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Water School

Archive by tag: waterReturn

What is the water cycle?

The water cycle is the continuous process of water moving from Earth's oceans, atmosphere and land. This cycle does not move in a particular order but in many different variations because different variables impact it like, topography, temperature and location.      Through precipitation, water condenses, forming a liquid and falling to the Earth as rain, snow, hail or fog. Once on the ground, water either remains in its liquid state, freezes, becoming ice or evaporates, or be...
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What types of contaminates can be found in drinking water?

No water is completely pure. Contaminates, both naturally occurring and manmade, occur at differing levels depending on your location throughout the world. In the United States, federal and state regulations set standards for the maximum amount of contaminants allowed for water to be considered safe for drinking. Regulated contaminants include a variety of microbes and substances that at certain levels could cause adverse health effects.Though most treated drinking water is safe for consumption,...
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What is in untreated water that can make you sick?

What is in untreated water that can make you sick?

Water drawn from rivers, lakes stream and other bodies of water as well as groundwater can be contaminated and could make you sick if you drink it without treating it first. Waterborne diseases, caused by microorganisms that live in untreated water, can cause diarrhea, nausea vomiting and other symptoms, and in extreme cases, death.Many of these pathogens infect water through contact with human and animal feces, carried there by runoff or seeping into the water supply from leaking sewage or sept...
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What is Possum Kingdom Lake?

What is Possum Kingdom Lake?

Possum Kingdom Lake, located on the main stem of the Brazos River northwest of Fort Worth, was the first water supply reservoir constructed in the Brazos River basin. Located in Young, Palo Pinto, Stephens, and Jack counties, the construction of the Morris Sheppard Dam was begun in 1938 and completed in 1941 with the aid of the Works Progress Administration Program.Possum Kingdom Lake covers an area of 16,716 acres with 219 miles of shoreline. The reservoir holds approximately 556,340 ...
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What is the Brazos River Authority and what do they do?

What is the Brazos River Authority and what do they do?

The mission of the Brazos River Authority (BRA) is to develop, manage, and protect the water resources of the Brazos River basin. The BRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1929 and was the first state agency in the United States created specifically for the purpose of developing and managing the water resources of an entire river basin.The water stored in the three BRA-owned reservoirs and eight US Army Corps of Engineers reservoirs within the system is permitted for use by ...
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What is the Texas Clean Rivers Program?

What is the Texas Clean Rivers Program?

The Texas Legislature created the Clean Rivers Program in 1991 when it passed the Texas Clean Rivers Act. Legislators’ goal was to push Texas towards comprehensive water planning and management to ensure the future quality of the water supply.The state designated the Brazos River Authority as the lead agency to conduct water quality assessment and Clean Rivers Program (CRP) planning in the Brazos River watershed. Every one to three months depending on location, the BRA tests water for everythin...
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What is wastewater?

What is wastewater?

Wastewater is water that has been used in homes, industries, and businesses that has been in contact with human or industrial waste and cannot be reused or returned to the water cycle until it has been treated or cleaned.
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What are system operations?

What are system operations?

Authorized by the state, the Brazos River Authority’s system operations permit allows the BRA to sell up to 705,000 acre-feet of water basin-wide from the 11 system reservoirs and the rivers within the watershed. The system permit allows the BRA to draw the water from any of the reservoirs and rivers included in the system allowing the BRA to utilize the sources with the largest storage of water at any specific time.
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What is a drought?

A drought is generally considered to be a prolonged period of less-than-normal precipitation such that the lack of water causes below-average streamflow or lake levels, lowered soil moisture, crop damage, or economic losses.  Droughts are globally the second-most costly weather event behind hurricanes, according to National Geographic. In Texas, during the 2011 drought, an estimated $7.62 billion was lost by farmers and ranchers, according to Texas AgriLife. Not only are droughts one o...
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What is water conservation?

Water conservation is the careful management and use of water to assure it provides the best long-term benefit to the public. Conservation is preservation of water from loss, damage or neglect. It includes processes that help provide long-term access to clean water by preventing unnecessary water usage and waste.Conservation can include preserving, controlling and developing water resources, both surface water and groundwater, and preventing water pollution. Water conservation is pract...
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What is groundwater?

What is groundwater?

Groundwater is water found beneath the Earth’s surface that gradually seeped down by saturating soil or rock. This water is stored in underground crevices and in the pores of rocks and other materials beneath the surface.
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What is a water right?

Water rights or a water permit is granted by the state in set increments to ensure that water is available for all in need.There are several types of water rights in Texas: perpetual rights including permits and certificates of adjudication and limited rights including temporary and term permits.
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What is subsidence?

What is subsidence?

