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Lavaca River Watershed Protection Plan Implementation

Texas Water Resources Institute supported implementation measures for the Lavaca River Watershed Protection Plan including outreach, education, and water quality monitoring.

Map of the Lavaca River watershed with stream segments.

Project Area

River Basin: Lavaca

Water Body: Lavaca River (1601, 1602, 1602A, 1602B, and 1602C)

Location: Lavaca, Jackson, Gonzales, Fayette, and Victoria counties


The Lavaca River above tidal (Segment 1602) has not met state water quality standards for primary contact recreation use due to high bacteria concentrations since 2008. Other segments of the watershed have also not met state standards for either aquatic life use due to low levels of dissolved oxygen or primary contact recreation use due to high bacteria concentrations and have concerns for excess nutrients. In 2018, the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) and stakeholders developed the Lavaca River Watershed Protection Plan (WPP) to address water quality issues in the watershed. They also developed a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), and a TMDL Implementation Plan (I-Plan). TWRI implemented management measures outlined in the WPP.

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Project Description

TWRI coordinated education and outreach in the watershed by developing publications, newsletters, brochures, website content and other materials to promote watershed pollution prevention strategies. TWRI also facilitated educational workshops and events such as the Texas Well Owner Network, Texas Watershed Stewards, and Healthy Lawns Healthy Waters. These programs encourage future implementation of WPP management measures.

TWRI and the Lavaca Navidad River Authority (LNRA) also conducted monthly water quality monitoring at three sites on Lavaca River and one site on Rocky Creek, a tributary of Lavaca River. Water samples were analyzed for bacteria, total nitrogen ammonia, nitrate nitrogen, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, total phosphorus, and total suspended solids. LNRA also recorded field parameters including pH, temperature, conductivity, flow, and dissolved oxygen.

Data from monitoring will be used to measure changes in water quality over time, and to evaluate the effectiveness of any future WPP implementation in the watershed.

This project ended in August 2022.

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For More Information

Lavaca River TMDL webpage

TWRI's Lavaca River project webpage

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

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