The Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership, administered by the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI), a unit of Texas A&M AgriLife, in cooperation with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB), is an innovative gathering of federal, state, and private organizations who meet to improve watershed health, integrate watershed management, and make better use of watershed project funding. The partnership focuses on the interrelated issues of water quantity (supply), water excess (flooding and drainage), habitat, and water quality, particularly runoff pollution concerns.

In 2012, the Partnership and TWRI won the Texas Environmental Excellence Awards—a TCEQ program. Watch the video.

Mission Adopted by ACW Partnership

"Reduce the additions of pollutants to the Arroyo Colorado to the maximum extent possible in order to meet state water quality standards and improve the natural terrestrial, riparian, and aquatic habitat associated with the Arroyo Colorado Watershed."

Vision Adopted by ACW Partnership

"An ecologically sound Arroyo Colorado and Lower Laguna Madre that is understood and valued by all residents of the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV)."

Goals Adopted by the ACW Partnership

  • Reduce the additions of the known primary pollutants (nitrogen, phosphorous, ammonia, sediment, bacteria, and biochemical oxygen demanding substances) by 10-20% over the next fifteen years
  • Improve the awareness and understanding of the water quality issues associated with the Arroyo Colorado, its connection to the Lower Laguna Madre, and the value both these natural resources bring to the communities of the Lower Rio Grande Valley
  • Improve water quality to minimize fish kills and maintain aquatic diversity in the Arroyo Colorado
  • Encourage the voluntary adoption of best management practices (BMPs) to reduce suspended solids from cropland erosion, BOD from crop residue, and nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer runoff from irrigated and non-irrigated cropland
  • Improve the quality of treated effluent from wastewater treatment facilities within the watershed of the Arroyo Colorado
  • Increase wastewater and storm water infrastructure development for rural and unincorporated low income communities in the Arroyo Colorado watershed, collectively known as colonias
  • Implement enhanced biological treatment projects to increase nutrient removal from wastewater
  • Focus Phase II Storm Water Management Programs on the pollutants of concern in the Arroyo Colorado
  • Protect and restore valuable terrestrial habitat areas throughout the watershed
  • Protect and restore riparian areas, resacas, and freshwater and coastal wetlands
  • Reduce erosion and runoff pollution through enhanced structural support measures along the stream banks of the Arroyo Colorado and throughout the watershed