Basin Info. & News
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About the Authority
The Sabine River Authority of Texas (SRA) has begun development of a Comprehensive
Sabine Watershed Management Plan (CSWMP) for the Sabine River Basin, Texas. The last
update of SRA's Master Plan was completed in 1985. Since that time, many changes have
occurred such as the inability to construct the proposed Waters Bluff Reservoir to meet
the water needs of the upper Sabine Basin. Although many of the traditional and standard
components of the 1985 Master Plan need to be included and updated in this two year study
effort, it is apparent that all water supply alternatives need to be examined and this
will entail inclusion of study items not included in past planning efforts such as aquifer
storage and recovery and wastewater treatment and reuse.
The SRA has current requests for water in the upper Sabine Basin which it cannot
fulfill and has taken a number of steps to maximize use of existing supplies. SRA's Lake
Tawakoni and Lake Fork are essentially totally committed at this time (see response to
question Number 38). In order to meet these needs, SRA obtained a Joint Use Permit for the
two reservoirs in 1986, meters all water sales including irrigation, adopted a raw water
conservation-oriented rate structure (unit price of raw water increasing as the use
increases - see Attachment 2-A) for new water supply contracts, and requires customer
compliance with water conservation rules adopted by TNRCC (Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission; now the
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality ) in all new or revised water supply
agreements. A Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan
was completed in September 1994 and has been approved by TNRCC.
The Sabine Basin has sufficient surface water supplies to meet current and 50 year
horizon needs with water that is available in Toledo Bend Reservoir. However, this
Reservoir is located in the lower Basin some 100 to 150 miles from currently identified
areas of need. At the same time, the Trans-Texas Water Program Studies
are investigating downstream instream flow and bay and estuary needs as well as the
possibility of future transport outside the Basin. It is imperative that all alternatives
for meeting the 50 year planning needs be investigated and identified throughout the
Groundwater is an important resource in the Sabine River Basin. Many areas of the
Basin, especially smaller cities, communities and individual home sites, are dependent on
groundwater. However, experience has shown that a number of areas have converted from
groundwater to surface water as a result of significant problems related to groundwater
quantity and/or quality. The SRA proposed study needs to identify to the extent possible
how much groundwater is available for development, as well as areas where water level
declines and/or subsidence have been experienced or are likely to occur with additional
usage. Groundwater and surface water resources also need to be addressed collectively and
integrated into a water resources budget for the Sabine Basin. The CSWMP needs to address
all water supply and wastewater planning issues throughout the Sabine River Basin and
provide the necessary information for making future decisions. This planning effort needs
to take advantage of all pertinent existing data and reports to reduce duplication of
other studies, to maximize use of available information to lower the cost of this study
effort, to encourage participation of water users throughout the Basin, to provide for
public participation in the development of study recommendations, to provide information
and data appropriate for inclusion in the State's Texas Water
Plan , and to benefit the local and
State elected officials in their present and future decision making related to water
The watershed and subwatershed approach is the most logical
unit for regional water quantity and quality planning efforts. Watershed divides provide
natural geographic boundaries whereby emerging Geographic
Information System (GIS) technologies allow the management and analysis of large
volumes of information for determining anthropogenic influences on water resources. The Texas Clean Rivers Program initiated in 1991 provides a
comprehensive regional assessment of water quality in the Sabine watershed and needs to be
integrated into this planning effort.
The scope of work for the CSWMP should include, but not be limited, to the items listed
below and should be addressed for the planning period from the year 2000 to the year 2050.
The plan should address immediate needs, short-term needs and long-term needs during this
Tasks described in the scope of work include the compilation of information and data on
existing water supply projects, existing water and wastewater treatment systems and other
water supply related facilities. For the purposes of the planning study, this information
and data needs to be developed in order to assist in future efforts to perform site
specific studies where immediate and near terms needs are identified.
||Update General Information
||Brown and Root
||Sabine Watershed Hydrology
Nichols, Inc. (F&N)
||Update Existing Surface Water Development Information
||Population Projections and Water Use
||Water Treatment System Needs
||Wastewater Treatment System Needs
||Water Quality Program
||Mineral Resources Evaluation
||Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR)
||Information Resource Issues
||Surface Water Projects Issues
||F&N and B&R
||Other Water Related Issues
- Briefly describe the Sabine River Authority of Texas, it's creation, organization,
functions, responsibilities and the authority and purpose for the CSWMP.
