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Watershed Protection Plans for Nonpoint Source Water Pollution

What watershed protection plans are, how they are developed, and a list of all plans sponsored by TCEQ.

What is a Watershed Protection Plan?

Watershed Protection Plans (WPPs) are community-developed documents that identify potential sources of water body impairment throughout a watershed and provide a framework for implementation strategies to reduce pollution and improve overall water quality in Texas streams and rivers. TCEQ and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) support the development and implementation of WPPs that prevent or manage nonpoint source pollution, and in most cases provide funding and technical assistance. A significant portion of Texas’ federal funding for managing nonpoint source pollution is dedicated to the development and implementation of WPPs and TMDL Implementation Plans.

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Developing Watershed Protection Plans

All WPPs funded with Clean Water Act Section 319(h) grant funds are required to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA)  Nine Elements for Watershed-based Plans (WBPs). Before committing to the development of a WPP it is important to ensure sufficient data are available to characterize pollutant sources. Preferably, this determination is made before applying for 319(h) funding. After this preliminary analysis, the TCEQ NPS Program recommends following these major steps:

  • Watershed Characterization – Monitoring if additional data collection is necessary
  • WPP Development

The approach taken to develop a WPP should be informed by stakeholder input. Development of a WPP generally takes about three years, depending on the nature of the work required. Multiple steps may be combined into one funding application, and streamlined projects are preferred. TCEQ funding of one step does not obligate the agency to fund additional steps of WPP development for that watershed.

Additional guidance is available on the EPA Clean Water Act Section 319 Web page and in EPA's Handbook for Developing Watershed Plans to Restore and Protect Our Waters .

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Interactive Map and List of Watershed Protection Plans

Learn more about Texas WPPs using this interactive map that has links to partner webpages, pictures of best management practices, and much more. Visualize watershed characteristics such as landcover, stream impairments, and wastewater outfalls to evaluate WPP development potential.

TCEQ Sponsored WPPs that have been accepted by EPA

Year of EPA acceptance is provided in parentheses, and the links will take you to related NPS WPP Development Project webpages. If you would like a copy of any listed WPP please send an email to

Arroyo Colorado (2017) Lake Granbury (2011)
Bastrop Bayou (2016) Lavaca River (2018)
Big Elm Creek (2021) Mission and Aransas Rivers (2021)
Brady Creek (2016) Nolan Creek (2019)
Caranchahua Bay (2019) San Bernard River (2017)
Colorado River below E.V. Spence (2013) Shoal Creek (2021)
Cypress Creek - Segment 1009 (2021) Spring Creek (2023)
Cypress Creek - Segment 1815 (2015) Tres Palacios Creek (2018)
Dry Comal and Comal River (2018) Upper Cibolo Creek (2013)
Hickory Creek (2016) Upper San Antonio River (2015)
Highland Bayou (2021) Upper San Marcos River (2018)
Joe Pool Lake (2022) Village Creek and Lake Arlington (2019)
La Nana Bayou (2023) West Fork of the San Jacinto River and Lake Creek (2019)

TCEQ Sponsored WPPs that are currently in development

Arenosa and Garcitas Creeks Greens Bayou
Clear Creek Rowlett Creek
East Fork of the San Jacinto River Thompsons Creek

TCEQ Sponsored Watershed Characterizations that are currently in development

Brushy Creek Town Creek
Northern and Central Lower Rio Grande Valley

For a list of WPPs sponsored by TSSWCB please visit their Watershed Protection Plan Program website.

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For More Information

Contact the NPS Program by email at, or call 512-239-6682.

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