Conservation Matters July 2013

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

Watershed modeling workshop Aug. 13 in Austin

The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) is presenting the Introduction to Watershed Modeling workshop on Aug. 13 at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) headquarters, 12100 Park 35 Circle, Austin.

The workshop is set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Building F, Room 3202A. Cost is $75 and includes course materials, a catered lunch and a certificate of completion.

According to Nikki Dictson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist for TWRI, the workshop will provide watershed coordinators and water professionals with an introduction to watershed modeling.

She said models that will be discussed include load duration curves, Spreadsheet Tool for Estimating Pollutant Load, Generalized Watershed Loading Function, P8 urban catchment model, Soil and Water Assessment Tool, Agricultural Non-Point Source Pollution Model, Hydrologic Simulation Program – FORTRAN, and Storm Water Management Model. 

“Participants will gain an understanding of what model is needed for watershed protection planning, how modeling fits into the Environmental Protection Agency’s nine elements of watershed planning and the resources needed to take the next steps,” Dictson said.

Dr. R. Srinivasan, director of the Texas A&M University Spatial Sciences Laboratory, will talk on the purpose, limitations, time, costs and different requirements of watershed models currently available.

Dr. Larry Hauck, lead scientist for Tarleton State University’s Texas Institute of Applied Environmental Research, will present information on tools that can be used with limited data and under resource constraints, such as load duration curves and GIS land-use-based methods.

Kyle Girten, Nonpoint Source Program team leader for TCEQ, will explain quality assurance project plans, including what the plans should cover and how the data need to be described.

“The course will conclude with a presentation on stakeholder communications and modeling,” Dictson said. “Bringing stakeholders to the table to understand the model, facilitating consensus and approval of inputs and presenting modeling results to engage stakeholders is very important.”

One TWRI continuing education unit will be provided upon course completion. Participants may register for this training at watershedplanning.tamu.edu/training, and more information is available online or by contacting Dictson at 979.458.5915 or n-dictson@tamu.edu.

The training course is supported by funding from TCEQ through a U.S. Environmental Protection agency nonpoint source grant.

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