2016

Watersheds across Texas benefit from bacterial source tracking research team’s work

For more than a decade, the Texas Bacterial Source Tracking Program has improved the identification process for bacterial pollution sources in watersheds across Texas to help restore water quality and protect human health, according to a Texas Water Resources Institute official.

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TWDB publishes 2017 State Water Plan

The 2011 statewide drought is ranked as the most severe one-year drought on record. In the five years since, 16 regional water planning groups throughout the state have worked to develop regional water plans that would form the basis for the 2017 State Water Plan.

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Can you water your landscape less and still have thriving plants?

What if there was a way to irrigate less but still have good-looking landscapes?

Thanks to research results recently published by the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources and the Texas Water Resources Institute, homeowners and landscapers can now learn exactly how little water popular Central Texas ornamental plants need to not only survive but thrive.

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New turfgrass facility makes room for more Aggie turf research

Fifteen years ago, Dr. Richard White began to think about the need to consolidate Texas A&M University’s Department of Soil and Crop Sciences turfgrass research in College Station. For years, the professor and his colleagues had conducted field research and analyzed data in two separate locations making their work more difficult and less efficient.

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UT Austin Engineering becomes new home for EPA Water Infrastructure Center

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given $3.9 million to researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin to establish the Center for Infrastructure Modeling and Management. The center will develop and improve open source water infrastructure models and share tools and research findings to assist local communities and stakeholders.  

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Upper Llano River Watershed Protection Plan accepted by EPA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently accepted the Upper Llano River Watershed Protection Plan, which will help prevent future declines in water quality and stream flow, according to plan developers.

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Texas’ weather extremes explained in new txH2O

The Texas Water Resources Institute recently published a new issue of txH2O, featuring insights into weather extremes in Texas. In the magazine, researchers and scientists explain Texas’ propensity for droughts as well as the Central Texas phenomenon of Flash Flood Alley.

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Meet a scientist: Michael Schramm

Growing up in eastern North Carolina, Michael Schramm spent most of his youth surfing, fishing and exploring the rugged Atlantic coast. The barrier island beaches not only influenced his childhood activities but also helped develop his professional interests.

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New Take Care of Texas website features conservation tips, video contest

The new website recently launched by Take Care of Texas, an initiative of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, provides a variety of resources for Texans.

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Eckstein discusses Israel’s water resilience, lessons for U.S. water management

Despite its geographical location in a desert by salty seas, Israel has used technology, policy and innovation to achieve water security and even abundance, according to Gabriel Eckstein, professor of law at the Texas A&M University School of Law.

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Meet a scientist: Jessica Light

Most people are wary of parasitic insects such as lice and ticks. But for Dr. Jessica Light, understanding these complex parasites is a driving force of her research.

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New book, certification program available for Texas Master Naturalists

Texas Master Naturalists interested in better understanding and solving water issues across the state now have two new opportunities to do so.

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Results show why water well testing in Texas is important

Results of recent private water well screenings in five South Texas counties underscored the importance of regular testing of private water wells, according to a Texas Well Owner Network official. 

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Aggies get schooled on how to prepare for extreme Central Texas weather

From flash floods to flash droughts, the Brazos Valley is no stranger to severe weather. The region, which sits between the Navasota and Brazos rivers in southeast central Texas, has experienced extreme weather patterns in recent months. On May 26, three tornadoes hit in the area, beginning a series of weather woes.

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Eckstein presenting Sept. 15 seminar on water lessons from Israel

Gabriel Eckstein, professor of law at the Texas A&M University School of Law, will present a seminar Sept. 15 at Texas A&M University. The seminar, Water Scarcity, Challenges, and Opportunities: Lessons from Israel, will begin at 4 p.m. in the Gates Ballroom of the Memorial Student Center, with a reception to follow from 5 to 6 p.m.  

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Symposium brings mollusk experts together to discuss research

More than 75 scientists, students and others heard from experts on topics related to mollusk conservation during the Texas Mollusk Symposium Aug. 8-11 in Dallas. The symposium was a collaborative effort of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, University of Texas at Tyler, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources.

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Sea Grant projects improving flood-control, water quality in Houston area

Volunteers and staff from the Texas Coastal Watershed Program (TCWP) and Clear Lake City’s Exploration Green Conservancy raced an oncoming storm earlier this summer and saw first-hand the effectiveness of their work to help manage floodwaters and improve water quality in the Galveston Bay watershed.

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Researching resiliency: scientists study climate and water along Texas’ urban corridor

Resiliency is defined as the ability to recover quickly from setbacks and a group of university researchers are examining just how resilient Texas may be to future changes in its population, climate and land use in the 21st century.

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South Texas irrigation manual published

Irrigation managers and producers in South Texas have a new resource available to help them improve irrigation management and water conservation.

