New Waves December 2009

Breaking news about water resources research and education in Texas

New Publications/Papers and Training Courses

New Publications/Papers

Economic Implications of Biological Control of Arundo donax in the Texas Rio Grande Basin, E. Seawright, M. Rister, R. Lacewell, D. McCorkle, A. Sturdivant, J. Goolsby, C. Yang, B.L. Harris, Texas Water Resources Institute TR-358, 2009

Arundo donax, or giant reed, is a large, bamboo-like plant that is native to Spain and has invaded several thousand acres of the Rio Grande riparian zone in Texas and Mexico. With concern of increased water demands in the Texas Lower Rio Grande Valley region, the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA)ARS) is investigating four herbivorous insects as potential biological control agents for Arundo donax to facilitate increased water supply. This study examines selected economic implications for agricultural water users in the United States of applying these biological control agents along the Rio Grande. The research includes (a) estimating the value of the water saved due to the reduction of Arundo donax, (b) a benefit -cost analyses, (c) regional economic impact analyses, and (d) an estimate of the per-unit cost of water saved over a 50-year planning horizon (2009 through 2058). The model ArundoEcon© is used to perform a baseline deterministic analyses using low- and high-value irrigated composite acre values.

Salinity Budget and WRAP Salinity Simulation Studies of the Brazos River/Reservoir System, R. Wurbs, C. Lee, Texas Water Resources Institute TR-352, 2009.

Natural salt pollution in the upper watersheds of the Brazos River Basin and other neighboring river basins contribute large total dissolved solids (TDS) loads to the rivers. The objectives of the studies of the Brazos River Basin reported here are (1) to enhance understanding of the occurrence, transport, and impacts of salinity in the Brazos River and Lakes Possum Kingdom, Granbury, and Whitney and (2) to improve salinity simulation capabilities of the Water Rights Analysis Package (WRAP) modeling system. Water volume and TDS load budgets are presented for five river reaches covering about 500 miles of the upper Brazos River. WRAP is applied to model the river basin for alternative modeling premises and water management scenarios. The impacts of salinity and salinity control measures on water supply capabilities are assessed.

TWRI Water Resources Training Courses

Watershed Coordinator Roundtable Meeting Jan. 27, 2010
Getting In Step Workshop Jan. 28, 2010
SWAT for Beginners Feb. 8-9, 2010
Advanced Data Processing for ArcSWAT Feb. 10, 2010
SWAT for Advanced Users Feb. 11-12, 2010

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