SAN ANGELO, Texas, — The Upper Colorado River Authority (UCRA) is the River Authority that is stationed in the Concho Valley and one of the River Authorities that partners with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for the Clean Rivers Program.
So what is the Clean Rivers Program? It’s a 32-year-old program that was put in place by the TCEQ to ensure certain standards of quality when it comes to our rivers. They want to keep track of Texas rivers and keep an eye on the environment affecting them.
Environmental Specialist with the UCRA, Lexi Woods, says the program “was founded in 1990 And that’s when the UCRA became a partner with TCEQ to start the program. Since then, a bunch of regional river authorities and other water body agencies have been becoming partners.”
To monitor the rivers, the small yet mighty 3 person team at the UCRA goes out to rivers and takes samples. Woods says, “We’ll measure pH, water temperature, how clear the water is, how much evidence there is of people recreating in that area, we’ll also measure how fast the water is flowing.”
Once the lab results come back and data is gathered, Woods and the company sends the data to their partner on the river, the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), and the TCEQ headquarters.
Once TCEQ has the data, they monitor it over time and send out reports every two years. If there were to be any need for restoration, the TCEQ would then delegate and partner with the water managing districts which vary by body of water.
Woods encourages everyone to take a look at their website as people are often confused as to what the River Authority does. You can find all of their information at https://www.ucratx.org/