TEMPLE - The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board is pleased to announce the release of the 2013 Annual Report on Managing Nonpoint Source Water Pollution to the citizens of Texas. The report is jointly published by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Highlights in the report include annual load reductions of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment and success stories achieved on waterbodies across the state.
The federal Clean Water Act requires States to develop a program to protect the quality of water resources from the adverse effects of nonpoint source water pollution. The Texas Nonpoint Source Management Program, updated in 2012, is the State’s comprehensive strategy for addressing nonpoint source water pollution.
Each year, Congress appropriates federal funds to States through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Water Act §319(h) Nonpoint Source Grant Program. These funds are used to administer and implement the Texas Nonpoint Source Management Program and in order to continue receiving these federal funds, the State of Texas must annually report on success in achieving the goals and objectives of the Program.
Prevention and abatement of nonpoint source pollution involves partnerships among many organizations. With the extent and variety of water pollution issues across Texas, cooperation across political boundaries is essential. Many local, regional, state, and federal agencies play an integral part in managing nonpoint source pollution, especially at the watershed level. By coordinating with these partners to share information and resources and to develop and implement strategies together, the State can more effectively focus its water quality protection and restoration efforts.
The report, Managing Nonpoint Source Pollution in Texas – 2013 Annual Report, emphasizes the State’s efforts during fiscal year 2013 to collect data, assess water quality, implement projects that reduce or prevent nonpoint source pollution, and educate and involve the public to improve and maintain the quality of water resources for current and future generations of Texans.
Significant progress in improving water quality was achieved over the last fiscal year. This progress is measured in two ways: pollutant load reductions and watershed success stories. With implementation of best management practices (BMPs) such as prescribed grazing, wetland restoration and irrigation land leveling through three Clean Water Act §319(h) funded projects, reductions in pollutant loading to impaired waterbodies could be calculated. With thousands of acres of agricultural land placed under conservation management in fiscal year 2013, the following load reductions were achieved: 330 tons of sediment, 15,977 lbs of phosphorus and 134,210 lbs of nitrogen. These pollutant load reductions can eventually result in improved water quality.
When implementation efforts lead to restoration of water quality in impaired waterbodies, a success story is written. During fiscal year 2013, two success stories were written, one of those being on Oso Bay. As a result of landowner adoption of agricultural BMPs, as well as other nonpoint source reduction implementation efforts, Oso Bay was removed from the State’s 2010 303(d) List of impaired waters. This demonstrates the importance of landowner participation in voluntary adoption of BMPs in order to achieve success.
The report is available for download at http://www.tsswcb.texas.gov/reports#nps. Hard copies are available upon request.
For more information about the report, Managing Nonpoint Source Pollution in Texas - 2013 Annual Report, please contact Ashley Wendt at 254-773-2250 or ashley [dot] wendt [at] tsswcb [dot] texas [dot] gov.