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The Texas Clean Rivers Program

Working together for clean water and science-based decisions.

The Texas Clean Rivers Program is a partnership between the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and regional water authorities to coordinate and conduct water quality monitoring, assessment, and stakeholder participation to improve the quality of surface water within each river basin in Texas.

Program Overview

The Texas Clean Rivers Program (CRP), established in 1991, is a state fee-funded, non-regulatory program that was created to provide a framework and forum for managing water quality issues in a more holistic manner. The focus of the program is to work at the watershed level, within each river basin, by coordinating the efforts of diverse organizations.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas Clean Rivers Program Partners work together to implement the program as laid out in Texas Water Code, Section 26.0135 and in the Clean Rivers Program Rule, Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 220

Program Objectives

  • Provide quality-assured data to the TCEQ for use in decision-making
  • Identify and evaluate water quality issues
  • Promote cooperative watershed planning
  • Recommend management strategies
  • Inform and engage stakeholders (any individual or group who has in interest in the water quality of the basin)
  • Maintain efficient use of public funds

The  Long Term Plan Funding

The majority of the fee funds allocated to the program are used to conduct the monitoring, quality assurance, and data management functions of the program.

Graph of Funds by Percent


Clean Rivers Program Successes

  • This program generates approximately 60% of data used for water quality decision-making by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The data are used to help with the development and implementation of TMDLs, Watershed Protection Plans, and other local actions. 
  • The program has produced enhanced coordination in monitoring efforts leading to increased sampling coverage throughout the river basins of Texas.
  • Over the years, the cooperative nature of the program has led to strong relationships and effective communication with our partners all across the state. This allows the program to be successful and produce informative and reliable water quality data.
  • The Clean Rivers Program has encouraged public outreach and awareness of water quality issues by bringing diverse stakeholders together to share information, identify and prioritize water quality issues in their basin and investigate possible solutions.

Watch a short documentary to learn more about the Clean Rivers Program and its successes (12 minutes, 35 seconds). The Clean Rivers Program Documentary Transcript is also available. To learn more about water quality and the Clean Rivers Program in your basin, please visit the Clean Rivers Program In Your Basin web page.