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Stuff about Geosciences



Concerns about water -- its availability and quality -- are rapidly gaining the attention of the public, government, and researchers. In Texas, these concerns have recently been focused on issues surrounding the Edwards Aquifer (for which there is a separate guide), but many more areas of interest are developing. Sources of information on water in Texas are wide ranging and complex. This guide will introduce you to some of the major providers of Texas water data, and help you locate publications in the University of Texas Libraries.

This will be a general guide to sources of Texas water information -- research organizations whose mission is to generate publications about water in Texas -- but remember to check the major periodical indexes for published research in journal articles detailing specific water topics that have a Texas focus.

Note about Policy and Legal information:
If you need information about law or policy, it would be best to consult specialized reference works about those topics for information they may contain on water law and policy. Ask for reference assistance at the Perry-Castañeda Library (PCL) or Law Library for information on these topics.


To search for journal articles and technical reports on water in Texas, you will need to consult a wide variety of reference tools, including databases. These databases are restricted to UT faculty, staff, and students.

Dissertations and Theses: Full Text

The primary source for current research in the earth sciences. For print forerunners of GeoRef, see:

  • Bibliography and Index of Geology
  • Bibliography and Index of Texas Geology

EI Compendex
The second most comprehensive index that covers the earth sciences. The focus is on engineering and petroleum geology and geotechnical topics, with an increasing emphasis on water-related topics.

Academic Search Complete
A large general index of scientific periodicals.

Brune, Gunnar M. 1981. Springs of Texas. Arlington, TX: G. Brune.

Estaville, Lawrence E., and Richard A. Earl. 2008. Texas Water Atlas. River books. College Station: Texas A&M University Press.

Sansom, Andrew, Emily R. Armitano, and Tom Wassenich. 2008. Water in Texas: An Introduction. Texas Natural History Guides. Austin: University of Texas Press.

The Walter Geology Library also maintains a collection of theses written in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. See library catalog for theses available in other disciplines or Worldcat for theses from other schools.

Some full text theses and dissertations might be located in the UT Digital Repository or in the Dissertations and Theses: Full Text (access restricted to UT faculty, staff, and students).

For Theses and Dissertations that the University Libraries do not own, you may be able to place a request through InterLibrary Services (ILS). 


The Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG) is the Texas state geological survey. For more information, see the Bureau of Economic Geology Publication Guide, or consult the Bibliography and Index of Texas GeologyGeoRef, or the library catalog.

Geological Circular (GC)
TN 24 T4 T38 [report number] 

Report of Investigations (RI)
QE 167 T42 [report number] 

University of Texas Bulletins / Publications
QE 167 U558 [report number]

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)

Water Commission Bulletin
GB 1025 T4 A35 [report number]

Keep in mind that TCEQ's organizational names have changed many times over the years. Here is one organizational lineage that leads to TCEQ. Also see: Predecessor Agency Flowchart.

  • Texas Board of Water Engineers (1913) > Texas Water Commission (1962) > Texas Water Rights Commission (1965) > Texas Department of Water Resources (1977) > Texas Natrual Resources Conservation Commission (1993) > Texas Commision on Environmental Quality (2002)

Texas Water Development Board (TWDB)

Bulletin / Texas Board of Water Engineers / Water Commission (1930s through 1965)
GB 1025 T4 A35 [report number]
Most issues in this series are inventories of surface and ground water supplies in Texas counties.

Circular / Texas Water Development Board (1962- )
TC 424 T4 A3 [report number]
This is a small, miscellaneous series, often for the general public. 

Report / Texas Water Development Board (1965- )
TD 224 T4 A333 [report number]
A wide-ranging series of reports with an emphasis on resource modeling and availability. See TWDB Reports Index

Records of Wells, Driller's Logs and Water Analyses / Texas Board of Water Engineers
GB 1025 T4 A4 [county] 
Results of a 1930s WPA survey of Texas water. 

