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Office of Water

This office works toward clean and available water and is responsible for all aspects of planning, permitting, and monitoring to protect the state's water resources.

Cari-Michel La Caille, Director
Staff: Address/Phone/Fax

Water Availability
Water Quality
Water Quality Planning
Water Supply

The Office of Water is responsible for the implementation of the following major programs:

  • Public Drinking Water
  • Water Rights
  • Interstate River Compacts
  • Watermasters
  • Water Districts
  • Groundwater Protection
  • Texas Surface Water Quality Standards
  • Nonpoint Source
  • Wastewater, Storm Water, and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Permitting
  • Surface Water Quality Monitoring
  • Watershed Protection Plans and Total Maximum Daily Loads
  • Galveston Bay Estuary
  • Clean Rivers

Water Availability

Kim Nygren, Deputy Director
Staff: Address/Phone/Fax

The Water Availability Division is responsible for ensuring the waters of the state are managed in accordance with the Texas Water Code, and for undertaking activities to protect and assess our groundwater resources. This division:

Water Quality

Robert Sadlier, Deputy Director
Staff: Address/Phone/Fax

The Water Quality Division is responsible for protecting the quality of water in Texas. This division:

Water Quality Planning

Kelly Mills, Deputy Director
Staff: Address/Phone/Fax

The goals of the Water Quality Planning Division are to assess, protect, and improve the quality of Texas surface water resources.

The Nonpoint Source Pollution Program:

  • Implements statewide and regional planning to safeguard surface water quality.
  • Works with stakeholders to develop and implement watershed-based plans for water affected by nonpoint source pollution.
  • Administers EPA grants that support prevention and reduction of nonpoint source pollution.

The Total Maximum Daily Load Program:

  • Develops TMDLs, which determine the amount of a pollutant that a water body can assimilate daily and still meet water quality standards.
  • Works with other TCEQ programs to evaluate the best approach for restoring impaired water resources, and develops plans to meet pollutant-reduction goals in TMDLs.

The Galveston Bay Estuary Program and the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program :

  • Implement scientific, strategic plans developed by their communities to protect and improve the quality of bay systems.
  • Encourage and support wetland and habitat protection.

The Water Quality Standards Program:

  • Develops and revises the standards for surface water quality in Texas.
  • Works with other TCEQ water programs to implement the standards through permits, TMDLs, and monitoring and assessment.

The Surface Water Quality Monitoring (SWQM) Program:

  • Coordinates the monitoring and assessment of surface water resources and oversees the statewide network of monitoring sites.
  • Reports the status of water quality in the biennial Texas Integrated Report for Clean Water Act Sections 305(b) and 303(d) (formerly the Texas Water Quality Inventory and List).
  • Develops guidelines that ensure data quality and scientifically sound assessment of water quality in relation to the standards.

The Clean Rivers Program:

  • Coordinates with the SWQM program and a partnership of regional governmental agencies to monitor water quality and establish priorities for future monitoring and corrective action.
  • Promotes cooperative watershed planning and recommends effective water-quality management strategies.

The Water Data Management and Analysis Team:

  • Develops and revises the Data Management Reference Guide.
  • Manages the Surface Water Quality Monitoring Information System and coordinates data management and analysis with all monitoring partners.

The Sugar Land Laboratory receives and processes environmental samples from sixteen TCEQ regional field offices and EPA Region VI. This lab:

  • Analyzes samples of water, wastewater, soils, sediments, and sludge.
  • Develops analytical procedures and supports special investigations, projects, and monitoring activities through cooperative agreements with other agencies.
  • Is accredited by the NELAP Institute as meeting national standards developed by the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program.

Water Supply

Michele Risko, Deputy Director
Staff: Address/Phone/Fax

The Water Supply Division is responsible for programs that ensure the production, treatment, delivery, and protection of safe and adequate drinking water. The division performs the following functions: