Watershed Protection uses administrative criteria (known as “rules”) and ordinances to help prevent flooding, erosion and water pollution. The rules and ordinance processes use City staff and external stakeholders to create and refine regulations.

Austin limits the impact of development using regulations that call for no adverse impact from flooding on downstream properties, provide criteria for the design of drainage and maintenance of stormwater infrastructure, and that restrict development in floodplains and critical water quality zones.  The City also provides additional regulatory protections to specific watersheds and to various environmentally sensitive zones, such as the Barton Springs Zone and the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone. 

Building Restrictions and Requirements in Various Watersheds