The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has several websites that discuss many aspects of water in Texas. The different websites contain a wealth of information about streams and rivers and well as other interesting topics. One such website is “An Analysis of Texas Waterways” which may be located by using a search engine such as Google or Yahoo.
When the website is accessed, there will a list of waterways in Texas (not all are listed) containing data concerning the physical characteristics of Texas waterways. Information about each listed waterway may be accessed by clicking of the name of the waterway appearing in blue on the left side of the website page. The website lists major East Texas waterways. Here are some examples.
The Attoyac Bayou begins near Mount Enterprise and meanders for 58 miles until it flows into the Angelina River and Sam Rayburn Reservoir. It forms the boundary line between Nacogdoches County and Shelby County. The upper section of the bayou has a seasonal flow of water. The lower section of the bayou has sufficient water for recreational purposes. Most of the land bordering the bayou is owned by large lumber companies. Navigation is hindered due to log jams.
The Angelina River is formed by the confluence of three creeks in Rusk County (near Henderson) and meanders for 119 miles through five counties (including Nacogdoches County) until it joins the Neches River about 12 miles west of Jasper. There are two reservoirs located on the Angelina: Sam Rayburn and B. A. Steinhagen Lake (near Beaumont).
The Neches River is formed in Van Zandt County (near Canton) and flows for 416 miles until reaching the Gulf of Mexico via Lake Sabine below Port Neches. Approximately 6 million acre feet of water flow down the Neches River each year. It drains 10,011 square miles. Two major reservoirs are located on the Neches River: Lake Palestine on the upper portion and B. A. Steinhagen Lake on the lower portion.
As stated, the website provides information for other waterways not discussed in the above examples. But the discussion does not end here. For those interested in the current water availability for Texas, there is a website providing a great of information. It is “water for texas.org.” When it is accessed, there will be a map showing the water supply reservoirs for Texas including conditions affecting the reservoirs such as depth and capacity.
It is evident that the population of Texas is growing rapidly with the most rapid growth occurring in the major metropolitan areas. This will increase the demand for water. Texas does have a water plan (still requiring full implementation) known as “The Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan” which (to quote) “serves as the strategic visionary document guiding the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in achieving its mission to conserve land and water resources and to provide outdoor recreational opportunities for all Texans.” The plan was originally adopted in 2005, and updated in 2013.
Banker Phares is a practicing attorney and founding member of the Estate Planning and Probate Law certification by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is the John and Karen Mast Professor at SFA and teaches in the Department of Economics and Finance.