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Background

Why Waller Creek?

The headwaters of Waller Creek flow through a small urban area that is just 1.08 square miles with 46% impervious cover. There are very few options for traditional stormwater controls.

In the Upper Waller Creek watershed, significant historic stormwater monitoring data is available as well as ongoing water quality and quantity monitoring, so we can easily study the impacts of changes in the system when we add cisterns and rain gardens.

Modeling indicates that there will be measurable improvements in the hydrology and aquatic life of our streams if we capture rainfall and let it soak into the ground rather than rush into our storm drains and creeks.

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The headwaters of Waller Creek flow through a small urban area that is just 1.08 square miles with 46% impervious cover. There are very few options for traditional stormwater controls.

In the Upper Waller Creek watershed, significant historic stormwater monitoring data is available as well as ongoing water quality and quantity monitoring, so we can easily study the impacts of changes in the system when we add cisterns and rain gardens.

Modeling indicates that there will be measurable improvements in the hydrology and aquatic life of our streams if we capture rainfall and let it soak into the ground rather than rush into our storm drains and creeks.

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What Else Is Happening?

rain catcher pilot program projects map
The Rain Catcher Pilot Program (RCPP) is much bigger than the Residential Incentive work. The Rain Catcher Pilot Program is a comprehensive effort to integrate and leverage the City’s existing Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) programs and resources.

There are several demonstration projects in progress on both public and private land in the watershed. These projects make up a comprehensive new approach to stormwater management that will determine how the City changes the way it thinks about and approaches stormwater and creek health in the future.

RCPP incorporates existing Watershed Protection Department and Austin Water discounts, rebates, capital funding, and educational programs with the goal of increasing the number of cisterns and rain gardens that achieve both stormwater management and water conservation objectives.

Approximately 10 of the RCPP sites are public property demonstration projects, including many rain gardens in the right-of-way and an extensive installation at Reilly Elementary School with large cisterns and six rain gardens.

On private property the Watershed Protection Department is collaborating with Austin Water, the Development Services Department and the non-profits Urban Patchwork and The Nature Conservancy to encourage the installation of rain gardens and cisterns and the planting of trees that can help people save money while addressing water issues on their property. The RCPP will initially focus on a small area of the community to test whether greater financial incentives and technical guidance will result in greater adoption of large volume cisterns and rain gardens (1500 gallons per property minimum).

rain catcher pilot program projects map
The Rain Catcher Pilot Program (RCPP) is much bigger than the Residential Incentive work. The Rain Catcher Pilot Program is a comprehensive effort to integrate and leverage the City’s existing Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) programs and resources.

There are several demonstration projects in progress on both public and private land in the watershed. These projects make up a comprehensive new approach to stormwater management that will determine how the City changes the way it thinks about and approaches stormwater and creek health in the future.

RCPP incorporates existing Watershed Protection Department and Austin Water discounts, rebates, capital funding, and educational programs with the goal of increasing the number of cisterns and rain gardens that achieve both stormwater management and water conservation objectives.

Approximately 10 of the RCPP sites are public property demonstration projects, including many rain gardens in the right-of-way and an extensive installation at Reilly Elementary School with large cisterns and six rain gardens.

On private property the Watershed Protection Department is collaborating with Austin Water, the Development Services Department and the non-profits Urban Patchwork and The Nature Conservancy to encourage the installation of rain gardens and cisterns and the planting of trees that can help people save money while addressing water issues on their property. The RCPP will initially focus on a small area of the community to test whether greater financial incentives and technical guidance will result in greater adoption of large volume cisterns and rain gardens (1500 gallons per property minimum).

Area Project Highlights

Approximately 10 of the RCPP sites are public property demonstration projects, mostly rain gardens in right-of-ways, and an extensive installation of Reilly Elementary School, with large cisterns and six rain gardens.

Skyview Neighborhood Partnering Program Project

A project between residents of the Skyview Neighborhood and the City of Austin includes the installation of a Rain Garden

Reznicek Field Water Quality Retrofit Project

This project will help improve water quality in Waller Creek and Lady Bird Lake by capturing and treating stormwater.

Right of Way Demonstrations

The City of Austin allows for Rain Gardens to be installed in the Right of Way to further assist with overall drainage issues throughout the city.

Reilly Elementary School Demonstration Project

Several Cisterns and Rain Gardens were installed at Reilly Elementary to assist the school with maintenance and learning

Contact Us

Contact us below (for accessibility, please click here)

The quickest way to get started is to schedule a Site Assessment, so you can learn your property’s true rain catchment potential. When you email, call, or submit the form here, a City of Austin program ambassador will respond, answer any questions, and, if you are still interested in participating, set up a time to discuss your Site Assessment with you.

In order to follow current COVID-19 best practices, we are happy to do the site assessments and design consultation conversations by phone or video calls. The landscape design consultation visit can be done on site by following social distance guidelines and wearing face coverings, if you’re comfortable with it. Or, you can save your site assessment report and design plans for when you’re ready to have visitors.

The quickest way to get started is to schedule a Site Assessment, so you can learn your property’s true rain catchment potential. When you email, call, or submit the form here, a City of Austin program ambassador will respond, answer any questions, and, if you are still interested in participating, set up a time to discuss your Site Assessment with you.

In order to follow current COVID-19 best practices, we are happy to do the site assessments and design consultation conversations by phone or video calls. The landscape design consultation visit can be done on site by following social distance guidelines and wearing face coverings, if you’re comfortable with it. Or, you can save your site assessment report and design plans for when you’re ready to have visitors.

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