Environmental Flow

SABP has contracted with the Texas Water Development Board to conduct a study in regard to obtaining minimal environmental flows into the SA Bay estuary.

The Guadalupe, San Antonio, Mission, and Aransas Rivers and Mission, Copano, Aransas, and San Antonio Bays Basin and Bay Area Stakeholder Committee (hereafter GSA BBASC) requires the identification, quantification, and implementation of strategies to meet environmental flow standards. The voluntary implementation of water use and management strategies will improve the effective use of limited surface water within the basin particularly during the driest times   when water is in its highest demand and flows are at their lowest. The work conducted under this contract will quantify the amount of potential water available, location, seasonal availability and cost of a strategy to better achieve the estuarine attainment frequencies identified in the TCEQ environmental flow standards.

The study will quantify freshwater volumes that could be made available to supplement inflows with implementation of a strategy option based on the donation, purchase or lease of existing water permits and the use of Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) to increase storage of water for releases for environmental flows. The strategy will be simulated using the Guadalupe San Antonio WAM (GSA WAM) or other appropriate tools to demonstrate how it could be implemented and how their benefits in terms of increase in freshwater inflow during critical periods are demonstrated. Planning level cost estimates and implementation plans comparable to those used in SB1 regional water planning will be prepared. The products produced by this study will be documented in a final report submitted to the GSA BBASC no later August 31, 2015.

 Description of Activities

  1. SABP will analyze inputs used by the BBASC to calculate the minimum volume of additional freshwater inflows necessary to achieve ‘Strategy’ target frequencies and determine lessor volumes necessary to increase attainment frequency goals and will report the level of increased attainment that might be achieved by these lessor amounts.
  2. A strategy that includes the donation, sale or lease of new or under-utilized water permits, and increasing storage of water for releases for environmental flows ASR will be developed and evaluated to determine how much additional freshwater inflow can be provided to the bay during critical periods.
  3. Models (primarily the GSA WAM) will be used to calculate time series of freshwater inflows and tables quantifying attainment frequencies achieved with implementation of the strategy.
  4. Cost for acquisition or lease of existing water rights from willing sellers and capital and Operation & Maintenance for the development of ASR will be estimated and a path forward on implementation will be included that outlines legal and regulatory steps that may be necessary to provide supplemental supplies for environmental flow benefits.
  5. A final report summarizing analyses from the above tasks shall be submitted no later August 31, 2015.

Contact James Dodson at 361-649-1518, jdodson27@gmail.com for more information.