Colorado and Lavaca Rivers, Matagorda and Lavaca Bays Consensus Recommendations and Adopted Standards

NOTE:  Steve Box,  Executive Director of Environmental Stewardship, served on this stakeholder committed as alternate to Andrew Sansom, from 2008 until Mr. Sansom resigned in 2019 and nominated Mr. Box to take his place on the committee.  

The Colorado and Lavaca Bay and Basin Area Stakeholder Committee (CL BBASC) submitted its consensus recommendations report to the Environmental Flows Advisory Group (EFAG) and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) on August 30, 2011. The report, which was based on a twelve month review of scientific studies on the rivers and bays by the Colorado and Lavaca Bay and Basin Expert Science Team (CL BBEST), recommends that several key environmental flow components be established to protect the sound ecological environment that currently exists in these rivers and bays. The report is the first and only consensus report that has been submitted since the process began in 2008. Three other stakeholder committees and their expert science teams have been split regarding how to protect the environmental flows of their respective basins and bays, while also providing water for human needs. The consensus report is an important milestone in the environmental flows allocation process, and should provide a strong basis for protection the Colorado and Lavaca rivers, and Matagorda and Lavaca bays.

The TCEQ adopted environmental flow standards into the Texas Water Code on August 8, 2012 that became effective August 30, 2012.

The Colorado and Lavaca Basin and Bay Area Stakeholder Committee (CL BBASC) reconviened in early 2019 to start its first 10-year review of the environmental flow standards in order to review new studies that have been completed, evaluate the effectiveness of the standards, and make recommendations (if necessary) to improve the standards.

Links to report:

CL BBEST Recommendations Report

CL BBASC Recommendations Report

TCEQ Adoption of Environmental Flow Standards for the Colorado and Lavaca Rivers, Matagorda and Lavaca Bays.  

Texas Water Code Chapter 298 – Environmental Flow Standards



After many years of discussion and negotiations, the Environmental Flows Allocation Process was established for the State of Texas on the last day of the 2007 legislative session. The Texas Environmental Flows Advisory Group was created by the 80th Texas Legislature in recognition of the importance that the ecological soundness of our riverine, bay, and estuary systems and riparian lands have on the economy, health, and well being of Texas. For detailed information on the Environmental Flows Process click here to visit Texas Water Matters website.

The Environmental Flows Advisory Group (EFAG) is composed of the following nine members:

  • Senator Joan Huffman, Co-presiding Officer
  • Representative Jodie Laubenberg, Co-presiding Officer
  • Senator Brandon Creighton
  • Senator Lois Kolkhorst
  • Peter Lake, Texas Water Development Board
  • Commissioner Richard “Dick” Scott, Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
  • Commissioner Emily Lindley, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

The Colorado and Lavaca Rivers and Matagorda and Lavaca Bays Basin and Bay Area Stakeholder Committee is composed of a diverse group of interest groups including:

Interest Group Member
River Authorities Patrick Brzozowski, Chair
Environmental Interests Myron Hess, Vice-Chair
Agricultural Irrigation L.G. Raun
Chemical Manufacturing Mike Rivet
Commercial Fisherman Buddy Treybig
Electricity Generation Jason Ludwig
Environmental Interests Andrew Sansom
Free-Range Livestock Patricia Jacobs
Free-Range Livestock Kathryn Mews
Groundwater Conservation Districts Ronald Gertson
Groundwater Conservation Districts Caroline Runge
Municipalities Teresa Lutes
Public Interest Groups Bill Balboa
Public Interest Groups John Gosdin
Recreational Water Users Bruce Arendale
Recreational Water Users Jami Smith Hanchey
Refining Deedy Huffman
Regional Water Planning Groups Jack Maloney
Regional Water Planning Groups Jennifer Walker
River Authorities Monica Masters
Soil and Water Conservation Districts Bob Shoemate

Related Groups:

Texas Environmental Flows Science Advisory Committee
Sabine and Neches Rivers and Sabine Lake Bay Basin and Bay Area Stakeholders Committee
Trinity and San Jacinto Rivers and Galveston Bay Stakeholders Committee
Guadalupe, San Antonio, Mission, and Aransas Rivers and Mission, Copano, Aransas, and San Antonio Bays Stakeholders Committee