Useful Links and Resources

Legislation

Senate Bill 2, 2001 Session: Legislation that created the instream flows studies program

Senate Bill 3, 2007 Session: Legislation that created the environmental flows process

Publications (Non-Texas Living Waters Project)

Click on the links below to download PDFs.

Galveston Bay Report Card

Texas A&M AgriLife: Riparian Restoration on Farms and Ranches in Texas

Science Advisory Committee Report on Water for Environmental Flows (2004)

Publications & Issue Papers (Texas Living Waters Project)

Click on the links below to download PDFs.

2014: Questions and Answers About the Requested LCRA Emergency Order

2013:  State Planning and Funding to Meet the Critical Water Needs of Texas

2012: Examining Bay Salinity Patterns and Limits to Rangia cuneata Populations in Texas

2010: The Unknown River of Central Texas: Characterization of the James River

2010: New Ways to Put Water Rights to Work for Fish and Wildlife in Texas

2008: A Characterization of the South Llano River, Its Springs, and Its Watershed

2008: Brush Management

2006: Fair Warning: Global Warming and the Lone Star State

2005: Creating ‘New’ Water Conference: Texas Water Policy Update

2005: A Powerful Thirst: Water Marketing in Texas

2004: Bays in Peril: A Forecast for Freshwater Flows to Texas Estuaries

2004: Grassroots Organizing on Texas Water Issues

2004: A Proposal for Environmental Flow Protection

2003: Water in the 78th Legislative Regular Session: Texas Water Policy Update

2003: Facts About Texas Water

2003: Facts About Your Water Supply

2002: Protecting our Freshwater Environmental Flows: Texas Water Policy Update

2001: Texas Water Policy Update

2001: Environmental Flow Protection – A Question of Texas Heritage

2001: Impacts of Off Road Vehicles on State-Owned Riverbeds and Banks

Get Involved

Learn how you can help at home, in your community and at the state level to keep water flowing in Texas streams and rivers and into our estuaries.

Senate Bill 3 Environmental Flows Process

Learn about Texas’ process to determine the water needed to maintain healthy rivers and estuaries and how we can protect or restore these flows.

Brazos River and Associated Bay & Estuary Area

The Brazos River basin is the third largest river in Texas; its watershed stretches from the New Mexico–Texas border west of Lubbock, to the Gulf of Mexico, south of Houston. TCEQ is currently considering what levels of environmental flow protection standards to adopt for this river system and associated estuary, with a final decision expected by March 2014.

Colorado & Lavaca Rivers/Matagorda & Lavaca Bays Area

In September 2012, TCEQ adopted environmental flow standards for the Colorado and Lavaca rivers and Matagorda and Lavaca bays.

Guadalupe, San Antonio, Mission, & Aransas Rivers/Mission, Copano, Aransas & San Antonio Bays Area

Despite receiving a majority recommendation from regional stakeholders, TCEQ adopted flow protection standards in September 2012 that were significantly weaker than those recommended by stakeholders. TCEQ will now apply these standards to any new water right permit they give out in the basin.

Nueces River/Corpus Christi & Baffin Bays Area

TCEQ is currently considering what levels of environmental flow protection standards to adopt for this river system and associated estuary, with a final decision expected by March 2014.

Rio Grande/Rio Grande Estuary & the Lower Laguna Madre Area

TCEQ is currently considering what levels of environmental flow protection standards to adopt for this river system and associated estuary, with a final decision expected by March 2014.

Sabine & Neches Rivers/Sabine Lake Bay Area

TCEQ adopted environmental flow standards for the Sabine and Neches river systems and Sabine Lake that are not adequate to protect a sound ecological environment. TCEQ should be considering revised standards in the near future.

Trinity & San Jacinto Rivers/Galveston Bay Area

TCEQ adopted environmental flow standards for the Trinity and San Jacinto river systems and Galveston Bay that are not adequate to protect a sound ecological environment. TCEQ should be considering revised standards in the near future.

Strategies to Keep Rivers Flowing and Bays Healthy

Threats to Environmental Flows

Projections indicate that many of the state’s estuaries could end up deprived of adequate freshwater on a frequent basis, particularly in drier years, if we do not take aggressive action to implement sufficient environmental flow protections.

Water Rights and Flows Protection in Texas

Since 1985, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and its predecessor agencies have included some level of environmental flow protections on new water rights. However, the level of protection varies widely from permit to permit, and unfortunately, over 90% of the water rights currently authorized were issued before 1985 and have no environmental conditions.

What Are Environmental Flows?

Environmental Flows are the quantity, quality and timing of water that are necessary to sustain a river, wetland or coastal zone and associated fish and wildlife.