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ItemAerial Assessment of Aquatic and Riparian Habitat in the Brazos River and Blanco River, Texas(2012-04) Hardy, Thomas B.; Kollaus, Kristy A.; Tolman, Kristina; Heard, Thomas C.; Tennant, JamesUse of small, autonomous UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) in fisheries, watershed management, and restoration practices has gained increasing attention. This is, in part, to the UAV’s (Aggieair™) relatively low cost, versatility, and instantaneous acquisition of multispectral digital aerial imagery (Chao et al. 2009; Jensen et al. 2009). Recent and current applications of the UAV include management of invasive plant species and mapping riparian habitat (Zaman et al. 2011; Jensen et al. 2011). The purpose of this study was to use the UAV to capture high resolution multispectral aerial imagery of two Texas rivers. Specifically, we sought to capture images of riparian and instream habitat within selected reaches of the Brazos River and the Blanco River. Our goal was to obtain imagery ≤ 25 cm pixel resolution and produce geo-referenced mosaics of the UAV imagery. Imagery collected by the UAV will be used by Texas Parks and Wildlife to identify available fish habitat at selected Brazos River sites and to locate areas of isolated pools within the Blanco River to facilitate removal of non native smallmouth bass. ItemAnticipating Growth in the Texas Hill Country: Exploration of Potential for Land Application of Treated Wastewater(2019-11) Stonecipher, Ty; Loftus, Timothy T.The Texas Hill Country is an iconic landscape known for its unique beauty, including clear-running rivers and streams, and numerous springs both large and small. Given the rapid population growth along the I-35 corridor and west into the Hill Country, water-resource planning and management challenges are emerging that provide opportunity for an integrated or “One Water” approach to problem solving. First, there is growing demand for drinking water in a region that is also known to be drought-prone and home to many threatened or endangered species that need water too. Secondly, with increased water use comes a proportional increase in treated wastewater effluent production. Absent strong nutrient standards in permitted discharges to prevent cultural eutrophication of Hill Country streams, alternative uses of treated wastewater effluent are available that can reduce withdrawals of surface and groundwater and create new economic opportunities by using wastewater effluent as a resource rather than disposing it as a waste product. From a larger set of Texas Hill Country cities that were based on their location relative to the Edwards Aquifer, nine were selected in a first phase analysis using a geographic information system and based on weighted criteria including population growth rate, potential site distance from a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), and a set of land uses deemed suitable for land application of treated wastewater. These nine cities were then evaluated based on their ability to meet four criteria: 1) the target city’s WWTP is located within or upstream of either the contributing or recharge zones of the Edwards Aquifer regulatory boundary, 2) the city’s WTTP has a current or near future need to expand their WWTP based on reported average daily discharge being 75 percent or more of permitted maximum daily discharge, 3) it being early enough in their planning development cycle, either hypothetically or in actual practice, that reuse infrastructure can be carefully examined and planned for at the most efficient time, and 4) having land-use scenarios suitable for land application that are within a 3-mile (maximum) radius of the WWTP. From this analysis, three cities emerged for study: Blanco, Boerne, and Leander. A second phase of site analysis given to the three study cities is based on weighted criteria that include land use, location relative to the Edwards Aquifer regulatory boundary, distance from WWTP, and percent slope. Among results, the City of Blanco can meet 100 percent of both current and future needs for land application of TWW effluent on highest-quality sites (scores of ten) within a one-mile radius of its WWTP. The City of Boerne, can also meet both current and future needs for land application within a one-mile radius, but will need to include some sites with scores less than a ten and act with a greater sense of urgency given the current/projected growth rate. The City of Leander presents a particular challenge given its current/projected growth rate, large effluent volume expected in the future, and location and will require other reuse strategies to ensure efficient use of water and protection of local/regional water quality. By applying a replicable methodology using publicly available data, this study shows promise for land application of treated wastewater effluent in the Texas Hill Country. While infrastructure and other cost considerations need to be analyzed in a future study along with