Development of the insteractive state water plan is central to the mission of the TWDB. Based on 16 regional water plans, the plan addresses the needs of all water user groups in the state – municipal, irrigation, manufacturing, livestock, mining, and steam-electric power – during a repeat of the drought of record that the state suffered in the 1950s. At the end of each five-year regional water planning cycle, agency staff compiles information from the approved regional water plans and other sources to develop the state water plan, which is presented to TWDB's governing Board for adoption. The final adopted plan is then submitted to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and the Texas Legislature.
The 2012 State Water Plan is the ninth state water plan and the third plan based on the regional water planning process. In addition to incorporating the regional water plans, the state water plan serves as a guide to state water policy and includes legislative recommendations that the Board believes are needed and desirable to facilitate voluntary water transfers. The plan also identifies river and stream segments of unique ecological value and sites of unique value for the construction of reservoirs that the Board recommends for protection.