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The Medina River is located in south central Texasmarker in the Medina Valley. Named after Pedro Medina, a Spanish engineer, by Alonso de León, Spanish governor of Coahuilamarker, New Spain in 1689. It was also known as the Rio Mariano, Rio San Jose, or Rio de Bagres (Catfish river). Once it served as the official boundary between Texas and Coahuila with the San Antonio Rivermarker being considered its tributary. At that time, the river was called the Medina all the way to the Gulf of Mexicomarker, but now the part below the confluence is called the San Antonio River. It starts in springs in the Edwards Plateaumarker in northwest Bandera County, Texasmarker and merges with the San Antonio River in southern Bexar County, Texasmarker, for a course of 120 miles. It contains the Medina Dammarker in NE Medina County, Texasmarker which restrains Lake Medinamarker. Much of its course is owned and operated by the Bexar-Medina-Atascosa Water District to provide irrigation services to farmers and ranches.

Natural features

Much of the source water to the Medina River is produced by springs emerging due to the presence of the Balcones Fault. This locale of the Balcones Fault is associated with an important ecological dividing line for species occurrence. For example, species such as the California Fan Palm, Washingtonia filifera, occur only west of the Medina River or Balcones Fault.

Historically the Medina River once received significant waste discharge from upstream catfish farming operations, which utilized more water than was sustainable to the basin's safe usage.


  1. C. Michael Hogan. 2009
  2. Robert Glennon. 2004


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