Bexar Regional Watershed Management Program
The Bexar Regional Watershed Management (BRWM) program is an inter-local agency partnership between Bexar County, the city of San Antonio, the San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) and 20 suburban cities. This program started in 2003 to more efficiently manage regional stormwater issues within the limits of Bexar County. Communication and trust between staffs, delegation of defined agency roles and adequate program funding have been the key elements to the BRWM’s success. County-wide Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRM) have been created, watershed master-planning efforts are underway and focus groups in areas of project development, policy, water quality, operations and maintenance (O&M) and geographic information system (GIS) databases are functioning and creating a common goal among the regional partners. The BRWM is an ideal structure to introduce a Natural Channel Design (NCD) program into the area of Bexar County and eventually the entire San Antonio River Watershed.
Urban Waters Program
The San Antonio River Authority is developing an inventory of stream sites in the San Antonio River Watershed throughout the River Authority’s district (Bexar, Wilson, Karnes and Goliad Counties) that are eroding or have poor aquatic and riparian function. This assessment is being developed primarily based on aerial photography with field verification when appropriate.
Public input is a vital component to making stream restoration a success. The public has intimate knowledge of sites “next door” and in its backyard. Information provided by the public regarding stream sites for potential restoration, enhancement or even preservation is always welcome. Sites that the public identifies will be included in a watershed database. Citizens and organizations are encouraged to add specific site information to this database using the stream-team-assessment-form The River Authority is interested in a variety of sites, from rural to urban, small dry creeks to large flowing rivers, public or private property and highly modified channels to streams in their native condition. However, the public should be aware that the submittal of an Assessment Form is for data purposes only, and it does not indicate that the site will be visited by River Authority personnel.
Information provided by the public regarding stream sites for potential restoration, enhancement or even preservation is always welcome.
Impacted creeks and streams have one or more of the following characteristics: unstable banks, sediment buildup, headcutting, incision, soil erosion, poor water quality, lack of riparian vegetation or abundance of invasive vegetation. Stream instability that is endangering a structure, roadway or utility is of special importance.
The San Antonio River Authority is also interested in data that can be obtained from creeks and streams that are in good, stable condition to use as reference areas for impacted streams in the region. Some of these sites will be used to develop important empirical design and monitoring data for impacted streams in the region.
Soil and Water Conservation District Partnership
In 2014, the San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) Board of Directors approved adding $100,000 to their budget to be used in support of conservation practices implemented in the Bexar, Wilson, Karnes, and Goliad community. The River Authority has teamed up with the Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) in Bexar, Wilson, Karnes, and Goliad counties through an interlocal agreement and an associated annual work plan to apply community assistance funds for conservation activities. We are working with the with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and each local Soil and Water Conservation District to identify landowners-contractors who have installed conservation practices accepted by a primary cost share agency (NRCS, SWCD).
Eligible conservation practices will be calculated at 10% of the primary cost share agency reimbursement to landowner. Applicants must submit a one-page application (see application in list on the left) to their local Soil & Water Conservation District.
The Goliad County Soil and Water Conservation District is doing an Individual Plant Treatment (IPT) project different from the 10% cost share project. Goliad County SWCD typically releases an ad in the newspaper when they are starting a new round of IPT. Landowners must sign up through them directly using their application form.