Comprehensive Sabine Watershed Management Plan Report
Table of Contents Section 6 - Additional Supply from Water Conservation

Executive Summary

1.0 Introduction

2.0 Water Needs

3.0 Existing Surface Water Supplies

4.0 Existing Ground Water Supplies

5.0 Comparison of Existing Supply and Projected Demand

6.0 Additional Supply from Water Conservation

7.0 Potential Surface Water Projects

8.0 Potential Ground Water Resources

9.0 Water and Wastewater Treatment Needs

10.0 Water Quality & Environmental Issues

11.0 Other Water Related Issues

12.0 Information Management and Public Participation

13.0 Recommendations

Appendices

List of Figures

List of Tables

Water conservation is a potential means of reducing the projected water demand in the Sabine Basin, which effectively reduces the projected need. The TWDB has developed different conservation scenarios in their water use projections for municipal, manufacturing, irrigation and power uses. The base projections presented in Section 2 of this report incorporate an expected level of conservation.

In this section of the report, the municipal, manufacturing and power use projections were examined to determine how much water could be saved through advanced conservation Mining, livestock, and irrigation uses were not examined to determine additional savings through conservation because they represent only a very small portion of the overall water use in the Basin.

Municipal Water Use

Municipal water use calculations incorporate population projections, weather conditions and conservation assumptions. The unique combination of these considerations result in different municipal use projections. As discussed above, the projections used for this report include the "most likely" population, below normal rainfall and expected conservation. Additional conservation savings are projected under two other demand scenarios: the advanced conservation scenario and the low demand scenario.

The advanced conservation scenario reflects the demand reductions resulting from expediting the timing of regulatory requirements and adopting more aggressive conservation programs at the local level. The low demand scenario compares projected demands for average weather conditions with no conservation to average weather conditions with advanced conservation. This evaluates the impact of conservation efforts on municipal use during normal rainfall conditions. A summary of the projected municipal water use conservation savings is presented in Table 6.1.

Table 6.1: Municipal Conservation Savings Projections

 

Municipal Conservation Savings (ac-ft/yr)

Decade

2000

2010

2020

2030

2040

2050

Advanced Savings(1)

2,891

5,803

7,480

6,623

5,738

6,136

Advanced Savings(2)

7,108

15,168

21,995

24,320

26,217

27,847

Low Demand Savings

6,482

13,788

19,815

21,862

23,752

25,293

  1. Savings compared to the municipal use projections used for this report (expected conservation).
  2. Savings compared to municipal use projections with no conservation.


Manufacturing Water Use

Ten counties in the state account for approximately 77 percent of Texas’ total manufacturing water use. Two of these counties, Harrison and Orange, are located in the Sabine Basin. In addition, the industries that demand the largest portion of industrial water in the state (chemical products, petroleum refining, and pulp and paper) are all primary industries in the Sabine Basin. Manufacturing water use in the Sabine Basin is the largest projected use type, accounting for 61 percent of the total demand in 2050.

The manufacturing water use projections used for this report assumed low oil prices with no conservation. Other scenarios developed by TWDB address industrial growth based on oil prices and conservation measures indicated by the implementation of water efficient technologies in existing and new plants.

TWDB projections assume conservation savings accrue from the implementation of water efficient practices in manufacturing processes specific to each industry. Projections assume these practices occur as a result of market forces and the availability of improved technology. Table 6.2 includes data on manufacturing demands for both the "most likely" and low oil price scenarios, with and without conservation.

Table 6.2: Manufacturing Demand and Conservation Savings

 

Manufacturing Demand/ Conservation Savings (ac-ft/yr)

Scenario

2000

2010

2020

2030

2040

2050

Manufacturing Demands:

Most likely/No conservation

187,687

226,872

250,228

274,516

301,673

331,427

Most likely/ Conservation

182,110

212,739

225,749

237,677

261,053

286,587

Low oil price/No conservation

190,956

235,947

265,702

299,170

337,026

383,408

Low oil price/
Conservation

185,284

221,250

239,603

258,880

291,383

331,241

Conservation Savings:

Most likely Conservation savings

5,577

14,133

24,479

36,839

40,620

44,840

Low oil price Conservation savings

5,672

14,697

26,099

40,290

45,643

52,167


Steam Power Water Use

Power demand was projected using two different series: a High series that assumes current technology will continue unchanged, and a Low series that assumes new technology and conservation will result in net water savings. Steam electric power projections for this plan assumed the High water use scenario (with no conservation).

