2004 SAC report on water for environmental flows final report




Armbrister, Kenneth
Puente, Robert
Wentworth, Jeff
Staples, Todd
Callegari, William
Geren, Charlie
Clark, Jerry
West, Bill
Beal, Joseph
Sansom, Andrew


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The question is not whether environmental flows are important and should be protected, but rather, how, when, and where, and in what quantities should flows be reserved for environmental purposes in the state�s rivers and streams and its bays and estuaries. The State of Texas has investigated environmental flow issues for several decades. Scientific methods, protocols, and understanding regarding environmental flows have significantly progressed through the course of the previous 40 years and continue to evolve and improve. Due to the complexities of environmental flow issues and continuing advances in scientific understanding, additional work is needed. While the State of Texas has pioneered tools to address freshwater inflow needs for bays and estuaries, there are limitations to these tools in light of both scientific and public policy evolution. To fully address bay and estuary environmental flow issues, the foundation of work accomplished by the state should be improved. While the Texas Instream Flow Studies program appears to encompass a comprehensive and scientific approach for establishing environmental flow needs for rivers and streams across the state, more extensive review and examination of the details of the program, which may not be fully developed until the program is underway, are needed to ensure an effective tool for evaluating riverine environmental flow conditions.






Science Advisory Committee. 2004. Report on Water For Environmental Flows. Prepared for Senate Bill 1639, 78th Legislature, Study Commission On Water For Environmental Flows, October 26, 2004. Available at https://www.tceq.texas.gov/assets/public/permitting/watersupply/water_rights/txefsac8132008article4.pdf