Conservation Matters April 2015

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

  • New institute annual reports
    New institute annual reports

    Continuing to work together towards the conservation of land, water and wildlife, the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources (IRNR) and the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) both experienced growth and had positive impacts in 2014.

    IRNR and TWRI received a total of $9,968,278 in funding in 2014 and administered 57 research and Extension projects. Time spent by institute personnel on educating the public in water and natural resource issues through presentations, workshops and conferences totaled more than 22,000 hours.

  • AMI water utilities workshops coming to cities across Texas
    AMI water utilities workshops coming to cities across Texas

    The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI), Texas A&M Engineering and Johnson Controls Inc. are hosting advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system workshops for water utilities in cities throughout Texas in coming months.

    The first four workshops will be held in May:

    • San Marcos: May 6, Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, 601 University Drive
    • Waco: May 7, city of Waco water office, 425 Franklin Ave.
    • Weslaco: May 13, AgriLife Center, 2415 E Hwy. 83.
    • Robstown and Corpus Christi: May 14, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office, 710 E. Main Ave., Suite 1, Robstown.
  • Soil and Water Stewardship Week is April 27-May 4
    Soil and Water Stewardship Week is April 27-May 4

    The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) and Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources (IRNR) have partnered with the Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Texas Wildlife Association, Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and 13 other organizations to highlight the important connection between voluntary land stewardship and sustaining water availability as part of Soil and Water Stewardship Week, April 27-May 4. This year’s theme for the statewide campaign is “Land Stewardship: Providing Water for Texans.”

  • IRNR San Antonio office has moved

    The Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources’ (IRNR) San Antonio location has moved and is now at 1919 Oakwell Farms Parkway, Suite 100, San Antonio, Texas 78218.

    For more information, contact IRNR at 210.277.0292 or irnr@tamu.edu

  • Two open TWRI positions

    The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) is actively seeking qualified individuals to fill two job openings.

    The research assistant position, located in College Station, will lead TWRI’s water quality monitoring efforts throughout the state. The extension assistant position, located in Weslaco, will lead educational programs for ag producers in South Texas on water quality best management practices. All applications must be submitted through greatjobs.tamu.edu. Contact twri@tamu.edu for more information.

  • Dove study finds no difference in lead and steel shot loads
    Dove study finds no difference in lead and steel shot loads

    A recently published Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) study examining the lethality of lead shot versus nontoxic shot for mourning dove found no difference in hunter outcomes between lead and steel shot loads.

    “From the hunter’s perspective, we found no difference in the harvest metrics, meaning birds bagged, birds missed and birds wounded,” said Dr. Brian Pierce, a research scientist for the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources and part of the research project. 

  • TWRI awards two U.S. Geological Survey graduate research grants

    The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) has awarded U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) graduate research grants to two students for March 2015–February 2016.

    The grant recipients are:

    • Adam Landon, Water Management and Hydrological Science Program at Texas A&M University.
    • Dora Frances Sullivan-González, Department of Environmental and Water Resources Engineering, University of Texas at Austin.

     

  • Meet a Scientist: Anish Jantrania
    Meet a Scientist: Anish Jantrania

    Despite the critical need to treat and reuse wastewater, many water consumers are unaware of the process, according to Dr. Anish Jantrania of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. Transforming complex wastewater science into easily applied information is his mission.

    “We all agree that water is important, but people tend to shy away from it because the whole subject matter is very complex,” said Jantrania, a wastewater specialist at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Blackland Research and Extension Center in Temple.

  • RFP: Annual Army Corps of Engineers Institute for Water Resources grants

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Institute for Water Resources (IWR), in cooperation with the National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR) requests proposals for grants to support applied investigations in select topic areas related to water resources issues in the United States.All proposals must be submitted in PDF format by email to TWRI by July 13 to be reviewed, approved and submitted to IWR.

  • SELECT model offers cost-effective way to identify areas for needed management
    SELECT model offers cost-effective way to identify areas for needed management

    A spatial model provides a cost-effective way to identify priority areas for implementing voluntary best management practices in an impaired South Texas watershed, according to results from a Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) study recently published in the Texas Water Journal.

    “The Spatially Explicit Load Enrichment Calculation Tool, or SELECT, was able to highlight areas of highest concern for bacterial contamination, which provides guidance for individuals and entities that implement best management practices where they would be the most effective,” said Dr. Kevin Wagner, TWRI associate director and a study author.

  • Affordable private water well screenings coming to Llano, Goldthwaite
    Affordable private water well screenings coming to Llano, Goldthwaite

    The Texas Well Owner Network will offer water well screenings in May for Llano and Mills counties to give residents the opportunity to have their well water tested.

     “Private water wells should be tested annually,” said John W. Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist.He said individuals submitting well water samples should use only sampling bags and bottles from their AgriLife Extension office and should properly follow instructions to ensure accurate results. A $10 per sample fee will be collected when bags and bottles are picked up by participants.

  • Urban Riparian Symposium brings together riparian professionals
    Urban Riparian Symposium brings together riparian professionals

    Even in cities, amidst the tall buildings, fast cars and busy people, there are still natural resources that need protection — particularly urban riparian areas, according to Nikki Dictson, Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) Extension program specialist. These vegetative buffers found along rivers and streams are complex ecosystems that include the land, plants, animals and network of streams within them.

    Riparian and natural resource professionals discussed current innovations and issues in riparian restoration and management at the Urban Riparian Symposium Feb. 11-13 in Austin. The symposium was hosted by TWRI, Texas Riparian Association, the city of Austin, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas A&M Forest Service and Upper Trinity Regional Water District and included more than 55 presentations, 11 posters and three workshops.

  • Groundwater and conservation discussions dominate water symposium
    Groundwater and conservation discussions dominate water symposium

    Water conservation and the management and science of groundwater dominated the discussions at a recent water symposium at Texas State University.

    The Texas Tribune hosted the day-long event March 10 that included panels on state water funding, groundwater, water conservation and the poor quality of drinking water along the Texas-Mexico border.

  • North Texas Municipal Water District, Water My Yard program win Blue Legacy Award
    North Texas Municipal Water District, Water My Yard program win Blue Legacy Award

    The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) has won the Water Conservation Advisory Council Blue Legacy Municipal Award for the Water My Yard program. According to the advisory council’s announcement, the “award program recognizes outstanding water conservation efforts and successes of Texans.”

    The Water My Yard program was created by Dr. Guy Fipps, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service irrigation engineer, David Flahive, AgriLife Extension programmer and system analyst, and Charles Swanson, AgriLife Extension irrigation specialist.

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