Pilot Program Location
An extensive scientific modeling exercise selected the headwaters of Waller Creek as the pilot program location. This small urban area is 2.8 square kilometers (1.08 square miles) with 46% impervious cover (hard surfaces like driveways and roofs) and limited options for traditional stormwater controls. Historic stormwater monitoring data is available, as well as, ongoing water quality and quantity monitoring.
Demonstration project sites within this area include Reilly Elementary School, West Skyview Road, several right of ways, and private homes. The incentive package for homes was offered to 25 pre-selected homes in 2018 and was expanded to a larger area in 2020.
An extensive combination of demonstration projects (public land), residential systems (private land), and creek restoration is planned throughout the upper portion of the Waller Creek watershed in an effort to develop the capacity to build distributed GSI and to evaluate the effect this effort has on the community and the watershed.
On private property, the Watershed Protection Department is collaborating with the non-profit Urban Patchwork, Austin Water’s Rainwater Harvesting and Rainscape rebate programs & Development Services Tree Fund to encourage the installation of rain gardens and cisterns. The RCPP will initially focus on a small area of the community to test the hypothesis that greater financial incentives and technical guidance to community members will result in greater adoption of large volume cisterns and rain gardens.
The Pilot Program Includes
- Reilly Elementary School Demonstration Project
- Installation of 12 cisterns and 5 rain gardens: completed in 2019 and 2020
- Assisting the school with lesson plans and maintenance beginning in the 2018-2019 school year
- Future plans include an interpretive signage trail, a virtual tour, and community groups learning the space to learn about green stormwater infrastructure
- Skyview Neighborhood Partnering Program project
- Removal of pavement on a dead end: completed in 2018 and 2019
- Neighbors added native plants, and a picnic table: Spring 2022
- Other Projects
- Home Incentive Pilot Program - www.RainCatcherAustin.org
- Phase 1, Fall 2018 – Fall 2019: Worked with a focus group of 25 homes to get feedback on the pilot program and to test the educational incentive package.
- Late 2019 – Early 2020: Got approval to continue with phases 2-5 of the pilot program.
- Phases 2- 5, Summer 2020 – January 2024: Offer this educational incentive pilot program to more properties in the headwaters of Waller Creek area, analyze pilot program, and determine if it will be offered city-wide.
Pandemic Extension – Due to setbacks caused by the pandemic, the originally planned pilot program timeline has been extended until January 2025.
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Related Documents and Information
- Snapshot Reports
- 2020 – Scaling Green Stormwater Infrastructure Through Multiple Benefits in Austin, Texas
- 2018 City of Austin Green Stormwater Infrastructure, Initiatives, and Next Steps
- 2017 An Examination of Stormwater Quality and Quantity in Austin Area Creeks
- 2017 Survey – Diffusion of Innovations and Decentralized Green Stormwater Infrastructure: A Case Study of the Headwaters of Waller Creek Watershed, Austin, Texas
- 2017 Waller 3 Benchmarking Study. Stormwater Residential Incentive Program Lessons Learned
- 2016 North Urban Watersheds: Shoal Creek, Waller Creek, Johnson Creek, Lady Bird Lake
- 2016 Urban Hydrology Restoration: Proof of Concept Modeling
- Reilly Elementary School
- Catch Rain! Catch Savings! The Rain Catcher Pilot Program offers free technical advice & rebates to eligible properties in the Skyview neighborhood area in North Central Austin to install rain gardens, trees, and cisterns. Many of the resources and rebates are available to all community members! For more information or to check your eligibility, contact us at Raincatcher@austintexas.gov
- Atrapa la lluvia! ¡Capte Ahorros! El programa piloto Rain Catcher ofrece asesoramiento técnico gratuito y reembolsos a propiedades elegibles en el área del vecindario de Skyview en el centro norte de Austin para instalar jardines de lluvia, árboles y cisternas. ¡Muchos de los recursos y reembolsos están disponibles a todos los miembros de la comunidad! Para obtener más información o verificar su elegibilidad, contáctenos en Raincatcher@austintexas.gov