TCEQ � Environmental Flows and Water Rights Permitting by 2X3Zv7m


									   TCEQ – Environmental Flows and
      Water Rights Permitting

Bruce Moulton
Policy & Regulations
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
 5.013 General Jurisdiction of
 (a) The commission has general jurisdiction
 (l) water and water rights including the
  issuance of water rights permits, water
  rights adjudication, cancellation of water
  rights, and enforcement of water rights;
     Acquisition of Right to use
            State Water
   The right to the use of state water may be
    acquired by appropriation in the manner and
    for the purposes provided in this chapter…
 Purposes for Which Water
May be Appropriated-§11.023
 (a) State water may be appropriated, stored or
  diverted for:
 Domestic/Livestock, Municipal, Agricultural &
  Industrial, Mining, Hydroelectric, Navigation,
  Recreation & Pleasure, Public Parks, Game
 (b)State water also may be appropriated, stored, or
  diverted for any other beneficial use.
    §11.0235 Policy Regarding
       Waters of the State
 (a) The waters of the state are held in trust
  for the public, and the right to use state
  water may be appropriated only as
  expressly authorized by law.
 (b) Maintaining the biological soundness of
  the state’s rivers, lakes, bays, and estuaries
  is of great importance to the public’s
  economic health and general well being.
             §11.0235 Cont.
   (c) The legislature has expressly required
    the commission while balancing all other
    interests to consider and provide for the
    freshwater inflows necessary to maintain
    the viability of the state’s bay and estuary
    systems in the commission’s regular
    granting of permits for the use of state
              §11.0235 Cont.
    (d) The legislature has not expressly
     authorized granting water rights
     exclusively for:
    (1) Instream flows dedicated to environmental
        needs or inflows to the state’s bay and estuary
        system; or
    (2) Other similar beneficial uses.
             §11.0235 Cont.
   (e) The fact that greater pressures and
    demands are being placed on the water
    resources of the state makes it of paramount
    importance to reexamine the process for
    ensuring that these important priorities are
    effectively addressed in clear delegations of
    authority to the commission.
        Granting a Water Right
   In its consideration of an application for a new or
    amended water right, the Commission shall assess
    the effects, if any, on the issuance of the permit or
    amendment on:
    – 1. Bays and Estuaries --§11.147(b)
    – 2. Existing Instream Uses-- §11.147(d)
    – 3. Fish & Wildlife Habitats-- §11.147(e), §11.152
    – 4. Water Quality-- §11.150
    – 5. Groundwater or Groundwater Recharge--§11.151
       Applications Subject to an
       Environmental Assessment
 Increase the total appropriative amount
 Significant change in point of diversion (e.g.,
  moving the diversion point a considerable distance
  upstream where streamflows are significantly less,
  moving the diversion point to a tributary, or
  moving the diversion point into habitat of
  threatened or endangered species)
 Change in diversion rate
 Significant change in place of use
            Instream Flow
 Site specific studies – When available, site
  specific information is used.
 In the absence of site specific information, staff
  apply the Lyons’ Method (Bounds and Lyons,
  1979). This methodology uses 60% of the median
  flow during the warm months (March-September)
  and 40% of median during cool months (October –
 In instances where the 7Q2 value (two year, seven
  day low flow) is greater than Lyons’, 7Q2 is used.
          Freshwater Inflows

