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System Operations Drought Study

The System Operation Permit issued to the BRA by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) on November 30, 2016, required the BRA to evaluate the impact of the recent drought on the BRA water supply system. Two questions were to be addressed:
1) Does the most recent drought represent a drought worse than the drought of the 1950s, and
2) Does the most recent drought decrease the amount of water available for appropriation under the System Operation Permit?

With regard to the first question, the recent drought period that ended in 2015 was worse than the 1950s drought for areas of the basin to the northwest of Lake Whitney. For areas south of Lake Whitney, the 1950s drought remains the worst.

With regard to the second question, water availability modeling indicates that the amount of water appropriated in the recently issued System Operation Permit does not need to be reduced.

The Drought Study was submitted to the TCEQ on June 16, 2017. Following review and comment by TCEQ, one non-substantive change was made to the first bullet describing figure 23 on page 25 of the Drought Study Report. TCEQ comments on the Naturalized Flows Report are detailed in a new Appendix J to that report. Copies of the final reports are available at the following links:

Drought Study
Naturalized Flows Report