Brackish Resources Aquifer Characterization System (BRACS)

banner for BRACS homepage

In 2003, a TWDB-funded study laid the foundation for determining brackish groundwater volumes and estimated Texas has approximately 2.5 billion acre-feet of brackish groundwater. However, the study was by design regional in scope, limited in a real extent, and narrow in its assessment of groundwater quality. Completed studies to date indicate an estimated 3.2 billion ac-ft of total brackish groundwater volumes in place with TDS concentrations between 1,000 and 10,000 mg/L.

In 2009, the 81st Texas Legislature, approved funding to implement the Brackish Resources Aquifers Characterization System (BRACS) program to more thoroughly characterize the brackish aquifers. In 2015, the 84th Texas Legislature passed House Bill 30, directing the TWDB to identify and designate brackish groundwater production zones in the state. The 86th Texas Legislature also passed Senate Bill 1041 that extended the deadline to complete zone designations from December 1, 2022, to December 1, 2032, and House Bill 722 that established a permitting framework for developing water supplies from TWDB-designated brackish groundwater productions zones. To learn more about status of zone designation visit our webpage.

Goals of Brackish Resources Aquifer Characterization System:

  • Map and characterize the brackish aquifers of the state in greater detail using existing water well reports, geophysical well logs, and available aquifer data.
  • Build datasets that can be used for groundwater exploration and replicable numerical groundwater flow models to estimate aquifer productivity.


Recent Maps

BRACS Study Areas

BRACS Study Areas

BRACS Study Areas

Legislative Reports

Reports due the the Legislature in even numbered years are included in the biennial desalination report. Reports due to the Legislature in odd numbered years are located below.