These days, most of us go about our lives without thinking much about our relationship to the watershed we live in. The fact that we've paved over or otherwise hidden many of our natural drainage systems (stream corridors, wetlands, etc.) makes it difficult to see how these systems work—let alone understand their significance.
It's important that we all have at least a general understanding about the many unique watersheds in our region if we really want to make the most these natural systems, and to better protect and/or restore our water resources.
Know Your Watershed is our ongoing series highlighting significant watersheds in North Texas. These simple maps will make it easy to identify which watershed is yours, so you can better understand how to promote taking care of it.
We will be continually updating this library with photos, notes, and relevant articles for each watershed we feature. We also want to know what questions you have about your watershed. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to hear your thoughts!
The first in the series of watersheds is one of the largest in Dallas. It covers about 100 square miles (64,000 acres) and stretches from the headwaters of White Rock Creek in Frisco to the dam at White Rock Lake. The health of White Rock Lake is directly impacted by how we manage or don’t manage stormwater within the entirety of the outlined area.
This is one of the most significant tributaries to the Trinity River and unfortunately another one that's made the 303d list in North Texas. It's also one of the many watersheds that offers incredible potential for not only improvement of the water quality but also enhancements to the extensive network of parks adjacent to the creek.
The Rowlett Creek watershed is a major contributor of flow to Lake Ray Hubbard, a critical water supply reservoir for the region. The watershed includes multiple cities in Dallas and Collin Counties. Rowlett Creek was first added to the 303d list for bacteria/e. coli in the 2014 Texas Integrated Report on Water Quality. It has also been listed as a water body of concern due to elevated levels of nitrate.
Lower Denton Creek extends from the dam at Grapevine Lake to its confluence with the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. The riparian corridor along the creek has been heavily encroached upon by residential, commercial, and industrial developments and consequently is subject to frequent flooding events. Damaging floods and associated erosion within the watershed are exacerbated when larger flows are released from the Grapevine Lake during times of non-drought conditions.