SYSTEM OPERATION PERMIT AND
WATER MANAGEMENT PLAN
WATER MANAGEMENT PLAN STAKEHOLDER MEETINGS
On November 28, 2012, the Brazos River Authority delivered its Water Management Plan to the Texas Commission on
Environmental Quality. The WMP was developed as part of the BRA’s System Operation water right permit application. 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 Water
Management Plan (WMP) must also be developed by the BRA and approved by the Texas
Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Commissioners before any water may be
diverted as part of the pending 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, collaboration with state
agencies and an opportunity for a contested case hearing before the State Office
of Administrative Hearings. The BRA held a series of nine meetings throughout
the basin to allow for public input and participation in development of the plan.
The submission of the WMP to the TCEQ completes the stakeholder
process. The BRA will no longer be accepting input, questions or comments on the
WMP though this website.