Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean, Coastal, and Earth Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Chu-Lin Cheng

Second Advisor

Dr. Jude Benavides

Third Advisor

Dr. Juan Gonzalez


The Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) has three Metropolitan Statistical Areas. These are Brownsville-Harlingen, Laredo, and McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, the latter with a population of around 1 million people and had an estimated growth of 62% from the period of 2010-2018 (Texas State Data Center, 2020). Low precipitations, intensive agricultures as well as growth in the manufacturing and tourism industries have resulted in an increasing concern of scarce water supply especially the region relies primarily on a single water source, the Rio Grande River. These circumstances could potentially disrupt economic development, negatively affecting the local manufacturing industry, agriculture, and the community. With this distressing scenario it is urgent to understand the regional groundwater resources as well as its exposure to contamination. In this project the vulnerability of the selected south Texas counties was evaluated using geospatial data and integrating the data into a GIS framework, the selected software to perform this assessment was ArcGIS. The DRASTIC method considers different parameters such as depth to water table, net recharge, aquifer media, soil media, impact of vadose zone and hydraulic conductivity. The final DRASTIC vulnerability map is the product of the sum of the weights and ratings assigned to the parameters mentioned above.


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