- Water Resources Assistantship: applications due Nov. 30
The Texas Water Resources Institute is now accepting applications for the 2012-2013 Water Resources Assistantship. This assistantship is designed to support exceptional full-time doctorate students at Texas A&M University, who have completed a master’s and are conducting high-priority water-related research in the following priority focus areas: water security, reuse and conservation, technology and policy innovation, and integrated water resources management.
- Registration now open for February 2012 BST Conference
The Texas Water Resources Institute, the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, the University of Texas School of Public Health–El Paso Regional Campus and Texas AgriLife Research are hosting the 2012 Bacterial Source Tracking–State of the Science Conference Feb. 28–29, 2012 at the T Bar M Resort and Conference Center in New Braunfels.
- IRNR debuts new Land Trends comparison tool
The Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources has unveiled a new comparison component to the Texas Land Trends database that will help public and private decision makers make more informed decisions about conservation of working rural lands in Texas, according to an official at the institute.
Texas is home to more than 142 million acres of private farms, ranches and forest lands, thus leading the nation in land area devoted to privately owned working lands. These lands account for 84 percent of the state’s entire land area and provide substantial economic, environmental and recreational resources to the benefit of the state’s entire population.
- UT hydraulic fracturing study: so far no direct link to groundwater contamination
Preliminary findings on the use of hydraulic fracturing in shale gas development suggest no direct link to reports of groundwater contamination, according to the project leader for a study conducted by the University of Texas at Austin’s Energy Institute.
“From what we’ve seen so far, many of the problems appear to be related to other aspects of drilling operations, such as poor casing or cement jobs, rather than to hydraulic fracturing, per se,” said Dr. Charles ‘Chip’ Groat, a geology professor and Energy Institute associate director, who is leading the project.
- Edwards Aquifer RIP committee approves plan
The documents written by Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program (EARIP) stakeholders for a management and funding plan to protect the Edwards Aquifer were approved by the vote of the EARIP steering committee at a Nov. 7 meeting in Seguin. The plan contributes to a stable water supply for the region while protecting the endangered species and was approved on a vote of 24-1, with one abstention.
"This is a historic decision," said Jerry James, stakeholder representing the City of Victoria.
- Tools offered to determine how much is enough when watering the grass
But pouring water onto grass during periods of drought is not necessary and can even have the opposite effect of what lawn managers might want, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service experts.
- TWRI to host Watershed Coordinators Roundtable, Stakeholder Facilitation Training
The Texas Water Resources Institute will host a Texas Watershed Coordinators Roundtable Jan. 25 at the Texas Farm Bureau Conference and Training Center in Waco. To RSVP, visit watershedplanning.tamu.edu. Preceding the roundtable, a Stakeholder Facilitation Training will be held Jan. 24, also at the Texas Farm Bureau Conference and Training Center. The training, instructed by Charlie MacPherson of Tetra Tech, will highlight the tools used to effectively identify, engage and involve stakeholders throughout a watershed to restore and maintain healthy environmental conditions. More information and registration is available online.
- TAMU-K receives $1 million grant for Arroyo Colorado low impact development project
The Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment (ISEE) in the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering at Texas A&M University-Kingsville has received a $1.1 million dollar grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help fund green development in the rapidly growing Lower Rio Grande Valley.
Part of the Clean Water Non-Point Source Pollution prevention program, the grant will fund Phase II of the ISEE’s “Evaluation of Innovative Low Impact Development (LID) Activities in Urban Storm Water Management in the Arroyo Colorado” project. The project is part of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Low Impact Development Implementation and Education program—an initiative started by ISEE and the Lower Rio Grande Storm Water Task Force. It aims to implement green best management practices when it comes to controlling stormwater runoff.
- New Publications/Papers and Training Courses
Eagle Mountain Watershed: Calibration, Validation, and Best Management, North Central Texas Water Quality Final Report, Lone Star Healthy Streams Final Report, Evaluation of Canal Lining Projects in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas - 2011 Ratings and Analysis, and upcoming training courses.