TCEQ requires stricter conservation in Brazos River Basin
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality sent letters on Dec. 14 notifying some junior water rights holders in the Brazos River Basin that their water diversions may be suspended or adjusted if they do not take significant action to conserve. They may also be subject to enforcement.
On Nov. 19, in response to a senior priority call, the executive director issued an order that was sent to water rights holders in the Brazos River Basin below Possum Kingdom Lake suspending water rights dated 1942 or later with the exception of municipal, domestic, and power generation users. These exceptions were made in the interest of public health, safety and welfare even though they had rights junior to 1942. The Commission affirmed and modified that order on Dec. 5.
As part of this notification, these users were asked to respond to a questionnaire about their water use. Letters sent on Dec. 14 direct municipal water systems, which have not already taken steps to implement mandatory water use restrictions, to issue the mandatory restrictions in their drought contingency plans. Power generators and non-exempt domestic users have also been asked to conserve. The letters reiterate that suspensions, adjustments, and/or enforcement action may be taken against rights holders who do not respond by the deadlines given.
Drought conditions are worsening and no substantial relief is projected. Forecasts for early 2013 include below normal rainfall and above normal temperatures. The TCEQ encourages all Texans to conserve this precious resource.