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SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) is currently accepting applications for the 2020 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). An application, rebate worksheet, project map, and cross-section details checklist are required for a project to be considered. The application deadline is October 30 at 5 p.m. CST.

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 Design Manual and a minimum rebate request of $15,000. The Watershed Wise Rebate Program is open to public, private or environmental 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 seventh 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 to improve 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.

The River Authority has published a dynamic dashboard on the website of past Watershed Wise Rebate completed projects and associated benefits including sediment and bacteria removal. Users can click on individual projects to find detailed information and project photos.

For more information on the River Authority’s Watershed Wise Rebate Program, and to view the Green Infrastructure Dashboard, visit www.sariverauthority.org.