Conservation Matters May 2013

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

Pecos River Watershed Protection Plan update meetings set for June 4–5

Pecos RiverLandowners in the Pecos River watershed are invited to participate in discussions on local water quality and updates to the Pecos River Watershed Protection Plan during a series of upcoming meetings.

Four separate June meetings are scheduled across the watershed to give area landowners ample opportunity to attend, said Lucas Gregory, Texas Water Resources Institute project specialist and Pecos River watershed coordinator. The same information will be covered at each meeting location, he said.

Meeting dates, start times and locations are: June 4, 8:30 a.m., Community Hall, 508 S. Oak St., Pecos; June 4, 1:30 p.m., Community Center, Allison Ave., Imperial; June 4, 6:30 p.m., Civic Center, Alley Oop Lane, Iraan; and June 5, 8:30 a.m., AgriLife Extension office in Crockett County, 1301 Ave. AA., Ozona.

In 2008, the Pecos River Watershed Protection Plan was developed and identified needed management activities and needed research that would address deficient dissolved oxygen levels often found in the Pecos River, Gregory said. The current slate of meetings will center on efforts undertaken to determine the causes of low dissolved oxygen and the evaluation of potential remedies for these problems.

“Since 2006, the Pecos River between the Ward II Irrigation Turnout and U.S. Highway 67 has been considered impaired for depressed dissolved oxygen levels,” Gregory said. “Using a computer-based model, scientists at the Texas Institute of Applied Environmental Research have evaluated potential factors leading to the low dissolved oxygen and also evaluated potential impacts that several hypothetical management measures have on instream dissolved oxygen.”

Gregory said the causes of the low dissolved oxygen, as predicted by the model, and the resulting impacts of evaluated management scenarios, will be discussed at these meetings. Additionally, he said an update of watershed protection plan implementation and implementation needs is being developed.

“‘The Pecos River WPP Addendum,’ as it’s being called, documents implementation progress made since the watershed protection plan was developed and also provides an opportunity to amend the plan with new information, such as the dissolved oxygen modeling results,” Gregory said. 

These meetings will provide a first look at the contents of the addendum and provide an opportunity to discuss other items that should be included as implementation progress or as additional needs identified in the plan, he said.

Gregory said landowner participation is always important, but even more so in these meetings.

“Information will be provided that can be used to make future watershed management decisions, and landowners participating in these discussions will provide guidance on how to use the information discussed,” he said.

Funding and support for the development and implementation of the Pecos River Watershed Protection Plan is provided through a Clean Water Act Nonpoint Source grant from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

For more information contact Gregory at 979.845.7869 or

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