Texas Nutrient Criteria Development Support Project


The objective of this project was to provide the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) with the types of approaches used by other states as well as the quality and quantity of data available in Texas in order to develop and adopt numerical nutrient criteria for rivers, streams, and estuaries in Texas.

Study Area


Project Period



The adoption of numeric nutrient criteria in state water quality standards for the protection of water quality is currently a high priority for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA has mandated that all states develop and adopt numerical criteria for nutrients in all waterbody types including reservoirs, rivers, streams, estuaries, tidal rivers and streams. The TCEQ has historically, like most other states, maintained narrative nutrient standards for all waterbody types. The TCEQ has also recently adopted numeric criteria for selected reservoirs, which are being reviewed by the EPA. The next step for the TCEQ is to develop and adopt numeric nutrient criteria for rivers, streams and estuaries. In this effort, the TCEQ is investigating the types of approaches used by other states as well as the quality and quantity of data available to support these methods. This information would provide helpful insight into approaches that will best suit the available data and guide the gathering of future data. The results of this project provide much of this information needed to complete such an effort.


Guillen, G., Mokrech, M., and Wrast, J. 2011. Texas Nutrient Criteria Development Support Project. EIH Technical Report 11-001:679.

Project Sponsors

Related links

EPA: Nutrient Pollution Policy and Data

TCEQ: Nutrient Criteria Development

TCEQ: Nutrient Criteria Development Plan


  • Environmental Institute of Houston

    Phone: 281-283-3950
    Email: eih@uhcl.edu

    North Office Annex
    2700 Bay Area Blvd, Box 540
    Houston, TX 77058-1002