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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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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.

The adopted environmental flow standards developed by the Guadalupe, San Antonio, Mission, and Aransas Rivers and Mission, Copano, Aransas, and San Antonio Bays Basin and Bay Stakeholder Committee (BBASC) relied on limited data about the location, reproduction and recruitment of Rangia clams for the spring months. This study developed maps of Rangia clam beds in Mission Lake, Guadalupe Bay and parts of Hynes and San Antonio Bay. Rangia clam growth rings were examined to establish correlations between growth and recruitment with environmental flow conditions.

The Westside Creeks are a cluster of tributaries to the San Antonio River that flow through some of San Antonio’s oldest Westside neighborhoods – a community with a rich historical and cultural background. A feasibility study was developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and San Antonio River Authority, for the ecological restoration of the Westside Creeks. However, the current

The goal of this project was to develop methodologies to validate environmental flows adopted by the State. This was accomplished by first conducting a workshop with an expert panel to develop several theories on how certain chemical and physical parameters as well as biological indicators will respond to the various tiered flow recommendations. These indicators were identified by the expert panel. Then the selected indicators were studied at several sites and under several flow regimes to validate the theories and the associated flow recommendations.