- Briefly describe the Sabine River Compact
and it's creation, organization,
function, responsibilities and role in water resources in the Sabine Basin.
- Briefly describe the Sabine River Authority, State of Louisiana and it's creation,
organization, functions, and responsibilities.
- Briefly describe the Sabine Watershed and recognize recent reports and studies pertinent
to this planning study including the Trans-Texas Water Program.
- Summarize information for the watershed related to rainfall, evaporation, rainfall
gaging system, streamflow, reservoir levels, stream and reservoir gaging system, and
erosion and sedimentation.
- Describe the groundwater resources of the Sabine River Basin, the major and minor
aquifers, outcrop areas, recharge zones, spring flows, stream bank seepage to surface
water, and other applicable information.
- Identify current groundwater use, the availability in terms of quantity and quality, the
potential for future development.
- Evaluate addressing groundwater and surface water collectively and integrating these
into a water resources budget for the Sabine Basin.
- Review of Sabine Basin existing water rights.
- Review Louisiana rights to use water in Sabine Basin.
- Determine primarily in the upper basin, if there is any opportunity for contractual
transfer of water to meet the needs.
- Review of management techniques concerning administration of contracts and water rights
for water short areas.
- Summarize existing surface water development projects in the watershed including present
and future commitments of firm yields. This task should include the following:
- Greenville City Lakes
- Lake Tawakoni
- Wood County Lakes
- Lake Fork Reservoir
- Lake Gladewater
- Lake Cherokee
- Martin Lake
- Brandy Branch
- Lake Murvaul
- Toledo Bend Reservoir
- Anococo Lake, Louisiana
- Lake Vernon, Louisiana
- SRA Canal Division
- SRA Louisiana Canal System
- Review available data on present and future population and water use. Texas Water Development Board population and demand projections will be
used to determine future needs in the planning area.
- Review historical population data, current population information, and develop
projections of future population growth (as needed) for the planning area for the period
- Determine current water use and develop projections of future water use (as needed) for
the planning area using likely water conservation measures for the period from 2000
- Water use and future demand projections should include all significant categories of
water uses as listed below:
- Municipal and domestic
- Steam-electric power generation
- Flood control
- Instream flow needs
- Bay and estuary needs
- Trans-Basin diversions - imports & exports
- Sabine River Compact
- Compile and review information and pertinent data from surveys of all water treatment
systems in the planning area, determine the current status and future expansion and timing
requirements to meet projected growth.
- Review management techniques which may be available to delay the need for capital
expenditures for existing systems.
- Compile and review information and pertinent data from surveys of all wastewater
treatment systems in the planning area, determine the current status and future expansion
and timing requirements to meet projected growth.
- Determine wastewater system return flows and prepare a preliminary assessment of
opportunities for wastewater reuse.
- Survey all water users in Basin to determine current status of water conservation
practices and programs.
- Review SRA's Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan
and determine how this plan could be expanded to all water users in the Basin.
- Evaluate alternatives for enhancement of water conservation to meet future needs.
- Recognize present water quality monitoring programs including the Texas
Clean Rivers Program for the planning area.
- Evaluate the need to develop a Sabine Watershed Policy position on protection of water
supply reservoirs and stream water supply diversion facilities. The protection of the
watershed's drinking water supply sources requires that pollution prevention activities
and water quality monitoring programs be coordinated at all levels of government to ensure
that water quality does not deteriorate as development occurs.
- Evaluate the need for developing a water quality index utilizing the existing programs.
- Review known and potential water quality issues such as taste and odor problems, oil
spills, and saltwater pollution and evaluate strategies for reducing impact on water users
and aquatic life.
