River Authority Accepting Applications for 2019 Watershed Wise Rebate Program

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SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) is currently accepting applications for the 2019 Watershed Wise Rebate Program. The River Authority’s rebate program seeks to reduce the impact of pollution from stormwater runoff by expanding the use of on-site stormwater best management practices (BMPs). For a project to be considered, an application, rebate worksheet, project map, and cross-section details checklist are required. The application deadline is September 30 at 5 p.m.

 To apply for the River Authority’s Watershed Wise Rebate, Low Impact Development (LID) BMPs must be designed using the River Authority’s LID Technical Guidance Manual and need to have a minimum reimbursement request of $15,000 and a maximum reimbursement request of $100,000. The River Authority’s Watershed Wise Rebate Program is open to public, private or non-profit projects in Bexar, Wilson, Karnes, and Goliad counties. Private residences and required permitted BMPs are ineligible. Types of eligible construction include: commercial, multi-use, rights-of-way, and neighborhood common space. There are multiple BMPs that qualify for a rebate.

 Karen Bishop, Senior Stormwater Supervisor for the River Authority, said: “The San Antonio River Authority is pleased to open its fifth Watershed Wise Rebate application period. The program provides an incentive for property owners interested in managing stormwater runoff on site, thereby helping to minimize flooding and improving the water quality of runoff that reaches our creeks and rivers in an aesthetic and sustainable manner.“

 As more natural surfaces are paved and developed, less water during storms percolates into the ground and instead flows over impervious surfaces, picking up pollutants and carrying them to creeks and rivers. This untreated rainwater is known as stormwater runoff. The pollutants picked up by stormwater include, but are not limited to, oil, fertilizers, bacteria, heavy metals, gasoline, and sediment. Scientific data from the River Authority’s water quality monitoring indicates that stormwater runoff is the greatest threat to stream health, with elevated levels of E. coli bacteria presenting the greatest water quality concern in the San Antonio River Watershed.

 Increasing the use of sustainable development practices will improve the health of the San Antonio River and other waterways within the watershed. The engineers and scientists at the  River Authority, working with other public sector partners, have advanced the use of sustainable development practices by developing a LID Technical Guidance Manual, offering numerous LID education and training opportunities, and continuing to fund the Watershed Wise Rebate Program.

 For more information on the River Authority’s Watershed Wise Rebate Program, and LID resources available, visit www.sara-tx.org.

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