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SYSTEM OPERATION PERMIT AND WATER MANAGEMENT PLAN

WATER MANAGEMENT PLAN UPDATE

On May 13, 2014, the Brazos River Authority (BRA) delivered its updated Water Management Plan (WMP) and Technical Report in Support of the WMP to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The WMP and the accompanying Technical Report and Appendices were updated to incorporate the Senate Bill 3 Environmental Flow Standards for the Brazos River basin adopted by the TCEQ on February 12, 2014. The TCEQ staff now has 90 days to review the updated WMP prior to the resumption of proceedings before the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH).

WATER MANAGEMENT PLAN AND RELATED STAKEHOLDER PROCESS

The Brazos River Authority originally delivered the WMP to the TCEQ on November 28, 2012. The WMP and its technical supporting materials were developed as part of the BRA’s System Operation water right permit application.

The WMP and Technical Report, along with the associated appendices, were revised and submitted to the TCEQ on June 12, 2013, as part of the TCEQ review process. Additionally, a revised version of draft Water Use Permit No. 5851, consistent with the revised WMP and Technical Report, was included in the June 12, 2013 submittal for the TCEQ's consideration. The prior documents originally submitted on November 28, 2012 and June 12, 2013 have been removed and you can find the updated links here. To view the complete Water Management Plan, click here.

System Operation represents a unique approach by the Brazos River Authority to address current and future water supply needs throughout the Brazos basin in a cost-effective and environmentally-sensitive manner. A permit application was submitted by the Brazos River Authority in 2004 and is moving through the state review and approval process.

If granted, the permit will appropriate a new, reliable supply of water for municipalities, industry, agricultural and mining interests within the Brazos basin without the costly and time-consuming construction of new reservoirs. The permit will allow the BRA to use naturally occurring flows in the basin and return flows from wastewater treatment plants in conjunction with the water supply in its 11 existing reservoirs.

In a normal year, approximately 5.8 million acre-feet of treatable water supply passes the furthest downstream monitoring gauge on the Brazos River into the Gulf of Mexico. Once this water enters the Gulf, the cost to treat and use this supply rises exponentially. The BRA's permit application seeks to gain access to a portion of these "uncontrolled" flows.

The Brazos River Authority recognizes that System Operation is a complex approach to water management. For this reason, a comprehensive WMP has been developed by the BRA for consideration and approval by the TCEQ Commissioners as part of the System Operation Permit. In January 2012, the TCEQ Commissioners directed the BRA to deliver the WMP to them by November 30, 2012.

During its preparation of the WMP, the BRA conducted an open stakeholder process including input from the public, review of draft WMP materials, and collaboration with state agencies. The BRA held a series of nine meetings throughout the basin to allow for public input and participation in development of the plan.

The November 2012 submission of the WMP to the TCEQ completed BRA’s stakeholder process. The BRA will no longer be accepting input, questions or comments on the WMP though this website.

 



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