refinement of site selection and a collaborative process for its execution, this study highlights the need for community officials and residents to develop a shared vision for their community’s water future. The promise of reusing effluent via land application to help solve growing demand for water must also account for an equal need to protect surface and groundwater quality. Thus, an appropriate level of wastewater treatment must be engineered that fully accounts for specific site characteristics such that land application as a reuse strategy fulfills its promise while avoiding negative impacts on surface and groundwater. ItemArroyo Colorado Data Report(2011-08) Texas Stream TeamThis report provides a summary of data taken at three sites along the Arroyo Colorado, for a total of 153 samples from June 2007 to March 2011 (see map on page six). These sites were chosen because they have a long and relatively complete data set and provide an overall geographic coverage of the Arroyo over both designated segments. For information on other monitoring sites in the Arroyo Colorado Watershed, please refer to the Texas Stream Team Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program 2009 Arroyo Colorado Data Summary, available at http://txstreamteam.rivers.txstate.edu/Data/Data-Reports.html. ItemArroyo Colorado E. coli Bacteria Data Summary(2012-01) Texas Stream TeamWater quality data have been collected on the Arroyo Colorado by Sharon Slagle, Rick Ramke, and Ruben Saldaña at three sites on the Arroyo Colorado (see map on pg. 3) with support from Texas Stream Team (TST). All water quality information collected by TST monitors is done so in accordance with the TST Quality Assurance Project Plan. This report summarizes the E. coli bacteria data from the Draft 2011 Arroyo Colorado Data Report, which is currently under review. ItemBest Management Practices Post Construction Report: The Upper San Marcos River Watershed Plan - Implementation Phase I(2020-05) Navarro, Aspen; Schlandt, AllysonDevelopment in the Upper San Marcos River (USMR) Watershed is expected to increase with rural land uses converting to intense urban developments. Increased impervious cover associated with urbanization can lead to increased pollutant concentrations. In addition, the installation of drainage systems and concrete channels can result in pollutant loadings being delivered to waterways faster and in greater concentrations than in undeveloped areas with natural drainage systems. Urbanization has also been shown to fragment the landscape, potentially impacting biodiversity. To alleviate the impacts on water quality as a result of increasing development and construction, two best management practice (BMP) projects were implemented in the USMR Watershed (Figure 1) throughout the grant contract period from 2018-2020. These demonstrations projects help to improve water quality, enhance water supplies, and serve as guidance for residents, developers, and stakeholders to replicate. The BMP sites were determined based on their ability to improve water quality by capturing and/or treating stormwater runoff before making its way to the USMR. The two BMP projects include: • Biofiltration Pond - Hutchison Pond located at Hutchison Street and CM Allen Intersection • Erosion Control and Increased Stormwater Capacity - Hogtrap Retrofit located at Matthews Street Hillside along Sessom Dr. Both BMP projects were completed in April of 2020 and this report summarizes the characteristics of each project along with their load reduction calculations. ItemBlanco and Upper San Marcos Watershed Strategic Conservation Prioritization(2017-04) Warren, Emily; Miller, Meredith; Ogren, Jonathan; Osting, Tim; Wierman, Douglas A.; Hegemier, Tom; Prince, Benjamin J.No abstract prepared. ItemBlanco and Upper San Marcos Watershed Strategic Conservation Prioritization Report(2017-04) Warren, Emily; Miller, Meredith; Ogren, Jonathan; Osting, Tim; Wierman, Douglas A.; Hegemier, Tom; Prince, Benjamin J.No abstract prepared. ItemBlanco River Aquifer Assessment Tool: A Tool to Assess How the Blanco River Interacts with Its Aquifers: Creating the Conceptual Model(2019-09) Martin, Nicholas; Green, Ronald T.; Nicholaides, Kindra; Fratesi, S. Beth; Nunu, Rebecca R.; Flores, Mauricio E.The headwaters of the Blanco River are in northern Kendall County, TX. The river flows eastward for about 87 miles across the Texas Hill Country to join the San Marcos River just southeast of San Marcos, TX (Figure 1). Along the way, the river flows both above and below ground and interacts with the Trinity and Edwards aquifers (Ferguson 2017). The Blanco River watershed provides water to supply spring flow at iconic central Texas springs including Barton Springs, San Marcos Springs, Pleasant Valley Springs, and Jacob’s Well Spring. The Blanco River basin includes some of Texas’ and the nation’s fastest growing counties. With increases in population come increased demands on the water resources in the basin. Increased extraction of water to meet growing demand has the