Texas Water Development Board:
The health of our state’s rivers affects the simple pleasures of many Texans. Fishing, tubing, and enjoying nature’s beauty all rely on maintaining the complex ecosystems of our rivers. Not only do they harbor a variety of species and volumes of nutrients, but they support our economy through tourism, outdoor recreation, water supply, and many other industries. To ensure our rivers remain healthy, Texas has made studying and understanding their intricate ecosystems a priority.
In 2001, the Texas Legislature created the Texas Instream Flows Program. An instream flow (also called an environmental flow) is the water that flows through a river. The specific quality and volume of an instream flow is what makes rivers viable wildlife habitats as well as scenic recreational environments.
The legislature called on the TWDB to work in tandem with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to conduct a long-term, detailed study of the instream flows of several priority rivers in Texas. The three agencies were charged with answering two key questions through detailed study: What makes a healthy river, and how much water should flow in each river to ensure a healthy environment?
As the population of Texas grows, our water supply is being stretched by rising industrial, agricultural, and municipal needs. Understanding the specific and scientific needs of our rivers allows the state’s regional water planning groups to accurately assess the availability of our water resources. Read the full story here: http://www.twdb.texas.gov/newsmedia/featured/stories/2015/05/index.asp