- Describe current status of mineral resource development and the impact on water
resources in the planning area. This should include energy resource minerals including
oil, natural gas and lignite and other minerals such as clay, salt, sulfur, sand and
- Identify federal and state regulations and regulatory agencies that affect water
resource management activities in the planning area. This task should include Safe
Drinking Water Regulations, Wastewater Permit requirements, Surface Water Quality
Standards, Aquatic Life Criteria, Endangered Species, Solid Waste Regulations and Clean
Water Act requirements, and other regulations and agencies as appropriate.
- Describe problems related to natural resource conflicts with future water related
development activities. As an example, construction of new surface water supply projects
conflict with preservation of bottomland hardwoods. The issues that need to be addressed
include wildlife habitat types such as wetland areas like bottomland hardwoods, mitigation
procedures to offset the loss of such habitat types, conservation easements that prevent
development, and conflicting plans of resource agencies.
- Determine from available information the amount of bottomland hardwoods along the
main-stream and larger tributaries, the amount of this area that is presently being lost
and impacted by clear cutting and activities other then water supply reservoir
construction, the amount of these lands that would be impacted by proposed future
reservoir sites, and the amount that has received protection such as wildlife management
- Review available alternatives for reaching some middle ground whereas these habitat
types which are presently being lost could be preserved for their value to wildlife and
some reservoir sites could still be planned for to meet future needs.
- Establish a program for public participation in the planning study. Water users as well
as individual citizens must have the opportunity to have input into the decision making
process In the establishment of this public participation program, the distribution of
public information, coordination with the public, providing public education material, and
scheduling of meetings with citizens and various groups need to be considered.
- Conduct a lake sedimentation (Hydrographic) survey of Lake Tawakoni. Contract with TWDB
to conduct the survey. The survey will measure the current capacity using GPS and GIS
technologies and sonar to produce a three dimensional profile of the lake. The output will
include lake elevations, area, and storage capacity and will produce maps of underwater
topography and cross sections.
- Determine Lake Tawakoni capacity using the TWDB survey to compare current sediment
levels to those predicted by previous engineering studies and revise the storage capacity
- Determine if any other lakes in Sabine Basin need a sedimentation survey.
- Perform a reconnaissance investigation and evaluate the potential for application of ASR
Technology within the upper Sabine Basin, primarily in the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer in
Smith, Wood, Rains, and Van Zandt Counties as specified in H.B. 1989. Include a
description of the ASR concept and the types of ASR applications. The investigation should
determine the volumes of water available for ASR use, the conveyance of water from an ASR
site to the local area of need, include a comparison to other water supply findings and
meet the criteria and guidelines established by the TWDB for evaluating ASR projects being
considered for TWDB planning grant funding under H.B.
- Evaluate present status and future use of relational databases, Geographic Information
Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and the Internet within an integrated
system for managing, analyzing, and reporting large volumes of information for
water-issues planning and decision making. The system should be available upon demand to
SRA and other users with the flexibility to view data-derived objects such as data sets,
graphs, figures, maps, and reports by data type or as single layers or groups of layers by
geographic extent. It should also provide for near-real-time access to continuously
monitored data such as rainfall, lake levels, and water quality.
- Evaluate present status and future needs for participating in and complying with state
information resources initiatives.
- Compile information on potential reservoir sites and evaluate their role in meeting
future water supply needs. This effort needs to recognize that most of the best reservoir
sites have already been developed and that identified remaining sites are costly and
involved in environmental conflicts.
- Describe and summarize pertinent data on reservoir sites identified in previous studies
- Determine the potential for other sites that have not been previously identified
- Summarize problems and conflicts in developing these sites to meet future needs
- Evaluate smaller tributary projects versus larger main-stem projects
- Evaluate transportation of water from Toledo Bend Reservoir to points of need in upper
- Address scalping high flows to enhance existing and/or new tributary reservoirs
- Address environmental concerns
- Flood management issue
- Reservoir shoreline erosion issue
- Water's role in economic development
- Recreation issues and future potential