The City of Mercedes in partnership with the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) and The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) proposed to develop a demonstration green infrastructure (GI) master plan to mitigate localized flooding in a high priority region within the city limits of the City. Local governments in the LRGV control localized flooding and stormwater runoff by adopting strict drainage design policies. During the course of this project, participating in local governments and the project team reviewed the city drainage policy. The project team identified those that already incorporate GI language, provided GI related information to the local government staffers and recommendations for policy enhancement. The flat terrain characteristic of the LRGV provides stormwater engineers with complicated flow, detention and flood design problems. The GI Master Plan can provide a unique innovative strategy that will be used as a demonstration tool that can be duplicated throughout the region. Through the GI Master Plan, the City intends to establish the general and specific guidelines for the management and treatment of rainwater to diminish its impact and to apply the strategies that allow the construction of “green” structures. Of the twenty-one (21) LRGV Stormwater Task Force members (SWTF), solely the City of Weslaco has GI language in its drainage policy, primarily stating that the GI strategies can be used in managing stormwater runoff. Through this project, the City of Mercedes and other participating local governments assessed GI facilities and considered providing language that encourages GI in their policies. The GI Master Plan is an approach for land development that works with nature to manage rainwater and it’s based on the preservation and recreation of natural landscape characteristics, minimizing impervious surfaces to create functional drainage. The idea is that rainwater can be integrated as a natural attraction of urbanism instead of being considered a discarded product, therefore avoiding the creation of ponds and future contamination.
Ernest, Andrew, Javier Guerrero, Ahmed Mahmoud, Roxana Tello, Jose Figueroa, and Jorge Hernandez. n.d. “Mitigation Localized Flooding - Development of a Green Infrastructure Master Plan in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.” TAA18-007. https://rgvstormwater.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/1-GI-Final-Report_AM-3-20.pdf.