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Best Management Practice Effectiveness Monitoring Projects

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Arroyo Colorado Agricultural Nonpoint Source Assessment

Project Goals/Objectives: The primary focus of this project is to better characterize agricultural runoff in the Arroyo Colorado, assess and demonstrate the effects of BMP implementation at the field and sub-watershed level, and measure progress towards meeting WPP goals. A secondary focus is to evaluate the natural phosphorus reduction capabilities of drainage ditches on runoff from irrigated cropland in the Arroyo Colorado watershed.

Assessment and Mitigation of Agricultural and Other Nonpoint Source Activities in the Cypress Creek Basin

Project Goals/Objectives: The primary goal of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of selected Best Management Practices (BMPs) in reducing nutrient inputs to Big Cypress Creek and Lake O' the Pines by documenting runoff quality from sites representing dominant soil and land use types, with and without BMPs implemented, and replace failing septic systems. The project will support determination of the steps that could be taken to implement the current Lake O' the Pines total maximum daily load (TMDL) as it relates to non-point source nutrient input.

Best Management Practice (BMP) Verification in the Richland-Chambers Watershed

Project Goals/Objectives: The goals of the project are to verify the effectiveness of nutrient Best Management Practices (BMPs) installed on a portion (Mill Creek) of the Richland-Chambers reservoir watershed to provide supporting information for BMP implementation within the entire Richland-Chambers reservoir watershed.

Project Location: Richland Creek, Segment 0837; Chambers Creek, Segment 0814; and Richland-Chambers reservoir, Segment 0836

BMPs to Reduce Nitrate Impacts in Ground Water and to Assess Atrazine and Arsenic Occurrences in Private Water Wells

Project Goals/Objectives: Demonstrate the effectiveness of winter cover crops in removing nitrate-nitrogen from the soil profile to minimize nitrate leaching; Demonstrate the ability of zeolite to reduce atrazine and arsenic concentrations in water; Assess the extent of atrazine and arsenic detections in private groundwater in the Seymour and Ogallala Aquifers.

Project Location: The Texas High Plains (Ogallala Aquifer) and Texas Rolling Plains (Seymour Aquifer)

Development and Implementation of an Environmental Training Program for Manure and Compost Haulers/Applicators in the Texas High

This project will be the first of its kind that targets a diverse group of stakeholders and is specific to the independent business relationship (feedyards, manure/compost haulers, certified crop advisors and crop producers) and cropping systems that are implemented in the Texas High Plains. The Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA) is uniquely situated to facilitate the development and implementation of this environmental training curriculum.

Development and Testing of a Texas BMP Evaluation Tool to Aid Decision-Making in Conservation Planning on Agricultural Lands

Project Goals/Objectives: To develop an easy-to-use Texas BMP Evaluation Tool to aid in science-based BMP selection, cost-effective conservation spending, and program benefit analysis. Specifically this tool will be designed to assist land managers and agency planners in conservation practice decision-making related to on-farm (field-scale) alternatives and effectiveness and facilitate evaluation and reporting of agricultural nonpoint source load reductions from WQMP implementation.

Development of a Watershed Protection Plan for the Concho River Basin

Project Goals/Objectives: This project provided an assessment of existing and potential water quality threats related to on-going nonpoint source (NPS) water pollution within the Concho River basin and will also provide a Watershed Protection Plan (WPP). Information obtained from this project was made available to state, federal, and local decision makers to promote the orderly restoration of the basin aquatic environment and to prevent additional degradation.

Field Validation of the Texas Phosphorus Index

Project Goals/Objectives: Determine the effects of selected soil properties in the Bosque and Leon River watersheds to measure and predict phosphorus runoff; Compare and correlate different soil test and soil solution soluble phosphorus extracts to runoff phosphorus; Validate and/or modify Texas Phosphorus Index as a predictive tool for classification of field sites relative to phosphorus loss potential.

Project Location: Leon River (Segment 1221) and North Bosque River (Segments 1255 and 1226)

Improving Water Quality by Developing, Implementing, and Field Testing Innovative Methods

Project Goals/Objectives: Evaluate up to six technologies for decreasing nonpoint source pollution and improving surface water quality, through on-site demonstrations of reduction of total and soluble phosphorus in dairy effluent applied to waste application fields.

