In 2003, the Texas Legislature established the Study Commission on Water for Environmental Flows composed of 15 members charged with:
- Conducting public hearings and evaluating public policy implications regarding the balance of demands on the state’s water resources;
- Assessing the granting of permits for environmental flows;
- Assessing options available for the protection/preservation/provision of environmental flows; and
- Assessing allocation options to meet identified environmental water needs. The legislation also called for the Study Commission to appoint a science advisory committee that would serve as impartial advisors and reviewers for the Study Commission.
The Study Commission appointed a Science Advisory Committee in February 2004 to serve as impartial scientific advisors and reviewers.
The Meadows Center was instrumental in efforts to create a consensus between both environmental and development interests in Texas on a regulatory framework for protecting environmental flows. The Study Commission released their interim report to the 79th Legislature in December 2004.