potential to reduce flow in the Blanco River and discharge from Barton Springs, San Marcos Springs, Pleasant Valley Springs, and Jacob’s Well Spring (Gary et al. 2019). One way to plan for increased water demand and to effectively manage water resources is to employ a numerical, computer model to simulate the changes in amount of water in Blanco River basin over time given projected changes in water demand with continuing growth. A computer model provides a means to test the impact of economic development hypotheses on the water resources in the basin and to analyze the utility of water-management strategies. The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) developed a numerical, computer model of groundwater flow in the Trinity Aquifer in the Hill Country. However, this model: 1) simulates groundwater flow and does not explicitly simulate or account for surface water considerations; and 2) is regional in scope with the main purpose of estimating available groundwater volumes for the entire Trinity Aquifer, which extends beyond Blanco River basin to the north, west, and south. A new tool needs to be developed that is specific to the Blanco River basin and explicitly accounts for surface water in the basin. The purpose of the new tool is to allow local landowners, communities, and groundwater conservation districts to better understand and manage groundwater resources in the Hill Country by providing understanding and quantification of the interaction of groundwater and surface water in the Blanco River basin. "Surface water" as used in this report comprises water in surface water bodies such as streams and lakes (lumped together in this report as "streamflow"). In this study, surface water also includes water flowing at or near the land surface outside of such water bodies, typically referred to as "runoff". Runoff and other near-land surface processes are included in the "land-surface processes" category in this study. Although this new tool will also be a numerical, computer model, this new, more local model would not replace TWDB’s groundwater availability model. Instead, it will supplement the TWDB model with more detailed data that local groundwater conservation districts can use to not only inform local management decisions but to inform decisions on desired future conditions and to improve subsequent updates of the regional model. Development of a numerical, computer model to test hypotheses relating to potential impacts of increased pumping and water extraction on groundwater levels, springs, and river flows is a substantial undertaking. Consequently, the development effort is divided into two phases. • Phase 1: Create a conceptual model of the Blanco River system and use this to generate a blueprint for the numerical, computer model. • Phase 2: Develop, calibrate, and validate the numerical, computer model. The new tool is called the Blanco River Aquifers Tool for Water and Understanding Resiliency and Sustainability Trends (TRATWURST). It is likely that there will be subsequent phases to test hypotheses related to future pumping and changes in future weather patterns on the Blanco River system. The purpose of this document is to present the results of Phase 1: Creation of the Conceptual Model. ItemBlanco River Watershed Data Report(2014-08) Texas Stream TeamThe purpose of this report is to provide analysis of data collected by Texas Stream Team citizen scientists. The data presented in this report should be considered in conjunction with other relevant water quality reports in order to provide a holistic view of water quality in this water body. Such sources include, but are not limited to, the following potential resources: • Texas Surface Water Quality Standards • Texas Integrated Report for Clean Water Act Sections 305(b) and 303(d) • Texas Clean Rivers Program partner reports, such as Basin Summary Reports and Highlight Reports • TCEQ Total Maximum Daily Load reports • TCEQ and Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board Nonpoint Source Program funded reports, including Watershed Protection Plans ItemBrazos River Below Possum Kingdom Lake Data Report(2010-11) Texas Stream TeamThe purpose of this report is to provide analysis of data collected by Texas Stream Team volunteers. The data presented in this report should be considered in conjunction with other relevant water quality reports prepared by the following programs in order to provide a holistic view of water quality in this water body: • Texas Surface Water Quality Standards; • Texas Integrated Report for Clean Water Act Sections 305(b) and 303(d) (or Texas Integrated Report; formerly the Texas Water Quality Inventory and 303(d) List); • Texas Clean Rivers Program partners’ reports such as Basin Summary Reports and Highlight Reports; • TCEQ surface water quality special studies; • TCEQ Total Maximum Daily Load reports; • TCEQ and Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board Nonpoint Source Program funded reports, including Watershed Protection Plans. ItemBringing Back