The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on Sept. 7 voted to amend an existing permit that will allow the Clear Lake City Water Authority to route reuse water through the Exploration Green property to help maintain optimal water levels in the detention lakes and irrigate the native trees and plants installed on the 200-acre conservation and recreation area.
“We are thrilled about the approval of this amendment,” said Water Authority President John Branch. “Reuse water is a cost efficient, environmentally desirable and effective way to irrigate large areas like Exploration Green.
In fact, it was used for decades to irrigate the Clear Lake Golf Course on this property. It will also ensure a flowing stream of water to support aquatic life and wildlife, and take stress off the drinking water supply.”While the reuse water is not certified as potable, it is carefully treated and actually cleaner and safer for the environment than the typical runoff and stormwater that flows into local bayous and streams.
The natural wetlands planned for the stormwater detention lakes on Exploration Green will cleanse the water even further, both improving downstream water quality of Clear Lake and Galveston Bay and supporting natural habitat for many native species of birds, fish and other animals.
“This decision accelerates the momentum of the Exploration Green project,” said Frank Weary, chairman of the board for Exploration Green Conservancy. “It means we can move forward with installing irrigation and planting trees and plants, as well as further our efforts to improve downstream water quality.”For more information about Exploration Green, visit www.ExplorationGreen.org.
The Clear Lake City Water Authority was created by the State of Texas in 1963 to provide water, sewer, and drainage service for the Clear Lake City area. Its service area covers almost 16,000 acres with 86,000 residents. The CLCWA strives to provide excellent customer service, superior water quality, and environmental protection in a cost efficient manner.
About Exploration Green
The Exploration Green Conservancy is an all-volunteer, grassroots nonprofit dedicated to the protection and enhancement of Exploration Green—a permanently-protected, 200-acre natural park and one of the last open green spaces in the NASA/Clear Lake area.
Phase 1 is now underway at the former Clear Lake Golf Course property. Exploration Green will feature a series of five connected finger lakes, 12 miles of hike-and-bike trails, safe play areas, multi-use athletic fields and inspiring gathering spaces.
Complementing these amenities will be water-cleansing natural wetland areas; habitat islands for indigenous wildlife, including resident and migrating birds, amphibians and butterflies; and a reforested, more natural environment for native grasses, flowers and trees.