The Bosque River watershed has a drainage area of more than 1,600 square miles, extending northwest from the city of Waco in McLennan County to parts of Bosque, Coryell, Hamilton, and Erath counties. The Bosque River serves as the primary drinking water supply for more than 200,000 people.
Water quality monitoring in the watershed has shown high levels of nutrients and bacteria that have contributed to excessive growth of algae and other aquatic plants in the river. Total Maximum Daily Load analyses for the river suggest that dairy waste application fields, municipal discharges and other lesser sources contribute to these high nutrient and bacteria loads.
In an effort to better manage potential sources of point and non-point source pollution, this series of projects was designed to evaluate the physical characteristics of the watershed, evaluate the effectiveness of recommended management practices and to develop an estimation of the anticipated benefits of implementing these practices. The project can be broken into four individual components or phases. Phase I consisted of establishing and convening a scientific advisory committee that provided guidance on the types of management practices that may be considered in the future and assisted in the development of a GIS representation of the watershed. Phase II built upon earlier work and used the SWAT model to evaluate the impacts of implementing recommended management practices in the watershed. This phase also included the development of a report that described the recommended management practices in detail and provided general information on site selection, installation, operation, maintenance and expected effectiveness of each of these practices. Phase III tasks will be an on-the-ground planning effort and practice verification using to estimate load reductions prior to implementation. Phase IV would begin the implementation process and will be focused on two initial sub-watersheds within the Bosque River watershed. More detailed information about each phase of the project can be found by clicking on that specific phase's link to the left.