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Projects

The Environmental Sciences Department regularly works on small or short term (less than 5 years) water quality, pollution investigations or scientific studies. When studies are completed, a report may be created, published or put on the Antonio River Authority (River Authority) web site. Often these projects are funded by tax dollars or grants, but they may also be funded through private sources.

Streams within the San Antonio River (SAR) watershed are influenced by non-point sources during storm events. The San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) is challenged with the task of defining stream water quality within the SAR watershed during storm events. To accomplish this, the River Authority is incorporating the latest innovative procedures to collect water quality data by implementing permanent long-term automated sampling stations designed to collect water samples under storm water conditions. Automated sampling procedures can collect water quality samples throughout the duration of a storm event, making the collection effort more economically feasible and safer without endangering field personnel during hazardous storm conditions.

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This project assessed the abundance of Guadalupe Bass Micropterus treculi in the San Antonio River (SAR) watershed and collect, tag and reintroduce the species to a restored reach of the SAR where the species had been extirpated. An assessment of Guadalupe bass in the SAR watershed was completed to gather genetic and baseline abundance information.

The Texas Instream Flow Program (TIFP), jointly administered by Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and Texas Water Development Board, has initiated a study of instream flows necessary to support a sound ecological environment in the Lower San Antonio River. The TIFP seeks to incorporate stakeholder input, insight, and concerns while conducting this study. With the assistance of the San Antonio River Authority, initial stakeholder meetings were held in February 2005.

In recent history, use of groundwater to sustain rapid development in the basin has resulted in increasing base flows in the San Antonio River resulting from discharged groundwater-based return flows. This trend in increasing flows may continue if population growth in the basin is supported by additional groundwater usage or surface water transfers from outside the basin; however, lower river base flows may also result should water management strategies such as reuse, both direct and indirect, be increased.