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Evaluating Basins for Possible Watermaster Programs

The TCEQ assesses the potential role of watermasters in managing water rights in each basin with no existing watermaster program.

For each basin that does not have a watermaster program, the TCEQ:

  • evaluates each river basin or coastal basin
  • assesses whether or not to appoint a watermaster in that basin
  • reports our findings to the Legislature
  • at least once every five years, repeats this assessment

[82nd Texas Legislature (HB 2694), Sunset Commission Report]

What criteria will be considered?

  • Has there been a court order to create a watermaster?
  • Have we received a petition requesting a watermaster?
  • Have senior water rights been threatened in that basin, based on any factors such as:
    • senior calls made,
    • water shortages, or
    • water-right complaints received?

Which Basins are Being Evaluated Now?

In 2018, we are evaluating the Trinity River, San Jacinto River, Trinity-San Jacinto Coastal, and Neches-Trinity Coastal Basins. Initial stakeholder letters were mailed March 9, 2018.

Stakeholder Meetings

The TCEQ held 5 meetings across the basins being evaluated in 2018, during which time staff provided additional information about the evaluation process and accepted public comments. Letters notifying stakeholders of meeting specifics were mailed on May 7, 2018.

6:00 p.m. - June 5, 2018
TCEQ Region 10 Office
3870 Eastex Fwy.
Beaumont, Texas 78710
6:00 p.m. - June 12, 2018
Corsicana Public Library
Nancy Roberts Meeting Room
100 North 12th St.
Corsicana, Texas 75110
6:00 p.m. - June 6, 2018
The Conroe Tower
Top of the Tower
300 West Davis St.
Conroe, Texas 77301
6:00 p.m. - June 13, 2018
TCEQ Region 4 Office
2309 Gravel Dr.
Fort Worth, Texas 76118
6:00 p.m. - June 7, 2018
Houston-Galveston Area Council
2nd Floor - Conference Room A
3555 Timmons Ln.
Houston, Texas 77027


Evaluation Schedule

    • February and March 2018 – Review data and send fact sheet and letters requesting input from water right holders within the basins.
    • March and April 2018 – Incorporate stakeholder comments into evaluation.
    • June 5-13, 2018 – Hold stakeholder meetings and invite additional input.
    • June 29, 2018 – End of Comment Period.
    • August 2018 – Finalize report.
    • August 2018 – Present findings and recommendations to the TCEQ Commissioners.

Past Evaluations

Texas Water Code requires the Executive Director to evaluate basins without a watermaster at least every five years to determine if a watermaster should be appointed. The Executive Director conducted the first cycle of evaluations from 2012 through 2016. The second cycle of evaluations began in 2017.

2017: Upper Brazos River, San Jacinto-Brazos Coastal, Brazos-Colorado Coastal, Colorado River and the Colorado-Lavaca Coastal Basins. 


2016: Cypress Creek and Sulphur River Basins


2015: Canadian and Red River Basins


2014: Sabine River, Neches River, and Neches-Trinity Coastal Basins


2013: Trinity River, the Trinity-San Jacinto Coastal, the San Jacinto River, and the San Jacinto-Brazos Coastal Basins


2012: Brazos River, Brazos-Colorado Coastal, Colorado River, and the Colorado-Lavaca Coastal Basins


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Contact us!

If you have any questions on this process or would like to submit comments on the current evaluations, please contact our watermaster program liaisons.

By Phone

      • Brooke McGregor at 512-239-2025
      • Stephen Kinal at 512-239-4010

By Letter

Watermaster Section Manager
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
PO Box 13087
Austin TX 78711-3087

By E-mail

watermaster@tceq.texas.gov - Include comments in the body of the e-mail or in an attachment.