There are six counties in the Sabine Basin with either existing or planned power facilities: Gregg, Harrison, Hunt, Orange, Rusk and Wood. In 2050, the power demand is projected to account for 18 percent of the total water demand in the Basin. The potential exists to conserve up to 15,000 acre-feet per year by 2050 with aggressive conservation measures. Table 6.3 illustrates the projected conservation savings that could be realized if power facilities in the Basin adopt advanced technologies that Lower the gallon per kilowatt-hour water use.

Table 6.3: Conservation Savings for Steam Power Use

 

Power Conservation Savings (ac-ft/yr)

County

2000

2010

2020

2030

2040

2050

Gregg

-

500

-

-

-

-

Harrison

-

-

-

5,000

5,000

5,000

Hunt

-

-

-

-

-

-

Orange

-

2,500

5,000

5,000

10,000

5,000

Rusk

-

5,000

10,000

15,000

15,000

5,000

Wood

-

2,500

2,500

2,500

(2,500)

-

TOTAL

-

10,500

17,500

27,500

27,500

15,000


Advanced water conservation savings contained in the TWDB water demand projections would suggest that adoption of aggressive conservation practices could significantly assist in meeting projected future water supply shortfalls. Combining projected savings for municipal, manufacturing and power categories could reduce the Basin’s total projected demand in 2050 by 73,300 acre-feet per year. The combined conservation savings by decade are shown in Table 6.4.

Table 6.4: Summary of Potential Conservation Savings

 

Potential Conservation Savings (ac-ft/yr)

Water Use

2000

2010

2020

2030

2040

2050

Municipal

2,891

5,803

7,480

6,623

5,738

6,136

Manufacturing

5,672

14,697

26,099

40,290

45,643

52,167

Steam Power

-

10,500

17,500

27,500

27,500

15,000

Basin Total

8,563

31,000

51,079

74,413

78,881

73,303


These projected amounts of water demand reductions, if realized, could address a significant portion of the Sabine Basin’s projected needs. However, a number of factors suggest that this level of aggressive conservation will be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. These factors include:

  • For municipal use, the projected water demands already include an expected level of conservation. To achieve the additional potential savings of 6,136 acre-feet per year a total commitment to conservation by all municipal entities within the Basin would be required. The Sabine Basin has one of the lowest per capita 1990 water use rates in the state at 138 gallons per capita per day (gpc/day). With no conservation, the projected water use rate is 154 gpc/day throughout the planning period. Expected conservation assumes a reduction of nearly 20 percent in the water demand by 2050. The advanced level of conservation assumes a further reduction of approximately 6 percent in this demand. This corresponds to a very low water use rate (115 gpc/day) and may not be realistically achievable. Surveys of municipalities in the Sabine Basin suggest that public utilities are aware of the advantages of conservation, yet none have formally adopted a conservation program capable of achieving a 20 to 30 percent reduction in demands.

  • A large percentage of the potential conservation savings is attributed to manufacturing use. Manufacturing conservation occurs as a result of economic forces as opposed to voluntary activity or regulatory compliance requirements. In the Sabine Basin, approximately 30 percent of the industrial demand exists in the Lower Basin which has an abundance of available water and no current market incentive to increase water conservation. In the Upper Basin, many of the large water users already employ conservation measures, and few indicate plans to implement further measures. The most common measures in place include recycling process and/or cooling water, reuse, education and maintenance of water distribution system.

  • Steam power water use is similar to manufacturing use, in that conservation is often a result of market factors. With the potential deregulation of the energy industry, market forces may be in place to increase water conservation measures. However, local power producers indicate there are no plans to implement plant modifications or conversions to improve water conservation. Since there are no regulations requiring conservation in the energy industry, these savings cannot be relied on as additional supply.

The water use projections generated for this Plan account for conservation savings for municipal and irrigation use. The expected savings already incorporated in these projections (compared to no conservation) exceed 20,000 acre-feet per year. It is highly unlikely that additional conservation savings will be realized for municipal use without local commitment for aggressive conservation. There may be water conservation savings associated with manufacturing and power uses, but these savings are industry and market driven. They cannot be relied on by SRA as firm supply. In severely water supply limited locations within the Basin substantial reductions in water demands may be possible, and SRA should investigate targeting implementation of conservation measures for users in these areas. The local communities or industries can initiate aggressive conservation measures that would reduce water demands, but SRA’s role in requiring such measures is limited. Therefore, for planning purposes, it is assumed that there is no additional supply from conservation measures beyond those assumed in the water demand projections.