#Stewards4Shoal: Shoal Creek Springs

November 7, 2019  | By Shoal Creek Conservancy

People have relied on springs for thousands of years. Historically, populations built entire communities around perennial springs as these sources of water were dependable and plentiful. They are also hotspots for plant and animal biodiversity. But, the springs within the Shoal Creek watershed are at risk.

Learn more in our Shoal Creek Springs PSA, which supports the #Stewards4Shoal campaign to raise awareness about the challenges facing Shoal Creek and encourages local action to preserve the Shoal Creek Watershed. The #Stewards4Shoal campaign is part of a multi-year project to develop a Shoal Creek Watershed Action Plan, which will serve as a guide for community, non-profit, and local government groups and facilitate actively working towards improving water quality in Shoal Creek.

The Shoal Creek Watershed is home to numerous springs that suffer from reduced flow or have ceased flowing altogether. This is problematic because 27 percent of the Shoal Creek watershed lies within the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone, which provides drinking water to many Central Texas residents but also feeds local springs. In the next 50 years the demand for municipal water is expected to increase by more than 60 percent. Urban watersheds, like Shoal Creek, that capture rainfall and recharge aquifers will need protection given their exceptionally large contribution to our shared water resources.

“The Shoal Creek Watershed is not only highly impervious but was also developed prior to modern regulations that limit the impact of development on watershed systems. Together, these factors present unique challenges that require a multifaceted approach to restoring water quality,” said Ivey Kaiser, SCC’s Executive Director.

The Shoal Creek Characterization Report, which was published by The City of Austin Watershed Protection Department in August 2019, identified water quality trends and sources of pollution in the watershed. Working alongside The Meadows Center, the City of Austin Watershed Protection Department and engineering firm Doucet & Associates, Shoal Creek Conservancy will publish the Shoal Creek Watershed Action Plan in October 2020, which will provide a path forward to ensure a clean, resilient and healthy watershed.  Stakeholders can share their feedback on the draft of this plan throughout December 2019. Register for the next stakeholder meeting to learn more and get involved.