The West Houston Association Water Resources Committee hosted the Water in the Brazos Forum on November 15th, 2018. The event featured David Collinsworth, CEO of Brazos River Authority (BRA), as he addressed our membership over breakfast at the Embassy Suites – Energy Corridor.
Collinsworth spoke to the audience about a recent decision of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to approve a system operation permit which allows the BRA to sell 100,000 more acre feet of water. This will be the first time in eight years that the agency has been able to sell any additional water to their clients. While Collinsworth expressed how much the river authority is looking forward to providing more water, he also reported that there is still an additional 200,000 acre feet of water being requested that the BRA does not have.
Collinsworth also provided our membership with an overview of the different systems within the agency and how each one of them contributes to the overall function and success of the agency. He informed the group of the fact that the river authority does not have any actual flood storage of their own. They instead pay the Army Corp. of Engineers approximately $6-7M each year to store water in their reservoirs. Due to this lack of storage, all of the rainwater that’s collected needs to be released in order to maintain the structural integrity of the system regardless of what the lakes look like downstream.
Moving forward, Collinsworth reported that the BRA will focus on large scale projects as well as preventing building in the floodplain, which will have the most impact on protecting the region from flooding. Water prioritization may be a challenge moving forward as there are competing priorities and a limited amount of water and another area of focus will be on the invasive and endangered species in the water. The BRA continues their work toward improvement projects and protecting the quality of water to ensure all our region’s water needs are met.
WHA would like to thank David Collinsworth for speaking to our membership regarding the new projects and initiatives of the Brazos River Authority. We would also like to thank our Water Resources Committee for their involvement with the association and commitment to improving the Greater West Houston Region.
Written By: Carmen Kumpula
Edit By: Imani Forrest