Comanche Springs: An Analysis of the History, Hydrogeology, Policy, and Economics(2020-12) Mace, Robert E.; Leurig, Sharlene; Seely, Harry; Wierman, Douglas A.Once the sixth largest spring in Texas (Sharp 2001), Comanche Springs produced its last trickles on March 19, 1961, before going dry for more than 25 years. These historic springs, having previously flowed for thousands of years, were a watering hole for mammoths, camels, and sloths during the last ice age and sustained a vibrant desert ecosystem through the 1950s. Humans have used the springs for at least 20,000 years, first serving as water stops for thirsty travelers, then hosting the namesake garrison for Fort Stockton, and then providing irrigation water for more than 100 downspring families, turning a brown valley green. The springs have not flowed reliably since the 1950s when pump-fed irrigated agriculture expanded in the Leon-Belding area about eight miles west. Significant groundwater production in the Edwards Trinity Aquifer in this area caused spring flows to decline precipitously in the 1950s and led to a seminal court case, Pecos County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1 v. Williams and others, which determined that, under the Rule of Capture, no liability could be assessed against groundwater irrigators, even if they caused springs to stop flowing and affected the surface-water rights of downspring irrigators. Soon after the court’s decision, farms along Comanche Creek were entirely extirpated, as were the populations of desert fish that once thrived in the springs. In October 1986, Comanche Springs gurgled back to life, igniting memories of days gone by, inspiring a study on the hydrogeology of the area, and sparking an attempt to form a groundwater conservation district, later created and confirmed in 1999 and 2002, respectively. Since at least 2011, springflows have returned every winter season, drawing visitors and bringing a twinkle to the dwindling number of local eyes who remember when the springs flowed freely into its natural basin. The consistent return of seasonal flow to Comanche Springs over the past decade begs the question: What would it take to bring flows back over the entire year? This is a question that requires a study of the history of the springs and pumping in the area, a review of what is known about the science of the aquifer, an assessment of the economics, and an appraisal of local groundwater policy. Although there have been a number of scientific studies of the aquifers in the area over the past 100 years, none have put the science in the context of the history of what happened, the policy that exists, or the economics of returning year-round flow to the springs. The purpose of this study was to conduct an historical, hydrogeologic, policy, and economic review to inform residents, regulators, and policymakers on what it would take for Fort Stockton to call itself Spring City once again. Although this project is focused on a small, but storied, part of West Texas, the general intersection of history, science, policy, and economics is relevant to the rest of Texas—or anywhere, really—where springs have been impacted by pumping and where discussions are focused on the sustainable development of groundwater. ItemCanadian River Watershed Data Report(2010-04) Texas Stream TeamCurrently, Texas Stream Team is working with various public and private organizations to facilitate data and information sharing. One component of this process includes interacting with watershed stakeholders at CRP steering committee meetings. A major function of these meetings is to discuss water quality issues and to obtain input from the general public. While participation in this process may not bring about instantaneous results, it is a great place to begin making institutional connections and to learn how to “work” the assessment and protection system that Texas agencies use to keep water resources healthy and sustainable. ItemCanyon Lake Data Report(2014-07) Texas Stream TeamThe purpose of this report is to provide analysis of data collected by Texas Stream Team citizen scientists. The data presented in this report should be considered in conjunction with other relevant water quality reports in order to provide a holistic view of water quality in this water body. Such sources include, but are not limited to, the following potential resources: • Texas Surface Water Quality Standards • Texas Integrated Report for Clean Water Act Sections 305(b) and 303(d) • Texas Clean Rivers Program partner reports, such as Basin Summary Reports and Highlight Reports • TCEQ Total Maximum Daily Load reports • TCEQ and Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board Nonpoint Source Program funded reports, including Watershed Protection Plans ItemCibolo Creek Watershed Data Report(2014-08) Texas Stream TeamThe purpose of this report is to provide analysis of data collected by Texas Stream Team citizen scientists. The data presented in this report should be considered in conjunction with other