Population and Urbanization

population-urbanization by Justin Wright

Photo by Justin Wright

Major communities in the watershed include Blanco, Wimberley, Luling, Lockhart, San Marcos and Kyle. Kyle is currently one of the fastest growing cities in Texas having grown from 5,314 recorded residents in the 2000 US Census to over 28,000 in 2009. The growth rate within the watershed is an average 21.87% (United States Census Bureau 2010). San Marcos is at the center of the Austin-San Antonio metropolitan area along the IH-35 corridor and was the fastest growing city in 2011-2012 with 4.91% growth rate (United States census Bureau 2012). The expanding population and related development have, and will continue to affect land use patterns. The continued growth and urbanization will also have great impact on the watershed function, especially with regard to non-point source pollution.

Development in the basin is centered around the cities described below. Future growth is expected to continue in the same general areas.  The increase in road development not only increases impervious cover, but also changes runoff and overland flow patterns, increases non-point source pollution and fragments habitats. Cypress Creek has the largest potential for population growth. It is likely that the previously undeveloped areas may experience independently developed subdivisions derived from larger ranches in the area.