Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Andrew Ernest

Second Advisor

Dr. Ahmed Mahmoud

Third Advisor

Dr. Abdoul Oubeidillah


Due to an increase in urbanization in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV), there have been substantial modifications to hydrology causing a decline in water quality to the Laguna Madre watershed. The major concern is the inflow of freshwater from the North and Central waterways released to the Lower Laguna Madre which is designated as an impaired watershed for high concentrations of bacteria and low dissolved oxygen. The objective of this study is to perform a watershed characterization to determine potential pollution sources of each watershed by developing a cyberinfrastructure and collect a wide inventory of data. The objective will be achieved through the development of a Geographic Information System (GIS) database that will help to comprehend the major characteristics of each area contributing to the watershed supported by the analysis of the data collected. The watershed delineation is crucial for this study since it will determine the boundaries for each watershed promoting the identification of contributing potential sources of contaminants. Hidalgo Willacy Main Drain (HWMD) and IBWC North Floodway watersheds were found to have higher contribution of water impairments for their significant levels of water quality parameters along with non-point and point sources. Therefore, this study has facilitated the characterization of watersheds to better address water impairments.


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