South Texas Watermaster Program
On this page:
- Duties of the Watermaster
- Water Diverter Responsibilities
- Fees for Water Right Holders
- Advisory Committee
- Contact the South Texas Watermaster Program
The South Texas Watermaster Program is responsible for an area that encompasses 50 counties in south Texas.
|Guadalupe||Bandera, Bastrop, Blanco, Caldwell, Calhoun, Comal, DeWitt, Fayette, Gillespie, Goliad, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Hays, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Victoria, Wilson|
|Lavaca||Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Jackson, Lavaca, Wharton|
|Lavaca-Guadalupe Coastal||Calhoun, DeWitt, Jackson, Lavaca, Victoria|
|Nueces||Atascosa, Bandera, Bee, Bexar, Dimmit, Duval, Edwards, Frio, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kerr, Kinney, La Salle, Live Oak, Maverick, McMullen, Medina, Nueces, Real, San Patricio, Uvalde, Webb, Wilson, Zavala|
|Nueces–Rio Grande Coastal||Brooks, Duval, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Nueces, Starr, Webb, Willacy|
|San Antonio||Bandera, Bexar, Comal, DeWitt, Goliad, Guadalupe, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Medina, Victoria, Wilson|
|San Antonio–Nueces Coastal||
Aransas, Bee, Goliad, Karnes, Refugio, San Patricio
Six field deputies patrol these counties from offices located in Bandera, San Antonio, Stockdale, Corpus Christi and Beeville. Water-right management is based on “run of the river rights.” That means the deputies oversee a constantly changing, dynamic surface-water system of rivers and tributaries that allow diversions as water is available and as it passes individual diversion points.
- informing individuals and groups as needed about water rights and other surface water availability matters;
- allocating water per the adjudicated water rights;
- tracking the amount of water that is authorized and used;
- monitoring stream flow and reservoir levels within the basin;
- enforcing compliance with water rights;
- responding to complaints.
The watermaster will also oversee situations where a diversion would remove water that rightfully belongs to another user. In that case the watermaster could, if needed, notify the user with lower priority to reduce or stop pumping. When streamflows diminish, the watermaster will allocate available water among the water right holders according to each user’s priority date.
A diverter is any water right holder, agent, or contractual buyer who impounds, takes, diverts, or transports water in a watercourse, or makes a dedicated release of state water. Diverters in the watermaster area will be responsible for:
- Installing a measuring device
- Notifying the watermaster before diverting water
- Submitting a report when pumping is completed
- Complying with the rules of the Commission
Water right holders will be required to pay an annual fee. Each account will be assessed a base fee (currently $50) plus a use fee based on the type of use and amount of water authorized in the permit.
This Watermaster Program was established by Commission order in 1988. The Executive Director appointed a watermaster in 1990.
TCEQ Regional Office, MC-R13
14250 Judson Road
San Antonio, TX 78233-4480
Voice: (800) 733-2733
Fax: (210) 545-4329