   For permits issued within an area that is
    within 200 river miles of the coast… the
    Commission shall include in the permit, to
    the extent practicable when considering
    public interests, those conditions necessary
    to maintain beneficial inflows to any
    effected bay and estuary system.
        Freshwater Inflows
Freshwater Inflow studies have been
  conducted for the seven major estuaries.
  Studies on the minor estuarine systems are
  scheduled to be completed by 2008.
Recommendations for the Lavaca-Colorado
  Estuary were developed by the Lower
  Colorado River Authority.
Inflow recommendations for three estuaries
  have been completed by the TPWD in
  consultation with the TWDB.
       Bays & Estuaries Data
   For purposes of determining conditions
    necessary to maintain beneficial inflows,
    the commission shall consider among other
    factors ―…studies and plans specified in
    Section 11.1491 of this code and other
    studies considered by the commission to be
                Case Studies
 Matagorda Bay (Colorado-Lavaca Estuary): Results of the
  freshwater inflow study incorporated into LCRA’s Water
  Management Plan for the Lower Colorado River.
 Nueces Estuary: Freshwater inflows for Nueces Bay are
 specified in the Agreed Order for the operation of the
 Choke Canyon - Lake Corpus Christi system.
 Lavaca Bay: Freshwater inflow release schedule was
  developed as part of the LNVA’s Lake Texana water right
  amendment in 1996.
      Lower Colorado River
 Water Rights for Highland Lakes
  adjudicated in 1988
 Required a Water Management Plan
 Included maintenance of instream flows and
  freshwater inflows for the Matagorda Bay
 In 1992, Instream Flow Study completed
    Water Management Plan-
 Review of policies and programs
 Series of public meetings to solicit input
 Issues inventory briefing papers prepared
  for each meeting
 Summaries of meetings prepared for public
Instream Flow Needs (LCRA)
 MOU with TPWD w/goal of maintaining
  F&W resources in lower basin
 Established to sets of flow needs: (1) critical
  flows and (2) target flows
 Critical—Daily minimum flows to maintain
  a ―viable‖ aquatic habitat
 Target—Daily flows which maximize
  available aquatic habitat
Bay & Estuary Needs (LCRA)
 Cooperative agreement w/TWDB,TPWD,
  and TNRCC to perform study
 Established two levels of inflow needs: (1)
  Target and (2) Critical
     B&E Needs (LCRA) Cont.
   Critical—Minimum total annual inflow to
    keep salinity at 25ppt or below at mouth of
    rivers. Provide sanctuary during droughts
    LCRA Environmental Flow
 Incorporated into the LCRA Water
  Management Plan
 Dynamic document
 Freshwater inflow restudy
       Instream Flow Targets (cfs)
Month       Sub/Cri   Sub/Cri   Target    Target       Target
            Austin    Bastrop   Bastrop   Eagle Lake   Egypt
January       46       120       370       300          240
February      46       120       430       340          280
March         46       500       560       500          360
April         46       500       600       500          390
May           46       500       1030      820          670
June          46       120       830       660          540
July          46       120       370       300          240
August        46       120       240       200          160
September     46       120       400       320          260
October       46       120       470       380          310
November      46       120       370       290          240
December      46       120       340       270          220
Target & Critical Freshwater
       Inflow Needs
Month       Target Needs (1000 AcFt)   Critical Needs (1000 AcFt)
January          44.1                       14.26
February         45.3                       14.26
March           129.1                       14.26
April           150.7                       14.26
May             162.2                       14.26
June            159.3                       14.26
July            107.0                       14.26
August           59.4                       14.26
September        38.8                       14.26
October          47.4                       14.26
November         44.4                       14.26
December         45.2                       14.26
TOTAL           1,033.1                    171.1
      Nueces Estuary Advisory
   Letter submitted to the TWC in December
    1989 alleging non-compliance with special
    conditions contained in a water right permit
    held by the City of Corpus Christi and the
    Nueces River Authority
   ―Following completion and filling of Choke
    Canyon Dam and Reservoir, scheduled releases
    shall be made from the reservoir system at Lake
    Corpus Christi Dam together with return flows to
    the estuaries for the proper ecological environment
    and health of related living marine resources
    therein. Water provided to the estuaries from the
    reservoir system under this paragraph shall be
    released in such quantities and in accordance with
    such operational procedures as may be ordered by
    the Commission.
              5.B. (Cont.)
Permittees shall provide not less than 151,000
  acre-feet of water per annum for the
  estuaries by a combination of releases and
  spills from the reservoir system at Lake
  Corpus Christi Dam and return flows to
  Nueces and Corpus Christi Bays and other
  receiving estuaries.‖
       Commission Actions
 Established Technical Advisory Committee
 Acting on TAC recommendations,
  established interim inflow targets and
  created Nueces Estuary Advisory Council to
  develop operational procedures to meet the
  purposes of the Special Condition
 Issued an Interim Agreed Order
           Agreed Order
 1992—Interim Agreed Order Issued
 1995—Final Agreed Order Issued
 1997,2001, and 2002—Agreed Order
                  Agreed Order
   The City of Corpus Christi, as Operator of the Reservoir
    System, shall provide not less than 151, 000 acft of water
    per annum for the estuaries

