Conservation Matters October 2013

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

Watershed planning short course Nov. 4-8 in Bandera

Watershed planning short course Nov. 4-8 in Bandera

The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) is presenting this year’s Texas Watershed Planning Short Course Nov. 4-8 in Bandera.

The five-day course will be held at the Mayan Dude Ranch, 350 Mayan Ranch Road, about 47 miles northwest of San Antonio.

“Watershed protection plans and the stakeholder-driven watershed planning process instilled through the course have become the foundation for water quality improvement efforts in Texas,” said Dr. Kevin Wagner, TWRI associate director and course leader.

Wagner said this course is one of the few in the country that builds upon the nine essential elements for watershed planning identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“Practitioners developing both watershed protection plans and total maximum daily load, or TMDL, implementation plans have participated in the course and are now using the techniques they learned during the course to address water quality issues statewide,” he said.

In addition to EPA’s nine elements, the course provides watershed coordinators and water resource professionals with guidance on stakeholder coordination, education and outreach; data collection and analysis; and the tools available for plan development.

“This information is presented through lectures and case studies,” said Nikki Dictson, AgriLife Extension program specialist for TWRI.

Wagner added that approximately 30 watershed planning efforts and almost a dozen more total maximum daily load implementation plans have benefited from the training. The plans have been financed by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the two state agencies responsible for Texas water quality.

Course registration is $375 and is open until Oct. 30.

Additionally, a block of rooms at the Mayan Dude Ranch has been reserved at a special rate of $121 per night, which includes lodging plus all meals, but reservations must be made by Oct. 30 to receive this special rate. Participants are asked to identify themselves as short course attendees when making reservations.

The upcoming short course is the seventh such program to be held. The course is funded by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the EPA.

For more information on the course, registration and lodging arrangements, go to watershedplanning.tamu.edu or contact Dictson at n-dictson@tamu.edu.

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