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Update and Enhance the Texas Best Management Practice Evaluation Tool

Problem/Need Statement

The TSSWCB, SWCDs, and USDA-NRCS have been collaborating with agricultural producers [cooperators] to implement best management practices (BMPs) to protect natural resources on Texas farms and ranches for decades. Through the TSSWCB Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP) Program, technical assistance is provided by TSSWCB Regional Office staff, SWCD Technicians, and USDA-NRCS Field Office staff [planners] to assist cooperators in developing and implementing whole-farm, resource management systems (WQMPs). A WQMP is a site-specific plan which includes a suite of appropriate land treatment practices, production practices, management measures, and technologies that prevent and abate agricultural and silvicultural nonpoint source (NPS) water pollution. The BMPs prescribed in a WQMP are defined in the USDA-NRCS Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG). The FOTG represents the best available technology and is tailored to meet the needs of local SWCDs.

Project Narrative

The Texas BMP Evaluation Tool allows conservation planners and land managers to take advantage of the predictive power of a complex hydrologic water quality model to develop better WQMPs by evaluating the water quality impact arising from proposed BMPs. The Tool allows TSSWCB to better gage the programmatic effectiveness (fiscal and environmental) of the WQMP Program and associated state and federally sponsored cost-share funding mechanisms.

The Texas BMP Evaluation Tool is simple enough, yet scientifically valid, so that cost-effective conservation practice alternatives can be examined and appropriate options chosen based on field-specific soil, crop, livestock, and climatic information. The Tool provides scientifically-valid estimates of the environmental effects of conservation practices, i.e., impacts on water quality. These estimates will provide resource conservation savings (for example tons of soil saved or lbs of P kept out of streams).

The overall objective of this project is to convert the Texas Best Management Practice Evaluation Tool (TBET) to an open platform web application. Through this project SSL will modify and update TBET to operate in an open platform web application.

Total Cost: $89,636

Workplan: 19-51


"Protecting and Enhancing Natural Resources since 1939."

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