Subsidence is a drop in the surface level of land. It sometimes occurs when groundwater is pumped from an aquifer. During this virtually irreversible process, cracks, fissures and sinkholes can appear in the ground.The southern area of the Brazos River basin has experienced a great deal of subsidence. To combat this problem, regulatory bodies known as subsidence districts were created by the State of Texas to begin lowering the use of groundwater and moving to a larger use of surface water in or...
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What is aerobic treatment?

What is aerobic treatment?

Aerobic water treatment is a method of treating sewage and wastewater by adding oxygen to the waste.  This process encourages naturally occurring bacteria to break down the waste and produce a higher quality effluent that may then be treated with chlorine to remove the remaining bacteria.
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Can I pump water from the river to water my lawn?

In Texas, anyone who wants to use surface water must first get permission from the state, unless they are using the water for one of several “exempt uses” in the Texas Water Code.Some exemptions include domestic and livestock use, wildlife management, and other specified uses (see Texas Water Code Section 11.142 ).Property owners have a right to draw water from a stream or natural water body that crosses or borders their land for domestic and livestock use, which includes watering a ...
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What is the Safe Drinking Water Act?

The Safe Drinking Water Act is a federal law passed by Congress in 1974 to protect public health by regulating the nation’s drinking water supply.  Under the direction of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the law regulates the dispersal of chemicals, animal waste, pesticides and other items that contaminate drinking water.In Texas, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) enforces standards that equal or exceed federal standards.
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What is interruptible water?

Interruptible water is water available for contract sale for a specific period, normally a year-to-year basis.  This water is available based on the amount of water in reservoir storage.  Interruptible water is subject to restricted use during water shortages.
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What is fecal coliform bacteria?

Fecal coliform bacteria is one of a collection of relatively harmless bacteria that live in the intestines of all warm blooded animals including humans.  These bacteria normally aid in the digestion of food then pass through the intestines as part of fecal waste.When aquatic systems are contaminated by human or animal feces, the fecal coliform bacteria (the most common form being Escherichia coli or E coli) can cause a number of waterborne diseases includi...
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What is dissolved oxygen?

Dissolved oxygen, or DO, is the amount of oxygen in surface water available for aquatic life.Aquatic plants and algae contribute to the presence of dissolved oxygen. Dissolved oxygen is necessary for aquatic species, such as fish and insects, that rely on water for their oxygen intake, absorbing it through their gills or bodies.Dissolved oxygen is an important parameter used in water quality monitoring. The concentration of DO in water is dependent on the temperature of the water. Warm water hol...
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What is WATER SCHOOL?

You may not realize that your life revolves around water! We use it daily for cooking, bathing, cleaning, and flushing. But, did you know that you can’t live without water?Though you may feel like flesh and bone, your body is made up of more than 60 percent of water. As a result, you can survive for weeks without food; but literally only days without water.Fresh drinking water is a limited resource. As our populations continue to grow, will we have enough for everyone? Becoming aware of how you...
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What is a groundwater district?

Groundwater districts are organizations created by legislation or through the petition process to provide administration over the use of water pumped from a specific area.  These districts have limited power, primarily in the spacing of wells, education, and planning, prohibiting waste, and permitting well drilling.The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has a myriad of information on groundwater supplies in Texas. The Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts (TAGD) is an organiza...
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What is a spring?

A spring is a place where groundwater flows naturally from the Earth’s surface. There are two types: gravity springs and non-gravity springs. Gravity springs can be depression spring, surface springs, or artesian springs.  Depression springs: form when a water table intersects with the ground surface, and the water overflows. A water table is an underground boundary of soil saturation. These types of springs vary depending on the raising and lowering of the water table. ...
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What is the USGS?

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is a federal scientific agency that works in biology, geography, geology and hydrology. USGS is the nation’s primary civilian mapping agency. The agency also monitors streams and other bodies of water across the country for flow and depth. Among its other activities, USGS also monitors earthquakes and volcanic activity.The USGS web site may be found by clicking here.
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What is an interbasin transfer?

An interbasin transfer is the sale of water from one river basin to another. This type of transaction requires the state to pass legislation before it can take place. The Authority has Interbasin Transfer Agreements with the Lower Colorado and Trinity River Authorities.
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What if I want to build a lake?

No one can impound the waters of the State of Texas without permission from the state, as expressed through the issuance of a water right or water permit.  A property owner, even if they own both sides of a stream, may not be able to build a dam on that stream without first seeking the permission of the state.  If you are planning on building a lake, it is best that you check with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and let them know your plans.
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How are groundwater rights determined?

