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TSSWCB Programs

The conservation efforts of the TSSWCB are centered around the following key programs.

Ranch HouseSWCD Assistance - The TSSWCB provides assistance to SWCDs through programs it administers and through TSSWCB field representatives that meet regularly with the SWCDs to provide guidance and consultation.

Water Quality Management Plan Program - In 1993, the Texas Legislature took a major step toward controlling water pollution from agricultural and silvicultural nonpoint sources when it passed Senate Bill 503, establishing the Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP) Program. Senate Bill 503 authorized the TSSWCB to assist agricultural and silvicultural producers in meeting the state's water quality goals and standards through this voluntary, incentive-based program. There are special requirements regarding Poultry WQMPs.

Water Supply Enhancement Program - In order to help meet the State’s critical water conservation needs and ensure availability of public water supplies, the TSSWCB administers the Water Supply Enhancement Program (WSEP) to increase available surface and ground water through the selective control of brush species that are detrimental to water conservation (e.g., juniper, mesquite, saltcedar). This is a voluntary program in which landowners may contract with the TSSWCB for cost-share assistance to implement brush control activities for water supply enhancement. Working through local SWCDs, landowners develop 10-year resource management plans addressing brush control, soil erosion, wildlife habitat, and other natural resource issues.

Rio Grande Carrizo Cane Eradication Program - Large dense stands of non-native carrizo cane (Arundo donax) now occupy the banks and floodplains of the Rio Grande, thwarting law enforcement efforts along the international border, impeding and concealing the detection of criminal activity, restricting law enforcement officers’ access to riverbanks, and impairing the ecological function and biodiversity of the Rio Grande. In order to help meet the Governor’s border security priorities, the Texas Legislature, in 2015, directed the TSSWCB, through Senate Bill 1734, to develop and implement a program to eradicate carrizo cane along the Rio Grande. The TSSWCB must develop a program that establishes long-term management at a landscape scale of invasive carrizo cane along the entire Rio Grande, an international border with great ecological and cultural significance.

Texas Nonpoint Source Management Program - 319(h) Grant Program - Through the grant program established under Section 319(h) of the federal Clean Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides funding to Texas to implement activities that achieve Congress' goal of controlling and abating nonpoint source pollution.

Total Maximum Daily Load Program - Section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act requires Texas to identify waterbodies failing to meet or not expected to meet water quality standards and not supporting their designated uses. The State must then establish a total maximum daily load (TMDL) that defines the maximum amount of a pollutant that the waterbody can assimilate on a daily basis and still meet water quality standard and allocates pollutant loads between point sources and nonpoint sources. Based on this environmental target, an Implementation Plan (I-Plan) is developed that prescribes the measures necessary to mitigate anthropogenic (human-caused) sources of that pollutant in that waterbody. Together, the TMDL and the I-Plan serve as the mechanism to reduce the pollutant, restore the full use of the waterbody

Watershed Protection Plan Program - TSSWCB provides guidance and technical assistance to local stakeholer groups in developing and implementing watershed protection plans (WPPs). A WPP is a coordinated framework for implementing prioritized and integrated water quality protection and restoration strategies driven by environmental objectives. Developed and implemented through diverse, well integrated partnerships, a WPP assures the long-term health of the watershed with strategies for protecting unimpaired waters and restoring impaired waters. WPPs serve as tools to better leverage the resources of local governments, state and federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations.

Comprehensive Nutrient Management Planning in the North Bosque River Watershed - Responsibilities stemming from the North Bosque River TMDLs for phosphorus required that the TSSWCB develop a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) Program for owners and operators of both permitted and unpermitted animal feeding operations.

Bosque River and Leon River Watersheds Composting Initiative - The TSSWCB initiated the Dairy Manure Export Support (DMES) project in an effort to bring an innovative solution to the problem of elevated phosphorus levels in the North Bosque River and Leon River watersheds.

Environmental Data Quality Management - The TSSWCB, along with its cooperating entities and laboratories, are committed to the application of sound science, appropriate quality assurance standards, and practicality in supporting agricultural and silvicultural nonpoint source abatement and prevention activities. Quality assurance activities are conducted by the TSSWCB and its cooperating entities to ensure that all environmental data generated and processed are scientifically valid, of known precision and accuracy, and legally defensible regarding methodology.

Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program - The TSSWCB manages the agricultural and silvicultural portions of this State program, which is designed to control coastal nonpoint source pollution.

Information and Education - The TSSWCB facilitates educational activities through local SWCDs on issues such as soil conservation, erosion prevention, wildlife preservation, and other natural resource stewardship efforts.