, offered for sale, or distributed in this state on or after January 1, 2014: (A) the toilet must be a dual flush water closet that meets the following standards: (i) the average flush volume of two reduced flushes and one full flush may not exceed 1.28 gallons… or (B) the toilet must be a single flush water closet that meets the following standards: (i) the average flush volume may not exceed 1.28 gallons;" 

    TEX. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE ANN. TITLE 5 § 372 Text

     
  3. Does the state have a water consumption regulation for showerheads that is more stringent than the federal standard? 

    No
     
     
  4. Does the state have a water consumption regulation for urinals that is more stringent than the federal standard?

    Yes.

    TEX. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE ANN. TITLE 5 § 372.002

    "(a) A person may not sell, offer for sale, distribute, or import into this state a plumbing fixture for use in this state unless: (1) the plumbing fixture meets the water saving performance standards provided by Subsection (b)… (b) The water saving performance standards for a plumbing fixture are the following standards… (4) except as provided by Subsection (g), for a urinal and the associated flush valve, if any, sold, offered for sale, or distributed in this state on or after January 1, 2014: (A) maximum flow may not exceed an average of 0.5 gallons of water per flush;"

    TEX. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE ANN. TITLE 5 § 372 Text
      
     
  5. Does the state have a water consumption regulation for clothes washers that is more stringent than the federal standard? 

    No
     
  6. Does the state have a water consumption regulation for pre-rinse spray valves that is more stringent than the federal standard?  

    No
     
  7. Does the state have mandatory building or plumbing codes requiring water efficient products that exceed the federal standard? 

    Yes, for state buildings.

    TEX. GOV’T CODE ANN. § 447.004(a):

    “The state energy conservation office shall establish and publish mandatory energy and water conservation design standards for each new state building or major renovation project, including a new building or major renovation project of a state-supported institution of higher education.” 

    TEX. GOV’T CODE ANN. § 447 Text

    Texas Water Efficiency Standards for State Buildings Document
      
  8. Does the state have any regulations or policies for water utilities regarding water loss in the utility distribution system?  

    Yes, water audits are required.  

    31 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 358.6

    “Every five years, a retail public utility, as defined by Texas Water Code §13.002, which provides potable water shall perform a water loss audit and file with the executive administrator a water loss audit form computing the utility's most recent annual system water loss.” 

    31 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 358.6 Text
    TWDB Water Loss Audit Webpage
    TWDB Water Loss Manual

     
  9. Does the state require conservation activities as part of its water permitting process or water right permit?

    Yes.

    30 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 295.9

    “An application relating to the appropriation or use of state water must include water conservation and drought contingency plans meeting applicable requirements contained in this section. An application not accompanied by such plans is not administratively complete and shall not be considered by the commission, unless expressly exempted by this section… (1) … The water conservation and drought contingency plans submitted with an application to appropriate or to use state water for municipal use, industrial or mining use, or agricultural use must be submitted in accordance with the guidelines set forth in Chapter 288 of this title… (4)… An application to amend an existing water right for any of the following reasons must be accompanied by water conservation and drought contingency plans in accordance with the applicable provisions of this section: (A) to increase the amount of the appropriation; (B) to extend the term of the appropriation; (C) to change the place of use, unless the request is to expand the amount of acreage to be irrigated adjacent to the existing, authorized irrigated tract without an increase in the appropriation; or (D) to change the purpose or use of the appropriation.” 

    30 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 295.9 Text
      
      
  10. Does the state require preparation of drought emergency plans by water utilities or cities on any prescribed schedule?  

    Yes, every five years.

    30 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 288.30:

    "(5) Drought contingency plans for retail public water suppliers. Retail public water suppliers shall submit a drought contingency plan meeting the requirements of Subchapter B of this chapter (relating to Drought Contingency Plans) to the executive director after adoption by its governing body..."

    30 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 288.20: "(a) A drought contingency plan for a retail public water supplier, where applicable, must include the
    following minimum elements...(c) The retail public water supplier shall review and update, as appropriate, the drought contingency plan, at least every five years, based on new or updated information, such as the adoption or revision of the regional water plan."

    30 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 288.30 Text
    30 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 288.20 Text
     
  11. Does the state have a mandatory planning requirement for potable water conservation/efficiency separate from drought emergency plans?   

    Yes.

    30 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 288.30:

    "(1) Water conservation plans for municipal, industrial, and other non-irrigation uses. The holder of an existing permit, certified filing, or certificate of adjudication for the appropriation of surface water in the amount of 1,000 acre-feet a year or more for municipal, industrial, and other non-irrigation uses shall develop, submit, and implement a water conservation plan meeting the requirements of Subchapter A of this chapter (relating to Water Conservation Plans). The water conservation plan must be submitted to the executive director not later than May 1, 2005."  