Below is the genealogy for TCEQ and TWDB. See also Predecessor Agency Flowchart.

1913 Texas Board of Water Engineers 
1953 Texas Water Pollution Advisory Council
1957 Texas Water Development Board
1961 Water Pollution Advisory Council becomes Texas Water Pollution Control Board
1962 Board of Water Engineers becomes Texas Water Commission
1965 Water Commission becomes Texas Water Rights Commission
1967 Water Pollution Control Board becomes Texas Water Quality Board
1977 Water Rights Commission, Water Quality Board and Water Development Board merge into Texas Dept. of Water Resources
1985 Dept. of Water Resources splits into Texas Water Commission and Texas Water Development Board
1993 Texas Air Control Board (authorized 1965) merges with Water Commission to form the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC)
2002 TNRCC changes its name to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
The Geology Library is the primary repository for USGS publications in the University of Texas Libraries. See also the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Publication Guide, or the USGS Publications Warehouse

Bibliography of United States Geological Survey Reports on the Geology and Water Resources of Texas 1887-1974. 
U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations 20-75. Of special interest for historical water information.

Open File Reports (OFR) 
Includes materials about water in Texas. Geology Library houses most OFRs since 1981 on uncataloged microfiche. Some paper copies also available.

Professional Papers (PP)
QE 75 P9 [report number]
Includes results of R.A.S.A. projects (regional Aquifer-System Analysis).

Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations (TWRI)
TC 177 U57A [report number]

Water Resources Investigations (WRI or WRIR, in 2004 became the SIR series)
GB 701 W375 [report number]

Water Resources Data: Texas
GB 1225 T4 A44 [report number]
Water Resources Data for other states are available in the Perry-Castañeda Library (PCL) U.S. Documents Collection.

Water Supply Papers (WSP)
TC 801 U2 [report number]

Austin Geological Society
Published several Edwards Aquifer and Austin area hydrogeology fieldtrip guidebooks.

Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District

Center for Research in Water Resources (CRWR)
University of Texas at Austin. Publishes Water Resources Symposium issues. Some have a Texas emphasis.

  • Technical Report
    TD 201 T3 T492 [report number]

Edwards Aquifer Authority (San Antonio)
Publishes a Bulletin series, also informational booklets and videos.

Edwards Aquifer Research & Data Center
Texas State University, San Marcos.

Harris Galveston Coastal Subsidence Districts

High Plains Underground Water Conservation District No. 1
Publishes a newsletter, The Cross Section, and a hydrologic atlas series.

International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) United States and Mexico, United States Section
Publishes materials dealing primarily with Rio Grande border conflict negotiations and water resources in the Rio Grande basin. IBWC "is a Federal government agency and the U.S. component of the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC), which applies the boundary and water treaties of the United States and Mexico and settles differences that may arise in their application."

International Center for Arid and Semi-Arid Land Studies (ICASALS)
Texas Tech University, Lubbock.Publishes a number of arid-lands studies, some of which are Texas related.

Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA)

National Technical Information Service (NTIS)
This index of all government-sponsored research is also useful to identify relevant materials. It is possible for you to order from NTIS microfiche of documents you will require for your research. 

Pecos River Watershed Protection Plan Implementation Program. Texas Water Resources Institute
The Texas Water Resources Institute has published a number of reports related to the Pecos River Basin Assessment Program that includes studies on springs, sources of saltwater, and brush control.

Rio Grande Council of Governments
Environmental Services & Special Projects Division. See the Far West Texas Water Planning Group (El Paso).

Surf Your Watershed
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Regional federal document depository and the state publications archive.

Texas Water Resources Institute
Texas A&M University. Publishes a Technical Report Series, Texas Water Resources, and New Waves.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Publishes a wide variety of materials, primarily dealing with surface water and flood control. Materials available at the Perry-Castañeda Library (PCL) U.S. Documents Collection, Geology, and Engineering.

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