Environmental Flows Rulemaking
The commission by rule shall:
(1) adopt appropriate environmental flow standards for each river basin and bay system in this state that are adequate to support a sound ecological environment, to the maximum extent reasonable considering other public interests and other relevant factors;
(2) establish an amount of unappropriated water, if available, to be set aside to satisfy the environmental flow standards to the maximum extent reasonable when considering human water needs; and
(3) establish procedures for implementing an adjustment of the conditions included in a permit or an amended water right as provided by Sections 11.147(e-1) and (e-2).
Environmental flow standards adopted by the Commission must consist of a schedule of flow quantities, reflecting seasonal and yearly fluctuations that may vary geographically by specific location in a river basin and bay system.
The adoption schedule, as amended, requires environmental flow standards for the river and bay systems consisting of the Brazos River and its associated bay and estuary system, the Nueces River and Corpus Christi and Baffin Bays, and the river basin and bay system consisting of the Rio Grande, the Rio Grande estuary, and the Lower Laguna Madre to be adopted by March 1, 2014.
The proposed rules are scheduled for agenda on September 4, 2013. A rule public hearing is scheduled for October 15, 2013. The rules are tentatively scheduled for adoption on February 12, 2014.
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