    30 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 295.9:

    "An application relating to the appropriation or use of state water must include water conservation and drought contingency plans meeting applicable requirements . . . ."

    30 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 288.30 Text
    30 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 295.9 Text
     
  12. Does the state have the authority to approve or reject the conservation plans? 

    Yes.

    30 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 288.30(10)(D):

    "The water conservation plans . . . shall comply with the minimum requirements established in the Texas Water Development Board's rules. The Texas Water Development Board shall notify the commission if the Texas Water Development Board determines that an entity has not complied with the Texas Water Development Board rules relating to the minimum requirements for water conservation plans or submission of plans or annual reports. The commission shall take appropriate enforcement action upon receipt of notice from the Texas Water Development Board." 

    30 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 288.30(8):

    "A water conservation plan or drought contingency plan required to be submitted with an application in accordance with § 295.9 of this title must also be subject to review and approval by the commission."

    30 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 288.30 Text
      
  13. How often does the state require the water utilities to submit a potable water conservation plan (not part of a drought emergency plan)? 

    Every 5 years.

    30 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 288.30:

    "[T]he next revision of the water conservation plan for municipal, industrial, and other non-irrigation uses must be submitted not later than May 1, 2009, and every five years after that date to coincide with the regional water planning group. Any revised plans must be submitted to the executive director within 90 days of adoption. The revised plans must include implementation reports. The requirement for a water conservation plan under this section must not result in the need for an amendment to an existing permit, certified filing, or certificate of adjudication."

    30 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 288.30 Text
     
  14. If the state has a mandatory planning requirement for potable water conservation separate from drought emergency plans, is there a framework or prescribed methodology?

    Yes.

    Yes, 30 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 288.2 contains required elements. 

    30 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 288.20 Text
     
      
  15. Does the state require water utilities to implement conservation measures, beyond just the preparation and submittal of plans? 

    Yes.

    Yes, 30 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 288.2:

    "(1) Minimum requirements. All water conservation plans for municipal uses by public drinking water suppliers shall include the following elements: . . . . (I) a means of implementation and enforcement which shall be evidenced by: (i) a copy of the ordinance, resolution, or tariff, indicating official adoption of the water conservation plan by the water supplier; and (ii) a description of the authority by which the water supplier will implement and enforce the conservation plan." 

    30 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 288.30:

    "(1) Water conservation plans for municipal, industrial, and other non-irrigation uses. The holder of an existing permit, certified filing, or certificate of adjudication for the appropriation of surface water in the amount of 1,000 acre-feet a year or more for municipal, industrial, and other non-irrigation uses shall develop, submit, and implement a water conservation plan meeting the requirements of Subchapter A of this chapter (relating to Water Conservation Plans). The water conservation plan must be submitted to the executive director not later than May 1, 2005."

    30 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 288.20 Text
    30 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 288.30 Text
     
  16. Does the state offer financial assistance to utilities, cities, or counties for urban water conservation programs such as a revolving loan fund? Grants?  Bonds?  Appropriations?

    Yes.  Texas has programs beyond the DWSRF and CWSRF.

    On May 28, 2013 Texas passed
    House Bill 04 - An Act relating to the administration of the Texas Water Development Board and the funding of water projects by the board and other entities; authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds. It earmarks 20% of a $2 Billion fund for conservation and reuse projects for municipal and agricultural water use.  It is the largest dedicated conservation and reuse project funding in any state as of 2013.  

    Texas voters approved Proposition 6 on November 5, 2013 enabling the state to create two funds-the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) and the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas (SWIRFT).  The two funds will help finance projects in the state water plan.  More information can be found here.
     
    The Groundwater Conservation District Loan Program provides funding opportunities as well.

    Additionally, the state has detailed language about eligible green projects in the Texas Administrative Code which specifically identify water efficiency projects.
      
  17. Does the state offer technical assistance for urban water conservation programs? 

    Yes, through the TWDB.
      
  18. Does the state require volumetric billing?

    Yes.

    30 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 288.2(a)(1):

    "All water conservation plans for municipal uses by public drinking water suppliers must include the following elements… (H) a water rate structure which is not "promotional," i.e., a rate structure which is cost-based and which does not encourage the excessive use of water…"

    30 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 288.20 Text
     
      
  19. What percentage or number of publicly supplied water connections (residential and nonresidential) are metered in your state?
     
     
  20. Does the state provide statewide ET microclimate information for urban landscapes?  

    Yes, via the Texas ET Network 


Additional Information:
 
 

Texas State Water Plan   

Texas State Water Plan Presentation 

Link to Texas Statutes- Water Code Title 2 (Water Administration)   

Water Conservation Plan Guidance Checklist   

Water Conservation Best Practices Management Guide   

Texas Water Matters Website  

Texas Graywater Rules   

Link to Information on Texas Water Conservation License Plates