Changes in freshwater inflows to Galveston Bay and the Trinity-San Jacinto Estuary, Texas




Powell, Gary L. and Ruben S. Solis

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Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission


Galveston Bay and the Trinity-San Jacinto Estuary lie in the warm temperate climatic zone of the upper Texas coast and cover an area of about 600 square miles--the largest of all seven major bay and estuary systems in the state. Galveston Bay receives an average 10.1 million acre-feet per year of the freshwater inflows from the Trinity River Basin, the San Jacinto River Basin, the San Jacinto-Brazos Coastal Basin, the Neches-Trinity Coastal Basin and the Trinity-San Jacinto Basin. Potential future development and use of freshwater in the region are also capable of changing the historical hydrological regime. Some changes are likely to result from the beneficial use of eastern freshwater with subsequent return inflows mainly to the western side of the bay, however; the percent of total freshwater inflows to the estuary that are involved is modest but not insignificant, either statistically or ecologically.


pgs. 11-12


inflow, urban runoff, commercial fisheries, sediment distribution, river discharge