"How's the water?" That's a question any of us might ask while we swim or fish in our favorite lake or stream or drive over our local bayou on the way to work. The simple answer is "it depends." The quality of water in the region varies by geography as well as by which impairments or concerns are evaluated. At first glance it would seem that our water quality problems are quite severe. Currently 63 percent of our stream and bay segments are impaired by high levels of bacteria. Over 30 percent of the area's water bodies have a concern or are impaired for low levels of Dissolved Oxygen (DO). Elevated nutrient levels are a concern in 42 percent of our waterways. And finally, 21 percent of our water bodies (all tidal) are impaired by elevated levels of PCBs and dioxin.

Those numbers are concerning. But, there is some good news. When you look into the data you start to see that while it is true that we have a large number of water bodies that are impaired, trends in the data show that many of the streams and bays in the area are showing significant improvement.

This Basin Summary Report gives an overview of water quality conditions for the San Jacinto River Basin, the Trinity-San Jacinto Coastal Basin, the San Jacinto-Brazos Coastal Basin and the Brazos-Colorado Coastal Basin.

The Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Clean Rivers Program works to ensure safe, clean water supplies for the future of Texas - for drinking water needs, for industry, for irrigation, for recreation, for healthy ecosystems and for all other uses.

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