Brazos Watermaster Hotly Contested
April 20, 2014
For decades, water wars have been rare in East Texas, where annual rainfall can be twice that of West Texas. But as drought keeps its grip on the entire state, the Brazos River is bucking that trend, forcing regulators to scrutinize its users in ways that could have implications for many in-demand Texas waterways.
The Brazos’ lower basin, which flows from west of Fort Worth through Waco and down to the Gulf Coast, has been the subject of some of the most contentious water fights of the last few years. In response, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality decided last week to appoint a watermaster to the lower Brazos basin — an overseer who will interact daily with river users like farmers and manufacturers and require them to report their water use in real time.
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