Lower Neches River Basin & Tributaries

Neches River at the Saltwater Barrier in Beaumont
Neches River at the Saltwater Barrier in Beaumont

The Lower Neches River Basin can loosely be described as the watershed area for the river downstream of Lake B.A. Steinhagen, which lies between Tyler and Jasper counties. The Lower Neches Valley Authority manages water resources in the basin and works to provide freshwater supplies to area users, protect water quality, insure affordability of water resources and enhance economic development in the area.

Despite generally good water quality across the Lower Neches River Basin, several impairments do exist. Elevated concentrations of E. coli and enterococcus in some water bodies impair recreational uses in these water bodies. As a result, these water bodies are listed in the Texas Integrated Report of Surface Water Quality for not meeting the state’s water quality standard.

Through this project, TWRI is undertaking a multi-year effort to address bacterial impairments in the Lower Neches River Basin and Hillebrandt Bayou. This involves the characterization of watershed conditions, education and outreach efforts to raise awareness of water quality impairments locally, and facilitating a stakeholder process to develop plans to restore instream water quality.


  • Characterize potential causes and sources of pollution through water quality and watershed-related data gathering and assessment to develop a better understanding of the factors causing bacteria impairments
  • Engaging watershed stakeholders through public participation programs including general education program delivery and meeting with key stakeholders to understand water quality issues and determine a preferred restoration approach
  • Initiate efforts to form and facilitate watershed stakeholder groups to develop local plans to restore water quality

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Lucas Gregory

Dr. Lucas Gregory currently serves as an assistant director and quality assurance officer for TWRI.


We recently published the Winter 2020 issue of our magazine, txH2O, highlighting the connection between water and health, including pathogens, poverty, PFAS and other water-health issues and developing potential solutions. 

Institute works with partners to improve water quality in East Texas

The Texas Water Resources Institute, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Angelina and Neches River Authority will host a meeting Nov. 22 in Lufkin for anyone interested in water quality impairments in Jack, Cedar, Hurricane and Biloxi creeks, tributaries of the Neches River below Lake Palestine.

The Texas Water Resources Institute in collaboration with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will host two meetings Nov. 21 in Woodville and Jasper for anyone interested in joining a partnership to improve and protect water quality in the Sandy and Wolf creeks.

A Texas Watershed Steward workshop on water quality related to the Neches River will be held from 1-5 p.m. May 21 in Jasper. The workshop will be held at the Jasper County Courthouse Annex, 271 E. Lamar St. It will be presented by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board in cooperation with the Texas Water Resources Institute.

    Upcoming Meetings

    There are no upcoming events

    Project Contacts

    Lucas Gregory, Assistant Director
    (979) 845-7869

    Michael Schramm, Research Specialist III
    (979) 458-9191

    Funding provided by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.