Improving Austin Streams
Last Updated September 18, 2015
For more current information, please go to TCEQ IAS website
IAS Coordination Committee Moves to Implementation Phase of I-Plan
With final approval of the Improving Austin Streams Implementation Plan (I-Plan), the IAS Coordination Committee has turned its focus to the plan’s implementation. The Coordination Committee has increased its representation, and members and their organizations are working on the various management measures in the plan. While the I-Plan itself is focused on efforts to reduce bacteria in four Austin watersheds (Walnut Creek, Waller Creek, Spicewood Tributary of Shoal Creek, and Taylor Slough South), it will serve as a model for improving water quality in all Austin streams.
|One of these efforts was through Keep Austin Beautiful, which during this spring and summer of both 2014 and 2015 focused on recruiting stream adopters and hosting restoration projects, both in the stream segments that are directly as well as others throughout the City. See report of 2015 efforts here. KAB is only one of||
Volunteers work on creek habitat restoration during a volunteer workday organized through Keep Austin Beautiful.
|many efforts underway to improve the quality the four stream segments targeted by the IAS I-Plan.
The I-Plan was approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) on January 21, 2015, when it also adopted Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), a detailed water quality assessment that determines the limits on sources of indicator bacteria in the watersheds.
Figure 1. Map of watersheds in Austin listed as impaired for contact recreation.
The Implementation Plan outlines the measures that the groups involved will take to clean up these streams. The measures consist primarily of voluntary activities in the categories of:
The I-Plan was developed by the Improving Austin Streams (IAS) Coordination Committee, with public input and efforts of four workgroups, with a goal to “develop and implement strategies to reduce fecal contamination such that the affected watersheds fully meet contact recreation water quality standard.”
|Click here to read more about the development of the IAS I-Plan.|
- Four Austin streams have elevated levels of bacteria that may indicate an increased health risk for swimming or wading in the waters.
- This project brings together interested people in the Austin area who designed an Implementation Plan (I-Plan) that will improve water quality with the goal of making the streams safe for wading and swimming. The Improving Austin Streams Coordination Committee guides development and implementation of the I-Plan. The Coordination Committee:
- Formed four workgroups that involved an even broader array of Austin citizens and experts to develop detailed recommendations for the plan.
- In December 2013, following public input, submitted a draft I-Plan to TCEQ.
- Modified the plan after TCEQ and public comments, resubmitting in September 2014.
- Continues to guide implementation and refinement of the I-Plan, which provides strategies for improving the water quality of these streams. The Coordination Committee meets a minimum of twice a year.
- TCEQ developed a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) in a parallel process to I-Plan development to designate the pollutant load of the streams. TCEQ approved the I-Plan and adopted the TMDL on January 21, 2015.
City of Austin:
Dana McGehee, firstname.lastname@example.org, 512-974-2634
Chris Herrington, Chris.Herrington@austintexas.gov 512.974-2840
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality:
Lauren Oertel, Lauren.Oertel@tceq.texas.gov 512.239-3604
Chip Morris, Chip.Morris@tceq.texas.gov 512.239-6686
For past history of project: Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution:
Suzanne Schwartz, email@example.com 512.471-3507