Conservation Matters May 2013

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

Extension offering Weslaco homeowner water conservation program June 29

Rainwater HarvestingTo help residents save water now and in the future, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has partnered with other agencies to provide an educational program on home water conservation from 9 a.m.-1p.m. June 29 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco, 2401 E. Highway 83.

“Hopefully, the severe drought we are currently experiencing will end soon, but according to the National Weather Service, there will be others,” said Ashley Gregory, AgriLife Extension assistant for water programs who works for the Texas Water Resources Institute through the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership. “That coupled with the fact that the Lower Rio Grande Valley’s population is expected to double in the next 40 years means we need to think regionally, and we need to think long-term in conserving water.”

Topics to be covered at the no-cost educational program include indoor water conservation, rainwater collection and landscape design using native plants and soil amendments to help retain moisture. Participants will also be encouraged to take the 40-Gallon Challenge, a statewide effort to save 40 gallons of water per day per person, she said.

“We’re excited about this program because we’ll have a professional landscape designer helping participants develop their own master plan for a native landscape, which uses a fraction of the water of traditional landscapes,” Gregory said. “And we’ll have a drawing to give away a rainwater harvesting kit that includes a barrel, 50 feet of gutter and a downspout.”

To help design their own native landscaping, participants are asked to bring the dimensions of their yard and pictures if possible, she said.

“Typically a program like this would cost about $150 to attend, but thanks to funding from the Rio Grande Basin Initiative, a program of the Texas Water Resources Institute, we are able to offer this amazing program to homeowners at no cost to them,” Gregory said.

Lunch will be provided, but seating is limited. To preregister, contact Gregory at 956.968.5581 or ahgregory@ag.tamu.edu.

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