State experts take a look at water quality
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
In every part of Texas, watershed protection professionals face a similar problem.
The issue is called non-point source pollution, which is bacteria from animal waste, septic systems and chemicals from fertilizers.
"We've had issues with drought and issues with water quality. High phosphorus, high bacteria," Penny Wimberly with Waco Watershed Management said. "It can cause algae blooms in our lake, which affects our drinking water quality."
Kevin Wagner with the Texas Water Resources Institute said across the state, there are over 400 water bodies, including lakes, rivers and streams, that are considered impaired.
"There are water quality issues in them that prevent them from being used for recreation, for fishing or for drinking," he said.
Now, water management professionals have gathered in Temple to share their success stories and failures with their peers. They say stakeholder involvement, like the Environmental Protection Agency, is key to the success of any program.
"EPA funds a lot of the non-point source control activities, and it's a very high priority for the agency," Philip Crocker with EPA Watershed Management said.
Water managers hope to incorporate new tools like social media to help bring the public to the table.
"We're looking for tools to be able to reach out in our watershed and create partnerships," Wimberly said.
The watershed managers meet twice a year to share ideas and success stories.
Most of the anti-pollution programs are funded by the EPA but administered by state and local agencies.