The North Texas Municipal Water District is seeking individuals from various community and professional backgrounds to serve on the steering committee for the Lavon Lake Watershed Protection Plan.
The district held public meetings in McKinney and Wylie this month to kick off the creation of the plan, which will work to protect the 491,520 acres of land that water flows over on its way to the lake. The watershed includes parts of Collin, Grayson, Fannin and Hunt counties.
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board is helping the water district by offering free steward workshops for participants that will provide an overview of water quality and watershed management in Texas. The first workshop is scheduled for 8 a.m.-noon Oct. 13 at the Myers Park & Event Center, 7117 County Road 166, in McKinney.
The protection plan is expected to take one to three years to create and is in response to recent findings of elevated bacteria levels in Wilson Creek and the East Fork of the Trinity River north of the lake. Lavon Lake was selected for a protection plan since it is the collection point for many area streams and rivers. The lake was also identified as being impaired for low levels of E. coli bacteria. There have also been growing concerns about nutrient concentrations, NTMWD Watershed Manager Galen Roberts said.
“We need to take action to protect the resources we have currently,” he said. “It’s about sustaining our ability to provide water in the longterm.”
Under the Clean Water Act, states must not only assess water quality but must also take action to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological characteristics of its waterways, according to the NTMWD.
As the uppermost reservoir on the East Fork of the Trinity River that provides drinking water to more than 1.6 million North Texas residents, Roberts said projected population growth is expected to result in further expansion of urbanized areas in the Lavon Lake watershed. Most of the existing urban development can be found around Wilson Creek and the lowermost portion of the East Fork of the Trinity River. Encouraging green building practices and stormwater pollution prevention plans are two examples of initiatives that can be included in a watershed protection plan, Roberts said.