Instream Uses Program
Environmental Reviews of Water Right Applications
Instream Uses Staff of the Resource Protection Team perform environmental reviews of water right applications. In river basin and bay systems with adopted flow standards, staff applies the standards to applications for new appropriations of water. To see the adopted rules for these basins, see Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 30 Chapter 298. For more information on the Environmental Flows (Eflows) process, see the Environmental Flows page. In basins with no standards, staff evaluates available information related to a proposed water project to consider potential impacts to fish and wildlife habitat, water quality, instream uses associated with the affected body of water and downstream areas. If the project is within 200 river miles from the Texas coast, freshwater inflows to bays and estuaries are also addressed. Several assessment techniques may be used to evaluate potential effects of actions associated with water right applications. Once the information is gathered and assimilated, a recommendation is made as to the type of restriction or condition which might be required to satisfy environmental concerns. Texas Water Code, §§11.042, 11.147, 11.1491, 11.150, 11.152 TAC, Title 30 Chapter 297, Sections 297.53 through 297.56.
Information needed with an application: When preparing a water right permit application for TCEQ submittal, applicants are requested to provide information described in the Supplemental Environmental Information Sheet.
Texas Instream Flow Program
In 2001, the 77th session of the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 2 (S.B.2), which directed Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), in cooperation with other appropriate agencies, to "…jointly establish and continuously maintain an instream flow data collection and evaluation program…" In addition, the agencies were directed to "…conduct studies and analyses to determine appropriate methodologies for determining flow conditions in the state rivers and streams necessary to support a sound ecological environment." (Texas Water Code §16.059). Please click on the follwing link for the Texas Instream Flow Program.
Instream Uses Staff:
|Chris Loft (Team Leader)||(512) 239-4715|
|George Gable||(512) 239-4737|
|Lori Hamilton||(512) 239-3169|
|Robert Hansen||(512) 239-4583|
|Leslie Patterson||(512) 239-6655|
For more information on the Instream Uses Program, please call 512/239-4691.
- Projects with the Coastal Management Zone are required to be consistent with certain policies and goals of the Coastal Management Program.
- Some projects such as a reservoir project may require authorization from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Please contact the Fort Worth District, Galveston District, or Tulsa District for more information . Additionally, a State Water Quality Certification (401 Permit) may be required. See the TCEQ Water Quality Certification Program website for more information.
- The Atlas of Texas Surface Waters provides information on Classified Water Quality Segments. See the TCEQ Water Quality Standards website for information on segment criteria and uses.
- Texas Parks Wildlife Department's Environmental Concerns and River Guide provides information regarding instream flows, recreational uses, navigability, and other interesting river facts.
- The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provides Real-time Streamflow Conditions in Texas for current hydrological conditions.