EM-112 Approaches to Watershed Planning in Texas

Authors: A. Berthold

Water is used for various purposes, whether it is for drinking, swimming, fishing, irrigating or any other reason. To meet the needs of all these uses, the state is required by Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act to set standards and put forth efforts to clean up waters that do not meet the standards. The Clean Water Act also requires states to compile a list of water bodies that do not meet the standards for these uses, known as the 303(d) List, and to update the list every two years.

To address impaired water bodies, Texas utilizes a variety of methods that result in plans to restore water quality. Two of the most common methods for developing plans to restore water quality are 1) a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) paired with an Implementation Plan (I-Plan) and 2) a Watershed Protection Plan (WPP).