The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently accepted the North Texas Municipal Water District’s (NTMWD) Bois d’Arc Lake Watershed Protection Plan (WPP) as meeting the agency’s guidelines for watershed-based plans. The Bois d’Arc Lake WPP outlines a strategy to implement management measures that will help improve and protect water quality in the watershed.
“Acceptance of this plan is a result of collaboration between NTMWD, Texas A&M Texas Water Resources Institute and watershed stakeholders,” said David Cowan, NTMWD Watershed Manager. “We received valuable input in the development of the plan from local residents, agricultural producers, business and industry representatives, city and county personnel, as well as other interested parties.”
These stakeholders, along with representatives from state and federal agencies, participated in a number of meetings of the Bois d’Arc Lake Watershed Partnership in 2021 to help shape the final plan. Healthy watersheds help reduce erosion and act as a filter to capture sediment and pollutants before they enter water bodies. Maintaining healthy watersheds is vital for the protection of aquatic environments and water sources, including Bois d’Arc Lake.
“We want to thank these stakeholders and our agency partners for their commitment and contributions to protect Bois d’Arc Lake, our region’s newest water resource,” said Cowan.
Construction of the lake is ongoing. Once completed, the 16,641 acre reservoir will be an essential source of water supply for 2 million residents in North Texas. Routine water quality monitoring indicated that two waterways in the watershed, Bois d’Arc Creek and Honey Grove Creek, are impaired due to elevated levels of bacteria. A key goal of the Bois d’Arc Lake WPP is to address these impairments and ensure the new lake maintains good water quality.
“With EPA acceptance of the plan, certain management measures identified in the WPP are now eligible for nonpoint source grant funding,” said TJ Helton, Nonpoint Source Management Program Administrator for the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board.
“NTMWD will continue to work with members of the Bois d’Arc Lake Watershed Partnership to apply for grants and begin implementation of the plan,” added Cowan. The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality solicit Clean Water Act Nonpoint Source Grant applications annually.