Water quality in North Central Texas reservoirs is a growing concern with major problems of sediment and nutrient loading. Six of the major reservoirs in the Trinity River Basin managed by Tarrant Regional Water District now serve 1.6 million people across 11 counties and are threatened by point and nonpoint source pollution.
Through the Water Quality Education and Planning for North Central Texas project, the Texas Water Resources Institute and Texas AgriLife Extension Service are collaborating with Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD), Texas A&M Spatial Sciences Laboratory and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to conduct watershed planning, educational programs and water modeling to ensure high quality water for Tarrant County and surrounding counties. This program is helping to slow or reverse the decline in lake water quality and provide a prototype for other regions of the state and nation.
The project has generated substantial support from state agencies, including the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board to implement best management practices in the Cedar Creek watershed and the Texas Water Development Board to assess the effects of urbanization on streambank erosion and sedimentation of 25 major reservoirs in the Upper Trinity River Basin.
TRWD's ultimate goal is to accommodate a growing population and increased urbanization without sacrifi cing water quality. With the watershed management plan, TRWD can use scientifi cally based methods not only to identify sources for water quality impairment, but also to evaluate the costs and benefi ts of addressing these sources. This watershed management plan will produce useful planning tools for TRWD as well as other entities.