Is the Water Use Survey required and when is it due?

Yes, the return of a completed survey is Texas State Law required by Texas Water Code (Section 16.012(m)) and Texas Administrative Code (31 TAC §358.5) for any entity that has received the survey. The completed survey is due 60 days after receipt. Letters notifying recipients are mailed in late December and the online survey is available by the first business day in January, so the due date is set as the first business day in March.

What are the criteria for determining who receives a survey?

There are two types of surveys available each year: Municipal and Industrial. Annually, the TWDB surveys approximately 7,000 water systems and industrial facilities in the state. This number represents roughly 4,500 municipal and 2,500 industrial water use surveys.

Municipal Water Use Surveys are required of all active public water systems that are a community water system type as determined by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). These systems can be found on the TCEQ Texas Drinking Water Watch at Texas Drinking Water Watch (DWW). Other water systems and commercial/institutional-type facilities that may not be on the DWW (often wholesale-only systems) may also be surveyed, particularly if groundwater is pumped.

Industrial Water Use Surveys are required by manufacturing and mining water users that annually use more than 10 million gallons of water, or use a significant volume of water for the industrial sector for a particular area of the state. The second criteria noted is most often applied to small facilities in rural areas that make up a significant portion of a county’s industrial water use. Because the Water Use Survey Program has a long history, some water systems or industrial facilities may have been missed or not surveyed in the past. However, staff attempts to include all water systems or industrial facilities that meet the above criteria. Surveys are also required of all electric power generating plants regardless of volume.

If a system/facility already reports water withdrawals to the other governmental entities, such as the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality, local groundwater conservation districts, subsidence districts or water wholesalers, then why is it necessary to fill out the annual Water Use Survey?

The Water Use Survey is intended to collect a comprehensive view of groundwater and surface water use across the state for water supply planning. While the volumes reported to other entities may be identical to what is reported in the water use survey, the local reporting provides only a partial picture of water use geographically and by source. Resources do not currently exist to coordinate the collection of water data between all agencies, districts, and authorities involved.

Is this the same as the TWDB’s required Water Conservation Plan Annual Report or the Water Loss Audit?

No, the Water Use Survey is separate from the Water Conservation Plan Annual Report and the Water Loss Audit, although all are administered by the TWDB and a number of questions are the same or are very similar. Though some water systems may be required to fill out the Survey, Report, and Audit in a given year, the criteria for all three are different. Some systems may fill out only one, two, or all three of the forms. The online applications were developed to streamline your data entry and reporting and to improve data collection and analysis. When the Water Use Survey data is entered and submitted online, certain common fields auto-populate into the Water Loss Audit and the Water Conservation Annual Report.

Are all survey questions required or are some optional?

he survey requires that all questions be answered to the best of the system’s or facility’s capabilities. If questions do not apply, or are unknown due to a system’s billing limitations, please make note of this in the comment section.

What do we need to do if our survey is returned as incomplete?

Surveys are considered administratively incomplete if questions are left blank with no notation indicating that the question does not apply or cannot be answered. Until the survey is submitted with the missing information, the survey is not considered complete for the purposes of TWDB financial assistance and water-right application requirements. Please contact Survey staff if there are questions regarding missing information.
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