relevant water quality reports in order to provide a holistic view of water quality in this water body. Such sources include, but are not limited to, the following potential resources: • Texas Surface Water Quality Standards • Texas Integrated Report for Clean Water Act Sections 305(b) and 303(d) • Texas Clean Rivers Program partner reports, such as Basin Summary Reports and Highlight Reports • TCEQ Total Maximum Daily Load reports • TCEQ and Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board Nonpoint Source Program funded reports, including Watershed Protection Plans ItemCollaboration Assessment: Water Projects in the Texas Rio Grande Valley(2007-06) Estaville, Lawrence; Caldwell, Sally; Brown, BrockCollaboration is a process of people, groups, or organizations working together to reach agreed upon goals. It is a concept about which public and private organizations with a wide diversity of objectives wish to aspire to, undertake, or write about. Many research studies have searched for the essential techniques, characteristics, or keys of successful collaborations. Such specific keys to rewarding collaborations in water resources, however, are difficult to discern (Nielsen 2006; Wondolleck and Yaffee 2000; Borden and Perkins 1999, 2007; Gray 1989). Typing these keywords—collaboration, Texas, Rio Grande, water—into the Google search engine produces 208,000 entries at this time. A variety of other keyword online searches also indicate that there have been and continue to be many collaborative efforts in confronting the critical water resources challenges of the Texas Rio Grande Valley, that is, the part of the valley on the Texas side of the border that stretches nearly one thousand miles from El Paso in the west to Brownsville in the east. However, the indications of the success of these collaborative efforts are only anecdotal, almost all from public relations spokespersons of the organizations engaged in the collaborations. An essential need, therefore, is to use hard data, both qualitative and quantitative, to assess the success of collaborations of governmental agencies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) regarding water resources projects in the Texas Rio Grande Valley. ItemCommunity Network Building Through Research(2023-04-05) Villagran, Melinda; Daspit, Joshua J.At the April 5, 2023 meeting of the Health+Resilience Research Network, Dr. Josh Daspit and Dr. Melinda Villagran shared their experiences building community networks through research. Dr. Villagran discussed how the Translational Health Research Center is implementing the COPEWELL framework in Texas libraries to foster community resilience while building a network of librarians to engage in future research. Dr. Daspit introduced the partnership between SCALEUP and THRC and how it evolved into the GRIT (Great Resilience in Texas) Awards, which aim to recognize the resilience shown by small businesses in Texas and to foster a network of small businesses. Both examples demonstrate how research opportunities can help develop community networks, which, in turn, can help develop new research opportunities. ItemConjunctive Management of Surface and Groundwater in the Rio Grande Basin (EPA Geography and Water Final Report: Part 1-B)(2010-07) Rast, Walter; Roberts, Susan V.The Rio Grande basin of the southwestern U.S. has known, demonstrable, and complex water issues, including water shortages, flooding, non-flows along several riverbed segments, and water quality challenges. This report and a second report to follow, focus on the possibilities inherent in a long-term approach to water management with the flexibility to address water issues. The water management approach is typically known as conjunctive use or conjunctive management. While different approaches to water management have been used in the Rio Grande / Río Bravo del Norte basin, a planned, coordinated conjunctive management program has not yet been formally applied to this basin. The goal of the Evaluation Report is to provide information collected about conjunctive use and conjunctive management in the basin. The information was gathered through reviews of published literature and documents, information about conjunctive use programs, websites, results of an online survey, and selected interviews with water resources professionals. The results indicate the potential usefulness and applicability of conjunctive management in the river basin. As might be expected with any new water management approach, there are impediments to implementing a successful program. Although conjunctive management may be generally recommended as a water resource tool, it can be involved to plan, develop, organize, and execute conjunctive management strategies without sufficient funding and coordination between agencies. There is a lack of consensus on its appropriate implementation, and no single document provides key parameters and standards for successful policies and conjunctively managed program. The goal of this research is to address these gaps.