The Galveston Bay Freshwater Inflows Group and Senate Bill 1




Callaway, Glenda L.

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Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission


The Galveston Bay Freshwater Inflows Group (GBFIG) was created in December 1996 to address (preferably in a civilized way) the sometimes apparently conflicting goals of providing water for a large and growing human population and ensuring adequate inflows of freshwater to an estuarine system of regional, state and national importance. In spite of the reputation water issues have earned of being physically contentious (whiskey is for drinkin', water is for fightin') and under the remembered shadow of the proposed Wallisville reservoir (now the Wallisville Saltwater Barrier), GBFIG has built an almost collegial approach, using facilitated discussions, to work its way through the scientific and political questions that must be answered before agreement on how to ensure freshwater inflows to Galveston Bay can be achieved. ; GBFIG continues its work and reports its findings through the established processes of the Galveston Bay Estuary Program (part of the National Estuary Program and a program of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission) and the 15-county Region H Water Planning Group (RHWPG). The RHWPG was established by the Texas Water Development Board under legislative directive (Senate Bill 1) to prepare a Regional Water Plan as part of the next Texas Water Plan. Environmental water needs (both instream and freshwater inflows to bays and estuaries) are to be addressed under Senate Bill 1 water planning. While scientific work continues on the amount and location of monthly inflows needed, GBFIG has recommended to the RHWPG target levels of annual freshwater inflows to the bay system. The GBFIG recommendation was adopted and is included in the draft Region H Water Plan.


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freshwater inflow legislation