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Rowlett Creek Watershed Protection Plan Development

A multi-phased project in which Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is collecting and analyzing water quality data for Rowlett Creek and will develop a watershed protection plan.

Map of the Rowlett Creek watershed with stream segments

Project Area

River Basin: Trinity

Water Body: Rowlett Creek (0820B)

Location: Collin and Dallas counties


Rowlett Creek is in a highly urbanized watershed in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Most of the creek flows within the city limits of Plano, but it also flows through the cities of Garland, McKinney, Frisco, Allen, and Murphy, and into a major water supply reservoir owned by the City of Dallas. 

Since 2014, Rowlett Creek has not met state water quality standards because bacteria concentrations exceed the criteria used to evaluate attainment of the primary contact recreation use. In addition, there are concerns for elevated nitrate. With continuous growth in the region, Rowlett creek is exposed to water quality and habitat degradation caused from human activity, urban runoff, and erosion.

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Project Descriptions

September 2018 - August 2022

In the first phase, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension will conduct routine water quality and stormwater monitoring to analyze pollutant concentrations associated with various flow conditions. The results will be used to assess the current conditions and to document water quality trends in Rowlett Creek.

The Spatially Explicit Load Enrichment Calculation Tool (SELECT) combined with load duration curves, will be used for bacterial source identification and prioritization of areas to identify best management practices (BMPs). SELECT will also be used  to compare the effectiveness of BMPs on reducing pollutant loadings based on BMP type and location. 

September 2022 - August 2025

In the final phase, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension will continue stakeholder involvement by holding regular stakeholder meetings, coordinating between local partners, and promoting the project to the public via the press, direct contact, social media, and other appropriate means. This project will culminate in the development of a nine-element watershed protection plan (WPP) that is stakeholder driven and will provide best management practices recommendations based on modeling result. The WPP will be submitted to TCEQ and ultimately U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for acceptance.

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For More Information

Texas A&M AgriLife Rowlett Creek webpage.

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

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