Project Location: North Bosque River, Segments 1226 and 1255

Project Costs: Federal ($227,793); Non-Federal Match ($173,336); Total Project ($401,129)

Leon River Watershed Protection Plan Project

Project Goals/Objectives: (1) To use a locally-driven, stakeholder process to develop a Watershed Protection Plan for the Leon River Watershed above Lake Belton; (2) To enhance data collection efforts to support and facilitate implementation activities; (3) To provide the TSSWCB and the TCEQ with recommendations on implementation strategies that can be incorporated into the TMDL Implementation Plan; and (4) To provide an overall assessment of the Leon River Watershed above Lake Belton.

Lone Star Healthy Streams

According to the draft 2004 Water Quality Inventory and 303(d) List, 306 waterbodies are impaired in Texas with a total of 419 impairments. Of these, approximately half of the impairments are the result of excessive bacteria. Bacterial source tracking work completed in a number of these waterbodies (e.g., Peach Creek, Leon River) has identified a noticeable contribution from grazing cattle to the bacteria loading of these streams.

Maintaining Sediment Prevention Through Repair of Floodwater Retarding Structures in McCulloch County

Project Goals/Objectives: To provide coordinated assessment between the TSSWCB, the McCulloch Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), and Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), with respect to implementation, and restoration of water quality in the Brady Creek and Deep Creek Watersheds located within

Modeling Nutrient Loads from Poultry Operations in the Toledo Bend Reservoir and Sam Rayburn Reservoir Watersheds

Project Goals/Objectives: Collect GIS, landuse, management, and measured data for selected watersheds; Where measured data is available, calibrate SWAT watershed model to measured flow, sediment and nutrients; Simulate nutrient load for current conditions; Simulate for pre- and post- best management plan implementation conditions.

Project Location: Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Segment 0610 and Toledo Bend Reservoir, Segment 0504

Project Costs: Federal ($96,000); Non-Federal Match ($0); Total Project ($96,000)

Monitoring and Educational Programs Focused on Bacteria and Nutrient Runoff on Dairy Operations in the Leon Watershed

Project Goals/Objectives: The overall objective of the project is to collect watershed specific data in an effort to quantify the major sources of E. coli bacteria on dairy operations. Information and data collected during the monitoring phase will be used in the development of an educational program focusing on best management practices (BMPs) to reduce the movement of E. coli bacteria and nutrients to surface waters.

PLAN for Tomorrow: Poultry Litter Application on New Sites

Project Goals/Objectives: Educate 3rd party applicators of poultry litter to the environmental benefits of using proper application management techniques beginning on Day 1 of application on new sites; Demonstrate that poultry litter can be land applied in an environmentally friendly manner that supplies necessary crop nutrients without increasing nutrient levels in runoff and that multiple objectives (such as: profitability, resource utilization, and water quality protection) can be met with this fertilization strategy.

Reducing Atrazine Losses in Central Texas

Project Goals/Objectives: Demonstrate the effects of alternative tillage practices and atrazine application practices on protecting water quality by reducing atrazine losses; Develop educational materials and present the demonstration results at agricultural meetings, field days, and conferences; Validate the CroPMan simulation model with measured atrazine losses to facilitate simulating long-term losses of atrazine and the probabilities of meeting EPA standard for safe drinking water; Analyze the economic costs, profits, and the cost effectiveness of alternative tillage me

Texas Silvicultural Nonpoint Source Pollution Abatement and Prevention Project

Project Goals/Objectives: The goal of this project is to protect water quality during forestry operations. This is achieved by developing and refining BMPs based on scientific evidence, promoting their adoption, and monitoring their implementation. For more information on Forestry BMPs, please visit the Texas Forest Service website.

Project Location: East Texas

Project Costs: Federal ($574,521); Non Federal Match ($383,014); Total ($957,535)

The Impact of Proper Organic Fertilizer Management in Production of Agriculture

Project Goals/Objectives: Educate landowners on proper organic fertilizer management practices by implementing various organic fertilizer management practices on cultivated and pasture fields relating to application method, timing, and rate; Conducting demonstration and educational activities on the importance of proper organic fertilizer management; Demonstrating the difference in water quality for areas impacted and non-impacted by excessive nutrients.

Wastewater/ Manure Management System Demonstration: Edge-of-Field Monitoring

Project Goals/Objectives: This project will monitor and evaluate the phosphorus reduction capabilities of a state of the art methane digester installed on a dairy facility in the North Bosque River watershed operating in conjunction with a comprehensive nutrient management plan (CNMP). Edge-of-field monitoring will be initiated to determine the level of phosphorus reduction associated with the wastewater that has undergone treatment using methane digester technology and applied in accordance with the dairy's CNMP.