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Overview

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 Leave Site) 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 Basin.

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 Leave Site, and to benefit the local and State elected officials in their present and future decision making related to water resources.

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 planning horizon.

Work Tasks

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.

Tasks
Task # Task Description Contacts
1 Update General Information Brown and Root (B&R)
2 Sabine Watershed Hydrology B&R
3 Groundwater LBG-Guyton Associates (Guyton)
4 Water Rights Freese and Nichols, Inc. (F&N)
5 Update Existing Surface Water Development Information F&N
6 Population Projections and Water Use B&R
7 Water Treatment System Needs F&N
8 Wastewater Treatment System Needs F&N
9 Water Conservation B&R
10 Water Quality Program F&N
11 Mineral Resources Evaluation B&R
12 Environmental Considerations F&N
13 Public Participation B&R
14 Lake Sedimentation F&N
15 Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) Guyton
16 Information Resource Issues B&R
17 Surface Water Projects Issues F&N and B&R
18 Other Water Related Issues B&R
19 Final Report F&N

Task 1 - Update General Information

  • 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 Leave Site 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.

Task 2 - Sabine Watershed Hydrology

  • Summarize information for the watershed related to rainfall, evaporation, rainfall gaging system, streamflow, reservoir levels, stream and reservoir gaging system, and erosion and sedimentation.

Task 3 - Groundwater

  • 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.

Task 4 - Water Rights

  • 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.

Task 5 - Update Existing Surface Water Development Information

  • 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

Task 6 - Population Projections and Water Use

  • Review available data on present and future population and water use. Texas Water Development Board Leave Site 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 through 2050.
  • 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 through 2050.
  • Water use and future demand projections should include all significant categories of water uses as listed below:
    • Municipal and domestic
    • Industrial
    • Manufacturing
    • Steam-electric power generation
    • Hydropower
    • Irrigation
    • Mining
    • Recreation
    • Flood control
    • Instream flow needs
    • Bay and estuary needs
    • Navigation
    • Trans-Basin diversions - imports & exports
    • Sabine River Compact

Task 7 - Water Treatment System Needs

  • 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.

Task 8 - Wastewater Treatment System Needs

  • 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.

Task 9 - Water Conservation

  • 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.

Task 10 - Water Quality Program

  • 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.

Task 11 - Mineral Resources Evaluation

  • 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 gravel.

Task 12 - Environmental Considerations

  • 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 areas.
  • 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.

Task 13 - Public Participation

  • 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.

Task 14 - Lake Sedimentation

  • 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 accordingly.
  • Determine if any other lakes in Sabine Basin need a sedimentation survey.

Task 15 - Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR)

  • 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. 1989.

Task 16 - Information Resource Issues

  • 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.

    Task 17 - Surface Water Project Issues

    • 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 Basin
      • Address scalping high flows to enhance existing and/or new tributary reservoirs
      • Address environmental concerns

    Task 18 - Other Water Related Issues

    • Flood management issue
    • Reservoir shoreline erosion issue
    • Water's role in economic development
    • Recreation issues and future potential

To address comments to the Sabine River Authority of Texas, please contact us.
http://www.sratx.org/srwmp/comprehensive_plan/scope.asp
This page requested on 6/23/2017 at 8:53:06 AM CST
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