Conservation Matters November 2013

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

  • New txH2O covers urban water issues
    New <em>txH2O</em> covers urban water issues

    What if one day you turn on your kitchen faucet and nothing comes out? The new issue of txH2O opens with this question and covers everything from water conservation on the Texas A&M University campus to the science behind whether healthy lawns should always appear “jalapeño green.”

    Texas’ urban water outlook includes increased demand and decreased supplies, and the fall 2013 txH2O takes a look at municipal water suppliers coping with declining supplies, experts promoting graywater use and policymakers incentivizing conservation. Mussel researchers with the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources also discuss the importance of freshwater mussels in the new issue.

    The new issue is available online at Print subscribers will receive their copies soon, and free subscriptions to the digital version of the magazine are available at

  • Texas Water Journal to present inaugural forum Nov. 21 in Austin
    Texas Water Journal to present inaugural forum Nov. 21 in Austin

    The Texas Water Journal, an online, peer-reviewed journal about Texas water issues, will present the inaugural Texas Water Journal Forum, “Water, Politics and Drought,” Nov. 21 in Austin.

    The forum is free and will provide perspectives from policymakers, scientists, water resource experts and regional leaders on current water issues, coordinators said. It will be held in Room CLA 0.128 of The University of Texas Liberal Arts Building, and will begin at 7 p.m. Attendees may park for a fee in the university’s San Jacinto Garage.

  • Aggieland invited to Nov. 21 riparian and stream ecosystem workshop
    Aggieland invited to Nov. 21 riparian and stream ecosystem workshop

    The Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program will host a workshop from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Nov. 21 in College Station for area residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Carters and Burton creeks watershed.

    The program will concentrate on the nature and function of stream and riparian zones, as well as the direct economic impacts and benefits from maintaining healthy zones, coordinators said.

    The morning session will be held at the College Station Wastewater Treatment facility, 2200 N. Forest Parkway, east of Highway 6. The afternoon session will be held at Carters Creek near the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan.

  • Borlaug Institute receives USAID grant to lead irrigation project in East Africa

    Dr. Rajiv Shah, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, has announced a new project funded by the agency and awarded to the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research.

    The five-year, $12.5 million award creates the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small-scale Irrigation, which will focus on methods and practices to enhance the use of small-scale irrigation in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Ghana to the benefit of the regions’ farmers, coordinators said. The objective is to contribute to sustainable improvements to utilize scarce water supplies, thereby enhancing food production by smallholder farmers. Specifically, the project will work to identify interventions that positively affect small-scale irrigation, as well as develop management protocols and practices to reduce poverty and improve nutrition.

  • Michelsen recognized with AWRA award
    Michelsen recognized with AWRA award

    The American Water Resources Association (AWRA) recently recognized Dr. Ari Michelsen with the Fellow Member award for his service to the association and his contributions to the water resources community. Michelsen is a professor of agricultural economics and research director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at El Paso, as well as a Texas A&M University Regents Fellow. Michelsen is a past-president of AWRA and received the award at AWRA’s annual conference held recently in Portland, Oregon.

    The award recognizes an AWRA member who has an eminent record in some branch of water resources science and technology and has either been an AWRA member for at least ten consecutive years, served on any of its committees or has been a director or officer of AWRA.

  • Get reliable water law information from Extension expert’s blog

    Have a question about the intricacies of Texas groundwater policies? Wondering about the latest developments in regional surface water disputes? You can find these answers and more in the Texas Agriculture Law Blog, written by Tiffany Dowell, an assistant professor and Extension specialist in agricultural law with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

    Dowell has covered the following water-related topics:

    For more information or to subscribe to the blog, visit

  • Pecan crop yields light but high in quality
    Pecan crop yields light but high in quality

    Those who consider pecan pie a must for Thanksgiving won’t be disappointed this year as the quality of Texas pecans will be high, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.

    “They should expect to pay a little more, though, as yields are light,” said Dr. Larry Stein, AgriLife Extension horticulturist, Uvalde.

    This year’s crop is in contrast to those of 2012 and 2011, noted Stein, who specializes in pecans, and fruit and vegetable crops. In 2011, drought cut back yields to about half of normal. In 2012, insect pressure was so dispersed that a lot of trees that would have not ordinarily set many pecans had such heavy nut loads that limbs were broken and nut quality down.

  • AgriLife Research ecologist: Production comes after restoration of rangeland
    AgriLife Research ecologist: Production comes after restoration of rangeland

    A healthy agro-ecosystem is critical to productive, stable rangeland. Land managers trying to restore an ecosystem and productivity must understand it requires a different process of allocating resources under differing situations, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research ecologist.

    Dr. Richard Teague, AgriLife Research rangeland ecology and management scientist in Vernon, is developing a database that can aid producers in calculating how different management techniques will provide the best and most sustainable resource and economic results.

    In his study, Teague is measuring and documenting the effects of different range management strategies on critical natural resources. To improve their situation, he said, landowners must first understand what is necessary to make changes.

  • Feral hog workshop set for Nov. 22 in Gatesville
    Feral hog workshop set for Nov. 22 in Gatesville

    The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offices in Hamilton and Coryell counties will conduct a feral hog workshop on Nov. 22 at the Gatesville Civic Center, 301 Complex Circle, Gatesville. The program will open with registration at 7:30 a.m. and conclude by 12:30 p.m. The program, which includes lunch, is free and open to the public.

    For more information and to RSVP by Nov. 18, call Chelsea Dorward, AgriLife  Extension agent in Hamilton County, at 254.386.3919; Pasquale Swaner, AgriLife Extension agent in Coryell County, at 254.865.2414; or Dan Gaskins, AgriLife Extension assistant, Gatesville, at 254.248.0562. Three Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units will be offered.

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