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Volunteers help complete self-draining parking lot in Arroyo Colorado watershed

An educational workshop on redesigning parking lots to collect, filter and redirect stormwater held June 25 in Harlingen was a success, according to Jaime Flores, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program coordinator for the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI).

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AgriLife Extension experts team up for Earth-Kind turfgrass trials in North Texas

A team of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts has initiated the first research trials on ornamental turfgrass varieties applying Earth-Kind Landscaping principles, which emphasize environmental responsibility through water conservation and limited chemical inputs.

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Ask CM: “How can I get my water tested for harmful contaminates?"

Well owners who drink water from a private well should have the water tested at least once a year to make sure that it is safe to drink. The Texas Well Owner Network (TWON) recommends that well owners test their water at least annually for bacteria, nitrates and contaminants of local concern, such as arsenic.

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Wagner named to UCOWR board of directors

Dr. Kevin Wagner, Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) deputy director of engagement, was recently elected to serve on the Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR) board of directors.

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Draft Upper Llano River Watershed Protection Plan available for public comment

The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) and Texas Tech University Llano River Field Station, working with the Upper Llano Watershed Coordination Committee, recently completed the draft Upper Llano River Watershed Protection Plan. Stakeholders in the watershed can provide comments on the plan through July 8, during the formal public comment period.

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Meet a scientist: Perry Barboza

Alaska is home to some of the largest animals in North America, such as moose, caribou and muskoxen. While there, Dr. Perry Barboza spent a lot of time thinking and working on these iconic species that roam the tundra and forests.

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Tres Palacios July 7 water quality meeting open to the public

The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) is hosting a meeting July 7 for anyone interested in improving and protecting the Tres Palacios Creek watershed along the Texas Gulf Coast.

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Stocked fish ponds more susceptible to oxygen depletion during summer months

Summer is beginning to heat up in Texas, and a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert advises landowners to start monitoring stocked ponds for oxygen depletion.

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Navasota River watershed stakeholders invited to public planning meetings

The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI), Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board are hosting two public meetings in July for anyone interested in improving and protecting water quality in the Navasota River and its watershed downstream of Lake Limestone. 

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New txH2O spotlights water seed grant-funded TAMUS inventions and technologies

The Texas Water Resources Institute has published the spring 2016 issue of txH2O magazine, featuring research projects from throughout The Texas A&M University System funded by the inaugural round of water research seed grants.

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TWRI monitors progress of White Creek tributary restoration efforts

On the sprawling Texas A&M University campus, a tributary of White Creek begins near the Horticulture/Forest Science Building and flows into White Creek just before the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

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Meet a scientist: Daniel Roelke

From the Sea of Galilee in Israel, to the northern Gulf of Mexico, to a neotropical river in Venezuela, Dr. Daniel Roelke’s research has led him all over the world — in pursuit of species smaller than a drop of water.

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TWDB officially adopts 2017 State Water Plan

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) unanimously voted to adopt the 2017 State Water Plan at its May 19 meeting.

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Another year of conservation impacts: new IRNR and TWRI annual reports

From longleaf pine forest management to big-city water conservation technologies, and from tracking Louisiana pine snakes to helping rural water well owners, the Texas A&M Institute for Renewable Natural Resources and the Texas Water Resources Institute spent 2015 improving water and natural resources conservation and management all over Texas and the country.

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Meet a scientist: Wendy Jepson

For some people, having access to clean water is not as easy as simply turning on a faucet. Some of the United States’ poorest regions rely on inadequate water delivery systems, unaffordable potable water or unclean tap water for their household water use. This is a reality for tens of thousands of households in colonias, underdeveloped communities along the U.S.-Mexico border often lacking basic infrastructure, and it is also a focus of Dr. Wendy Jepson’s research.

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Photo essay: Navasota River water quality monitoring

Water quality monitoring on the Navasota River.

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‘Forgotten’ minnow rediscovered by AgriLife scientists in West Texas

With no more “swimmable” water than thirsty West Texas has, it’s hard to imagine a fish, even a minnow-sized fish could remain “missing” for more than a century. But due to a mistaken identity, such is the case, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist.

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USGS research shows economic impacts of ecosystem restoration projects

From restoring sagebrush to rejuvenating watersheds and landscapes after fires, ecosystem restoration can bear substantial economic fruit for local, state and national economies, according to a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

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TWRI, IRNR support Soil and Water Stewardship Week

The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) and the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources (IRNR) are partnering with the Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts (ATSWCD), Texas Wildlife Association, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association and Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) to highlight the importance of voluntary land stewardship in Texas during the annual Soil and Water Stewardship Week, April 24-May 1.

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Two Texas A&M-led projects selected as part of White House Water Summit

Two Texas A&M University System-led projects were recently highlighted as part of the White House Water Summit held on March 22 — World Water Day.

