The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) has been notified the Lavon Lake watershed has been selected as one of two priority watersheds in Texas by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for watershed protection funding. The Lampasas River watershed in Central Texas is the other priority watershed selected. The designation will result in about $2.28M in watershed protection projects in the Lavon Lake and Lampasas River watersheds geared towards reducing erosion and nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus commonly found in fertilizer.
Watersheds are areas of land that water flows across, through or under before ultimately draining into creeks, streams, rivers, lakes or oceans. The Lavon Lake watershed is comprised of 492,095 acres of land in parts of Collin, Fannin, Grayson and Hunt Counties that capture and direct rainfall into creeks, streams and rivers that flow into Lavon Lake.
“The primary focus of the Lavon Lake watershed protection plan is to prevent contaminants from entering Lavon Lake from surrounding cities, farms and ranchlands,” said David Cowan, NTMWD Watershed Manager. “This funding will help us with our mission of protecting water quality in this critical water source for North Texans,” Cowan added.
The funding is part of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill) which includes specific protections for source water and drinking water supplies. The Farm Bill is administered through NRCS to help farmers and ranchers implement conservation measures on their land to improve water quality. It provides a direct benefit to agriculture producers and water utilities. The Lavon Lake watershed was selected as a priority project because it is a key drinking water source for nearly 2 million North Texans.
The Lavon Lake Watershed Protection Plan was developed by NTMWD, Texas A&M AgriLife and the Texas State Soil Water Conservation Board in coordination with local stakeholders. The plan was accepted in 2017 by the Environmental Protection Agency. NTMWD conducts regular public education and stakeholder outreach to inform communities about ways to help protect critical water sources like Lavon Lake. A new brochure with an overview of the Lavon Lake watershed protection plan is available on the NTMWD website at NTMWD.com/watershed/.
Collin County landowners who wish to participate in Farm Bill programs are encouraged to contact the Collin County NRCS office directly at office: 972-542-0081 ext. 3.