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TNRIS was established by the Legislature in 1968 as the Texas Water-Oriented Data Bank. In 1972, after four years of growth and diversification, it was renamed the Texas Natural Resources Information System.
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In response to the drought of the 1950s, and in recognition of the need to plan for the future, the Texas Legislature created the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) to develop water supplies and prepare plans to meet the state’s future water needs. In 1997, the legislature established a new water planning process, based on a “bottom-up,” consensus-driven approach. Coordinating this water planning process are 16 planning groups, one for each regional water planning area (see map). The planning groups, each made up of about 20 members, represent a variety of interests, including agriculture, industry, environment, public, municipalities, business, water districts, river authorities, water utilities, counties, groundwater management areas, and power generation. Each planning group approved bylaws to govern its methods of conducting business and designated a political subdivision, such as a river authority, groundwater conservation district, or council of governments, to administer the planning process and manage any contracts related to developing regional water plans. The planning groups conduct all functions during open meetings in an open and participatory manner. They hold special public meetings when they develop their scopes of work and hold hearings before adopting their regional water plans. This public involvement helps direct the planning and determine which water management strategies to recommend. Consensus building within the planning groups is crucial to ensure sufficient support for adopting the plan.
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