Water for our main water source, Lavon Lake, doesn’t just come from rain falling directly into the lake. Water also enters Lavon as it flows across its watershed – an area of about 492,095 acres that drains runoff into creeks, streams, or rivers connected to it. Our watershed protection team works closely with the public, cities and partner agencies to identify and implement measures aimed at protecting and improving source water quality.
Our watershed protection team recently hosted a tour to highlight several key factors in watershed protection and planning.
After a brief introduction to watershed protection, our tour group hit the road for its first stop – a site along Wilson Creek in McKinney. There we got a demonstration from NTMWD staff on how samples are collected throughout the watershed so we can learn more about what flows into our streams and creeks before it gets into Lavon Lake. Up to 14 samples are collected in the watershed each month and brought back to the lab for analysis. This data helps identify sources of pollution in the watershed and determine the quality of water entering Lavon Lake, which is vital to managing Lavon Lake as our primary source for drinking water.
The next stop brought us to a creek in Old Settler’s Park in McKinney to discuss the impacts of urbanization and the challenges associated with managing urban stormwater. Experts in the field, Dr. Fouad Jaber (Texas A&M) and Joseph Daley (McKinney Urban Stormwater Manager), explained that if not properly managed, urban stormwater can degrade streams and rivers, and transport sediment, nutrients, and other pollutants to Lavon Lake. Cities like McKinney and others in North Texas are working to promote good behaviors and encourage the use of green stormwater infrastructure like rain gardens, pervious pavement, and rainwater harvesting.
Advances in Agricultural Practices
The final stop on our tour brought us to a farm near the Lavon Dam managed by Ben Scholz, a local agricultural producer and member of the Collin County Soil and Water Conservation District. There, along with Dr. Jake Mowrer (Texas A&M), we learned about best management practices farmers and ranchers can use to not only lower production costs, but also help protect water quality. Through advances in managing fertilizers and chemicals, and erosion prevention, modern day agricultural operations can improve their crop productivity while lowering pollutants of concern for the Lavon Lake watershed.
Our watershed protection team works closely with the public, cities and partner agencies to identify and implement measures aimed at protecting and improving source water quality. We manage watersheds carefully to not only protect and improve water quality, but also to protect habitats that support plants, animals and recreation. A key component of effective watershed protection involves educating and informing stakeholders about water issues and steps that can be taken to address them.
Learn more about watershed protection.