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Arroyo Colorado: Monitoring Low Impact Development Techniques

Texas A&M University at Kingsville will conduct water quality monitoring to determine the effectiveness of bioswales and bioretention systems.


The Arroyo Colorado flows through Hidalgo, Cameron, and Willacy counties in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and into the Laguna Madre. The tidal segment of the Arroyo Colorado (2201) does not meet state water quality standards for dissolved oxygen levels, which is important to the health of aquatic life. Historically, the Arroyo has also had concerns for high nutrient levels. Water quality may be further affected by rapid urban growth which places increased pressure on public lands to accommodate rainwater runoff and associated pollutants from developing properties.

The Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership developed the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Protection Plan (WPP) in 2007 to address low dissolved oxygen and updated it in 2017. The WPP identifies low impact development (LID) as a key management measure for reducing stormwater runoff volume and pollutants entering the waterways.

LID is a comprehensive approach that incorporates or mimics natural processes (e.g., filtration, sedimentation, evapotranspiration) into site planning, design, or redevelopment with the goal of managing surface water runoff volume and reducing pollution as close to the source as possible. Examples include rain gardens, porous pavement, green roofs, and rainwater harvesting for later use. For more information, visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Low Impact Development webpage.

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Project Description

Texas A&M Kingsville will:

  • Monitor bioswales and bioretention systems to determine the most effective filtering media;
  • Provide a cost-benefit analysis to provide to officials in the watershed; 
  • Provide training on operation and maintenance of low impact development features;
  • Locate areas to install future best management practices in the watershed.

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For More Information

To find out more about the NPS Program, call 512-239-6682 or e-mail us at

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