Texas groundwater has long been governed by the “rule of capture” doctrine, generally meaning if you can capture it from beneath your property it is yours, regardless of impacts beyond your property. However, in the late 1940s, the Texas Legislature passed a law that allowed for the creation of groundwater conservation districts. These entities have limited power over groundwater, primarily in the spacing of wells, education and planning, prohibiting waste, and permitting well drilli...
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What is riparian doctrine?

In Texas, surface-water rights are governed by duel doctrine that take widely differing approaches: riparian and appropriation. Riparian doctrine was introduced to Texas more than 200 years ago during the Spanish colonial period and has since incorporated elements of English common law.Under this doctrine, property owners have a right to draw water from a stream or water body that crosses or borders their land. They are allowed to take water for a reasonable use and are protected against unreaso...
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What is a watershed protection plan?

A watershed protection plan is a coordinated effort among stakeholders of a watershed to determine and implement a plan to ease an environmental issue. The stakeholders often include residents of the impacted community, representatives of governmental and other agencies and local businesses, among others.The stakeholders work with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to develop a plan and formulate programs to manage the issue.
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What is E. coli?

E. Coli is a bacteria normally found in the intestines of humans and other warm blooded animals. It can pollute water bodies and other areas through contact with waste. Researchers have found contact with the bacteria can cause gastrointestinal illnesses.
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Can I put grease down my kitchen sink?

It is not recommended to pour any kind of cooking grease down the sink. Grease that is poured down the drain cools, then tends to solidify and stick to the walls of the pipe. This allows for more debris and food scraps to get lodged. Unfortunately, sometimes a plumber is required to unclog drains and pipes when this occurs which can be a pricy endeavor.Instead, place the grease in any kind of glass jar, store it under the sink, and then throw it away when full to protect and preserve kitchen dra...
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What is pH?

A measure of water’s alkalinity or acidity is called pH. Water with a pH of 7 is neutral; lower pH levels indicate increasing acidity and higher pH levels indicate increasingly basic solutions.
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Why should I conserve water?

Conserving water can be one of the easiest and most effective ways to positively impact our environment as well as our communities. Water conservation can take a variety of forms and each of them is important in the process of preserving one of the Earth’s most valuable resources.Though water amounts are limited, demand is rising as the world’s population grows. Projections show that by 2060, the Brazos River basin will not have enough water to meet that growing demand. One way we ca...
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Why are there federal reservoirs in the Brazos River basin?

The US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) operates eight flood control reservoirs within the Brazos River basin that, through a contract with the federal government, also serve as water supply impoundments for the Brazos River Authority system of reservoirs.Lakes Proctor, Whitney, Aquilla, Belton, Stillhouse Hollow, Georgetown, Granger, and Somerville store water for use by municipal, agricultural, industrial, and mining use.Similar to the Authority’s three water supply reservoirs, water cont...
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What is a lake's elevation?

The height above mean sea level that water in a reservoir has reached. Brazos River Authority and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lakes are actually reservoirs, or parts of the Brazos River basin impounded by dams. (A free-flowing river is measured in stages, that is, by depth from the river bed to the surface.)
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What is datum?

Datum is the basis for relating a river's stage to mean sea level. (datum + stage = elevation in feet above mean sea level)
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Is rainwater harvesting legal in Texas?

Rainwater harvesting is both legal and encouraged in the state of Texas. Multiple laws support the collection of rainwater by both private and public entities. For example, Texas Property Code prevents homeowners associations in the state from prohibiting rainwater harvesting systems for personal use. Additionally, Texas requires new state facilities to add rainwater harvesting systems in their designs, according to the Texas Water Development Board.Rain Barrel    Here are so...
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What is unappropriated water?

Unappropriated water is the state water remaining in a watercourse that is available for appropriation (ie permitting) under the rules of TCEQ.  Or in other words, it is the amount of water that could be available for use from a water source after all existing water rights have been fully taken into account.
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What is an adjudicated water permit?

Over the past 200 years of Texas history, the state has experienced several different laws governing the use of surface water. These differing laws often created conflict in water rights claims. In 1967, the Texas Legislature directed the predecessor agency of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to clarify this system and classify Texas water rights by Certificates of Adjudication. These certificates were each assigned a priority date based on when the water use first occurred.
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What is a term permit?

A term permit is a water permit issued by the State of Texas usually to industry, mining or agricultural enterprise for a specific amount of water that will be available for specific amount of time (usually 10 years).  This permit does not have a priority date nor is it considered to be a property right and is subject to non-renewal or cancellation at the end of the term.
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The information provided on this site is intended as background on water within the Brazos River basin. There should be no expectation that this information is all encompassing, complete or in any way examines every aspect of this very complex natural resource.

If you have questions about a post or would like additional information, please contact us or call 888-922-6272.

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