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Campana discusses water management approaches at Texas A&M Water Daze

National expert on groundwater and sustainable water management Dr. Michael Campana championed the importance of integrated water resources management (IWRM) to the nation’s water supply, stressing that successful IWRM is “a process, not a prescription” during his keynote lecture at the March 29 Water Daze event at Texas A&M University.

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TWRI awards two graduate research grants

The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) has awarded U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) graduate research grants to two students for March 2016 – February 2017.

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Four-year, $10 million grant will focus on Ogallala Aquifer

Water challenges and agricultural sustainability in the Ogallala Aquifer region are the focus of a four-year, $10 million grant that will include scientists from the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI), Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

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New Carters Creek watershed reports published

The Texas Water Resources Institute’s water team recently finalized several projects concerning the Carters Creek watershed and published technical reports on its findings.

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Water Daze event and poster competition will be March 29-30 at Texas A&M

The Water Management and Hydrological Science (WMHS) program at Texas A&M University is hosting Water Daze, a public event featuring keynote speaker Dr. Michael Campana, faculty research presentations and a student poster competition, March 29-30 on the Texas A&M campus.

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Wagner named TWRI deputy director of engagement

Dr. Kevin Wagner has been named the deputy director of engagement of the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI). Formerly TWRI associate director, Wagner’s new role will include engaging with the water resources community in Texas and the nation and coordinating TWRI’s outreach activities with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and The Texas A&M University System.

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A helpful harvest: TAMU conserves with rainwater collection

Over the last decade, Texas A&M University has become a leader in water conservation and sustainability through its campus-wide rainwater harvesting strategies. Rainwater harvesting, or the practice of capturing and collecting rainfall for reuse on-site instead of allowing it to runoff, is an effective strategy for reducing water use.

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Meet a scientist: Ashley Long

Based on her extensive avian research record, one might assume Dr. Ashley Long, Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources (IRNR) research scientist,  has been fascinated with birds her whole life. However, Long’s interest in ecology and wildlife didn’t begin until she was in college.

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Free publications for utilities: AMI primer and customer profile guide

Water utilities and municipalities have access to an array of technologies to help consumers save both water and money. The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) recently published two free guides to assist utilities managers as they navigate the possible technologies and look to improve water conservation strategies and implementation.

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Try these 4 simple ways to celebrate World Water Day

World Water Day will be recognized on March 22 all around the globe. The United Nations (UN) General Assembly first designated March 22 as World Water Day in 1993, creating an international observance and an opportunity to learn more about water-related issues and take action.

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Institutes’ year in review: 2015

For the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources (IRNR) and the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI), 2015 marked another successful year as they partnered in water and natural resource research and education. The institutes are anticipating the important work ahead in 2016 and reflecting on a productive 2015, said Dr. Roel Lopez, IRNR director and former TWRI director.

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Mills Scholarships awarded to four TAMU students

The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) has awarded 2016 Mills Scholarships to four graduate students conducting water-related research at Texas A&M University.

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Texas 2040 game challenges Texans to learn about water issues and conserve

The Colorado River Alliance, in partnership with the Texas Water Development Board, has created a free, interactive game called Texas 2040. The game helps Texans better understand the water challenges the state’s rivers will face in the next 25 years, said Brent Lyles, the alliance’s executive director. 

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Texas Well Owner Network receives AgriLife Extension Superior Service Award

The Texas Well Owner Network has received a Superior Service Award in the team category from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

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UT Austin research recommends ways to protect Hill Country while supporting growth

New strategies for protecting the Texas Hill Country came out of a recently published study by regional planning experts and graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) School of Architecture. The study addresses threats to water resources, scenic beauty and cultural heritage in the face of rapid population growth in the region, according to the authors.

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Reminder: National Competitive Grant proposals due to TWRI Feb. 25

The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) has announced the Request for Proposals for the FY 2016 National Competitive Grant Program by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the National Institutes for Water Resources.

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TAMU expert and international collaborators call for protecting world’s mightiest rivers

A group of 40 international scientists led by a Texas A&M University professor says three of the earth’s mightiest rivers are being damaged in the name of progress.

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Texas Water Journal publishes first paper in 2016 issue

The Texas Water Journal has published “Conjunctive groundwater management as a response to socio-ecological disturbances: a comparison of 4 western U.S. states,” its first paper in Volume 7, Number 1.

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New research determines most effective water conservation policies for Ogallala farmers

Farming is a business, and the actions of farmers will be based on economics—even when it comes to water conservation, according to a recent study by Texas A&M AgriLife Research.

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New publications from TWRI: water conservation in the Valley, guides for utilities and more

There are several new publications from the Texas Water Resources Institute.

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