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HomeNL-2011-04_City Agreement
Agreement reached between city of Houston and
environmental groups regarding freshwater inflows
March 8, 2011
John Bartos, HCC Conservation Chair

In an agreement signed by City of Houston Mayor Annise Parker on March 8, 2011, the City and several environmental groups reached an agreement regarding water rights permits that the City has been seeking.  The City of Houston filed applications for water rights in 2002.  Over the course of that time, several groups including the Galveston Bay Foundation, Galveston Bay Conservation and Preservation Association, National Wildlife Federation, Coastal Conservation Association and the Sierra Club have been working on attempting to get agreement on a reservation to these permits to protect important flows into Galveston Bay from the several bayous included in the permits. 

The resulting agreement will, if approved by the TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality), cause no more than 50% of the wastewater to be reused and the remainder to be allowed to remain in the bayous and eventually provide freshwater inflows into Galveston Bay.  Freshwater inflows are vitally important to maintain the quality of the very productive estuaries of the bay.

Thanks go out to the City of Houston and Mayor Parker for recognizing the importance of the bay to the quality of life of the citizens in the region.  There are many additional efforts to try to ensure that environmental flows from the major rivers are protected in the face of the pressure of future population growth.  In this particular instance, the parties were able to work together and come up with an agreement that will work to the benefit of residents of the bay area in the future.

Link to Houston Chronicle article about the agreement:

John Bartos