Instream Flows

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					   San Antonio Bay
Environmental Studies
Environmental Context
   Todd Votteler, Ph.D.

• Overview of Environmental Flow
• The Region
• The Water Budget
• Instream Flows
• Senate Bill 3
   An Overview of the Regulation of
    Environmental Flows in Texas
• Prior to 1975, surface water right
  applications were processed on a case-by-
  case basis without environmental flow
• In 1975, legislation was passed requiring
  the state to consider impacts of new
  surface water permits on bays & estuaries.
• Between 1975 & 1985, only a few surface
  water right permits considered the bays
  and estuaries.
   An Overview of the Regulation of
    Environmental Flows in Texas
• In 1985, legislation authorized the Texas
  Water Commission to include permit
  conditions to maintain beneficial inflows to
  the bays and estuaries.
• In 1985, Texas Water Commission, Texas
  Water Development Board, and Texas
  Parks & Wildlife were charged with
  determining environmental flows, but
  could not agree on a methodology.
   An Overview of the Regulation of
    Environmental Flows in Texas
• In 1997, Senate Bill 1 established the
  current water planning process.
• In 2001, Senate Bill 2 established the
  Texas Instream Flow Program and
  charged the three state agencies to
  conduct studies of our rivers and streams
  and to determine the flows necessary to
  support a “sound ecological environment.”
   An Overview of the Regulation of
    Environmental Flows in Texas
• In 2007, Senate Bill 3 created the current
  environmental flows process.
• TCEQ must adopt environmental flow
  standards for new and amended water
  right applications and establish an amount
  of unappropriated water, if available, to be
  set aside for the environment.
The Region
Average Annual Precipitation in the
Guadalupe – San Antonio River Basin
Major Aquifers and Reservoirs
The Water Budget
Guadalupe Estuary
Freshwater Inflow Components
Example Average Year = 1994
Guadalupe Estuary
Freshwater Inflow Components
Example Dry Year = 1996
  Instream Flow Needs of Texas
        Streams and Rivers
Senate Bill 2 in 2001:
• Created Texas Instream Flow Program
  that will determine how much water is
  needed to support a sound ecological
  environment in Texas rivers and
• Establish data collection program
• Priority studies must be completed by
  December 31, 2016
     Timeframe for Priority Studies
     SB 2: Instream Flows

 River Subbasin      2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016

 Lower Guadalupe
    Lower Brazos
Lower San Antonio
    Middle Trinity
    Lower Sabine
    Middle Brazos
               Senate Bill 3
• Instream Flows and Freshwater Inflows to Bays
    and Estuaries Determined
•   Guadalupe – San Antonio deadline Feb 2012
•   Stakeholders driven process
•   Based on best available data and science
•   Expedited process
•   Set aside flows vs. instream flow permits
•   Emergency drought measures
•   Adaptive management (12.5%)
•   Funded!
SB3 Priority Basins

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