Read the City's water quality protection publications.
Watershed Protection partners with local automotive repair and fueling businesses to reduce pollution and water quality degradation of our creeks and lakes. Help recognize those businesses that go the extra mile to protect our environment.
With rich Blackland prairie in the east to the rolling hills of the Edward’s plateau in the west, Austin’s diverse geography is home to thousands of plant and animal species. Unfortunately, not all of these organisms are beneficial; Austin’s natural resources and economy are being degraded by exotic invasive species.
The ALI was developed in 2010 to monitor and assess the chemical, biological, and physical integrity of Austin area lakes (Lake Austin, Lady Bird Lake and Walter E. Long Lake) on an annual basis.
On this page you will be able to find information for Lake Austin, Lady Bird Lake, and Walter E. Long Lake. Remember: these three systems are man-made reservoirs! (so they’re sort of lakes)
Austin has numerous creeks throughout town. All are subject to flash flooding. The creek flooding program undertakes projects to protect lives and reduce property damage when these creeks overflow their banks.
The EII is a program designed to continuously monitor and assess the chemical, biological, and physical integrity of Austin’s creeks and streams. Currently, all watersheds are monitored on a two-year rotating basis.
The Stream Restoration Program’s objective is to create a stable stream system that decreases property loss from erosion and increases the beneficial uses of our waterways.
The Flood Early Warning System monitors rainfall, water levels and low water crossings in Austin 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. During a flood, we work closely with emergency managers for the most effective and timely community response.
Much of west Austin sits above the environmentally-sensitive Edwards Aquifer which supplies drinking water to more than 50,000 people, feeds countless springs, including Barton Springs, and supplies water to the Colorado River.
Before stormwater runoff reaches a creek, it usually flows through a system of smaller ditches and drainage pipes. Austin has over 1,100 miles of such systems. The Local Flood Program evaluates and upgrades these systems to address flooding.
The goal of the Pollution Prevention and Reduction Program is to prevent or minimize polluting discharges to Austin's creeks and lakes through the Spills and Complaints Response and Stormwater Discharge Permit programs.
The Regional Stormwater Management Program provides developers an alternative to providing on-site detention ponds. Instead, developers have the option to pay a fee that will be used by the City for regional flooding solutions.
The riparian zone is the transition area between the aquatic environment and the terrestrial environment. Healthy riparian buffers with mature vegetation provide a wide range of critical ecological and water quality services.
Austin is home to three species of aquatic salamander that occur no where else in the world except in and around this city: The Barton Springs salamander, Austin Blind salamander and Jollyville Plateau salamander.
The Pollution Hotline gets more than a thousand pollution complaints per year - nearly 20% which are automotive related. The Shade Tree Mechanic program is designed to reduce pollution commonly caused by home car repair.
The Sustainable Stormwater Solutions program designs, implements and evaluates engineered systems that reduce pollution in our creeks, lakes and aquifers. The program seeks to use stormwater as a resource rather than a waste product.
The Watershed Protection Master Plan is the department’s strategic plan that assesses erosion, flood and water quality problems in Austin. It also prioritizes and implements effective solutions that address all three problems. Solutions include projects, programs and regulations.
Wildfires are vital to the ecological health of many Central Texas natural areas. Since these natural areas are deeply valued and critical to our well-being, we must work together to become a fire-adapted community of informed and prepared citizens who collaboratively take action to safely co-exist with wildfire. Wildfires can, and will occur in Central Texas; but in a fire-adapted community, they do not have to be catastrophic.