Spatial and temporal effects of the Rincon Bayou Pipeline on hypersaline conditions in the Lower Nueces Delta, Texas, USA


The Rincon Bayou Pipeline became operational in 2007 and delivers Nueces River water to the Nueces Delta via the Rincon Bayou. Salinity was monitored during 3 pumping events to identify the spatial and temporal effects of the pumped freshwater to the Rincon Bayou Channel and to areas outside of the channel proper. The spatial extent of the pumped freshwater lowered salinity beyond the Rincon Bayou Channel to connecting marsh areas and salinities remained below hypersaline levels 8 to 16 days after pumping ceased. The results of this new and innovative way of delivering freshwater to the Nueces Delta has proved to be a valuable management tool for minimizing the duration of hypersaline conditions within the estuary. Water resource management decision-makers can use this information for developing strategies to optimize freshwater inflow needs to the estuary while balancing the freshwater demands for humans.

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