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Arroyo Colorado: Implementing Low Impact Development (LID) Practices, Phase 1

A project that implemented the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Protection Plan (WPP) by funding low impact development (LID) projects in various cities in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.


The Arroyo Colorado, which drains much of the Lower Rio Grande Valley region, includes a freshwater segment (Segment 2202) and a tidally influenced marine segment (Segment 2201). Both segments do not meet state water quality standards for support of contact recreation and aquatic life because of elevated bacteria and depressed dissolved oxygen levels. The Lower Rio Grande Valley has experienced rapid growth and urbanization that change the natural hydrology and increase the volume of stormwater and associated pollutants being delivered to local water bodies.

The Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership was formed to address use impairments related to bacteria and dissolved oxygen criteria, as well as nutrient concerns. The Partnership developed the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Protection Plan (WPP) in January 2007 and updated it in 2017. The WPP identifies low impact development (LID) as a recommended management measure to control stormwater and reduce pollutants entering the waterways. LID uses or mimics natural processes to increase stormwater retention and infiltration on site.

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Project Description

This project began in May 2011 and was completed in June 2017. Texas A&M University at Kingsville (TAMUK) partnered with various cities to install multiple high-visibility LID practices throughout the Valley and the Arroyo Colorado watershed. TAMUK and local partners also:

  • Conducted water quality monitoring to evaluate the effectiveness of installed LID.
  • Incorporated LID effectiveness results into a regional technical guidance manual to facilitate and encourage more LID projects.
  • Evaluated city codes to determine potential modifications to make it easier to incorporate LID practices in new development.
  • Led public tours of LID projects.
  • Made an inventory of current LID and other best management practices in the watershed and incorporated them into a database.
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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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