New immersive water quality data site, Brazos Water Snake under review

New immersive water quality data site, Brazos Water Snake under review

For the first time, the Brazos River Authority is presenting its comprehensive review of water quality data, produced every five years, online using an interactive format.

Glimpse of the Brazos River Basin Summary Report

The BRA Board of Directors, at its regular bimonthly meeting Sept. 26, 2022, heard a presentation on the 2022 Brazos River Basin Summary Report (BSR). Unlike the BRA’s annual report, this involves a detailed discussion of data analysis findings. This report develops a greater understanding of basin water quality conditions, identifies trends and changes, and aids decision making regarding water quality issues in each river and coastal basin in Texas, said Tiffany Malzahn, BRA environmental and compliance manager.

The report explains why current water quality conditions exist by incorporating and interpreting the findings from the various data analysis functions. 

This new online format allows users to navigate the report easily and quickly to a specific area of interest. Still, it also facilitates the development of a detailed understanding of the complex relationships between water quality and land use and how changes in these relationships might affect current or future water quality.

“It gives you a whole lot more immersive experience,” she said. 

The BRA shares the report with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board. Plus, the BRA is reimbursed by the Texas Clean Rivers Program for time and expenses incurred making the report.

View the online interactive report here

The Board of Directors also authorized BRA GM/CEO David Collinsworth to enter a $650,000, three-year phased contract with BioWest Inc. for research on the Brazos Water Snake.

This is no average garden snake. The Brazos Water Snake not only lives only in the Brazos River basin but in a certain location, Malzahn said.

There hasn’t been a comprehensive survey of this nonvenomous snake but what does exist leads researchers to speculate its population is experiencing a dramatic decline. The State in 1986 listed the snake as a threatened species, and it remains on that list. This fish-eating snake is just one of four species of interest considered threatened in the Brazos River basin.

Brazos Water Snake

As seen with other aquatic and semi-aquatic species across the country, the construction and operation of dams are one of the primary causes of the species decline identified by the academic community and environmental special interest groups, Malzahn said. 

The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts reached out for the BRA and TPWD to link arms to work on this research, Malzahn said.

 During the meeting, the Board agreed to list as surplus a 7.8-acre tract of land located between the 693-foot contour and the 696-foot contour (Brazos River Authority Datum) at Lake Granbury adjacent to the Brazos River Authority Tract No. 422 in the Milam County School Land Survey Abstract No. 348, Hood County, Texas. 

The land will be for sale via a public auction. 

Also during the meeting, the Board:

  • authorized Collinsworth to enter into all agreements necessary to continue the relationship with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas to provide the BRA with a fully insured medical plan.
  • authorized Collinsworth to negotiate and execute a $1,737,000 contract with GeoStabilization International for construction services required to complete the Granger Lake slope stabilization project.
  • approved and authorized an amendment to increase the Lake Granbury Low Flow project budget from $5,691,000 to $6,141,000.
  • authorized Collinsworth to execute a settlement agreement as a result of mediation to resolve issues associated worth the Lake Granbury trolley replacement project.
  • approved and established a commercial activity permit fee application amount of $75 and an annual commercial activity operational fee of $1,000 per year.
  • authorized Collinsworth to execute appropriate amendments to the Regional Water Planning Contract with the Texas Water Development Board to support Brazos G Regional Water Planning Group activities. 

Learn More

The remaining currently scheduled 2022 Board meeting is Nov. 14, 2022.

Sign up for email Board Meeting notices here.

Collinsworth will present meeting highlights and information on the Belhouse Drought Preparedness Project during the next virtual public meeting Oct. 13, 2022. The hour-long Brown Bag on the Brazos provides the public the opportunity to ask questions of BRA management.

For a complete list of Board actions from the meeting, go here. Or watch the full board meeting here.

Still have questions? Email information@brazos.org.