New Waves November 2011

Breaking news about water resources research and education in Texas

TAMU-K receives $1 million grant for Arroyo Colorado low impact development project

The Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment (ISEE) in the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering at Texas A&M University-Kingsville has received a $1.1 million dollar grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help fund green development in the rapidly growing Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Part of the Clean Water Non-Point Source Pollution prevention program, the grant will fund Phase II of the ISEE’s “Evaluation of Innovative Low Impact Development (LID) Activities in Urban Storm Water Management in the Arroyo Colorado” project. The project is part of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Low Impact Development Implementation and Education program—an initiative started by ISEE and the Lower Rio Grande Storm Water Task Force. It aims to implement green best management practices when it comes to controlling stormwater runoff.

During Phase I of the LID project, funded by a $1.5 million TCEQ grant awarded in 2010, ISEE worked with the cities of Brownsville, La Feria and San Juan and the Valley Nature Center in Weslaco to advance safe, low-impact development, which emphasizes conservation and helps manage stormwater runoff.

Phase II will expand the initiative to including the cities of Harlingen, Weslaco and Alton and the Cameron County Drainage District. The LID Phase II grant will fund five types of low-impact stormwater control projects that will use the area’s natural features and native vegetation to manage stormwater and ensure areas of development are protected. The project will aim to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, suspended solids and bacteria from the stormwater runoff at the project sites. Among the low-impact development methods the grant will fund are: green roofs, pervious pavements, rainwater harvesting, constructed wetlands, and rain gardens.

The Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership, which is administered by the Texas Water Resources Institute, is a project partner.

Read the full TAMU-Kingsville news release for more information.

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