    >70% storage capacity—138,000 acft target
    >40% but less than 70%--97,000 acft target
    >30% but less than 40%-- 1,200 acft target*
    <30%-- Total suspension of Pass-thrus*

* Implementation of Drought Contingency Provisions
        Target f.w. Inflow Needs(in
        acft) for the Nueces Estuary
MONTH         >70%     >40-<70%   >30-<40%   <30%
January       2,500     2,500       1,200     0
February      2,500     2,500       1,200     0
March         3,500     3,500       1,200     0
April         3,500     3,500       1,200     0
May           25,500    23,500      1,200     0
June          25,500    23,000      1,200     0
July          6,500      4,500      1,200     0
August        6,500      5,000      1,200     0
September     28,500    11,500      1,200     0
October       20,000     9,000      1,200     0
November      9,000      4,000      1,200     0
December      4,500      4,500      1,200     0
TOTAL        138,000    97,000     14,400     0
Nueces     Overflow
Overflow   Channel
Lake Texana (Palmetto Bend)
 Water Right Permit issued in September
 Contained provision: ―Until the TWDB has
  provided for the sale and/or use of all
  waters authorized to be diverted from this
  project in the manner prescribed, the TX
  Water Rights Comm. May, upon application
  and proper order,…
            Provision (Cont.)
   ―…authorize and order the release of State
    water for any beneficial purpose, including
    releases of water for research purposes in
    the Lavaca-Matagorda Bay and Estuary
    Adjudication of Water Rights
 Certificate of Adjudication issued in 1981
 Amended in 1985—Provision: This
  certificate is issued subject to all senior and
  superior water rights and, as may be
  determined by the Commission, to the
  release of water for the maintenance of the
  Lavaca-Matagorda Bay and Estuary System
     Environmental Studies
 Joint effort by LNRA, TWDB, TPWD, and
  Sierra Club
 Certificate amended in 1994 to add Bay and
  Estuary release schedule
 2-tiered approach based on reservoir
 Pass thru’s based on historical monthly
  medians and/or means
Target Inflows (in cfs)-Pass up
       Month      >78.18% Res. Cap.      <78.18%
January            84.5*                    5*
February           142.4*                   5
March               86.8*                   5
April              806.8**                  5
May               1169.3**                  5
June              1191.4**                  5
July               126.5*                   5
August             265.7**                  5
September         1027.3**                  5
October            708.3**                  5
November            68.3*                   5
December            79.3*                   5
               *-Median, **-Mean      * Median For DoR
    Galveston Bay Freshwater
         Inflows Group
 Convened in 1996 through the efforts of the
  Galveston Bay Foundation, City of
  Houston, and Trinity River Authority
 GOAL: Develop a process that will lead to
  resolution of concerns about freshwater
  inflows to Galveston Bay
          Mission Statement
   ―To reach consensus among stakeholders on
    an evolving process to develop a
    scientifically-based management plan and
    implementation strategies that will provide
    freshwater inflows to maintain an
    ecologically sound environment for the
    Galveston Bay System.‖
            GBFIG Process
 Created Workgroup
 Developed Work Plan
 1998—TPWD Preliminary Freshwater
  Inflow Values
    – TPWD Staff recommendation of: ―Max H (5.22
     million acft) as the lowest freshwater inflow
     target value which generally fulfills the
     biological needs of the Galveston Estuary on a
     seasonal basis
       GBFIG Process (cont.)
   In 2001 Final Recommendations Published
    By TPWD
    – Recommended: …a target inflow within the
      range from Min Q (4.16 millions acft) to Max
      H (5.22 million acft)
    – Formed the basis for the GBFIG environmental
      flow recommendations to Region H
Inflow   Quantity Historical   Minimum
Scenario Acft/yr Frequency     Frequency

Max H 5.2         66%          50%
Min Q    4.2      70%          60%
Min Q- 2.5        82%          75%
Sal      million
Min      1.8      98%          90%
Historic million
Questions – Discussion

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