- What’s in the water? TWRI publishes new issue of txH2O
The Texas Water Resources Institute recently published a new issue of txH2O. The issue focuses on water quality research, including pharmaceuticals, bacteria and arsenic in the water, and features researchers at Texas A&M University and Baylor University. Other articles feature the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s proposed water quality standards and the Texas Stream Team’s work across the state.
To read the magazine, go to twri.tamu.edu.
- Watershed planning short course set May 10-14 in Bandera
- New technology detects microscopic pathogens in water
A new system developed by Texas AgriLife Research automatically scans a water sample and points to potential pathogens much faster than what humans can accomplish. As a result, the diseases these pathogens cause may be nipped in the bud before making people sick.
- Arroyo Colorado partnership celebrates Earth Day with activities that support WPP
The Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership will highlight many activities in the Lower Rio Grande Valley that support the implementation of the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Protection Plan(WPP) at its quarterly steering committee meeting, on April 22—Earth Day—at the Estero Llano Grande World Birding Center, 3310 S. FM1015, in Weslaco. All interested citizens are invited to attend.
The WPP, developed by the partnership and one of the first of its kind in the state, is designed to improve water quality and aquatic and riparian habitat, said Jaime Flores, watershed coordinator.
The Arroyo Colorado runs 90 miles from Mission to the Lower Laguna Madre adjacent to the Gulf Coast and is the primary source of fresh water to the Lower Laguna Madre.
Kicking off Earth Day is the grand opening of the city of San Juan’s 7-acre wetland and nature trail park, set for 8 a.m. to noon at the wetland, located near Hall Acres Road and Nebraska Avenue behind the city's parks and recreation building. The purpose of the wetland is to work as a natural water filtration system for the treated effluent water pumped from a San Juan waste water treatment plant. This water is cleaned and discharged into the Arroyo Colorado.
The Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School is adopting the wetland and high school students will plant gardens and trees, construct benches and build bird houses, Flores said. Flores will present on behalf of the partnership as well as speakers from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas A&M University – Kingsville.
The San Juan wetland is part of a 3-city wetland project funded by the TCEQ and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of a Clean Water Act Section 319(h) grant. La Feria opened its wetland in December 2009 and San Benito is planning to break ground this year, Flores said.Wetland construction is part of the actions recommended in the WPP.
- Rio Grande Basin Initiatives Conference information online
The 2010 Joint Rio Grande Basin Initiatives Conference will be held May 17-20, 2010 in Alpine, in conjunction with the Sustainable Agricultural Water Conservation in the Rio Grande Basin project. The conference Web site is updated with all of the latest information regarding the conference
- Extension offers local rainwater harvesting courses
The Texas AgriLife Extension Service will be hosting rainwater harvesting courses throughout the state in April.
- TWRI grant recipient uses SWAT to analyze community planning strategies
Bo Yang, a former doctorate student in urban and regional science at Texas A&M University, examined watershed stormwater outflow under different community planning approaches using the SWAT hydrologic model in a project supported by the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI). Yang’s work analyzed the ecological planning approach used in The Woodlands, Texas. His advising professors were Dr. Ming-Han Li and Dr. Chang-Shan Huang, both of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Texas A&M.
- Baylor researchers receive grant to study fish contaminated by San Jacinto waste pits
Baylor University researchers have received a $250,000 grant from the Texas Environmental Health Institute to study water pollution from the San Jacinto River waste pits near the Houston Ship Channel. The Baylor researchers will study how the pollution, including cancer-causing compounds known as dioxins and furans, spread from the soil into the fish and ecosystem.
- Athletic field irrigation workshop held April 16
Coaches, athletic directors and others involved in caring for natural turf athletic fields were invited to attend a free one-day short course on how best to do that, according to an official with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.
- TWRI grant recipient analyzes model predictions of Texas river basins
Deepti Puri, a former doctoral student in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at Texas A&M University and Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) grant recipient, assessed the microorganism contamination in Guadalupe and San Antonio River Basins in Texas by applying the statistical model SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed Attributes (SPARROW). She then analyzed the effect of monitoring records on model prediction. Dr. R. Karthikeyan, assistant professor of biological and agricultural engineering, served as her advisor.
- Texas AgriLife Research water quality lab receives accreditation
The Texas AgriLife Research water quality laboratory near Vernon recently became the latest lab in the Texas A&M University System to be accredited by the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference (NELAC). The lab was certified as a Biosafety Lab 2 for the Environmental Protection Agency method of E. coli isolation.
- Mission Verde Center opens in San Antonio, with help from TEES
The recently opened Mission Verde Center at Cooper is an education, training and research center focused on renewable and energy efficient technologies. The city of San Antonio has allocated $1 million toward energy improvements at the Mission Verde Center. The Texas Center for Applied Technology (TCAT), a part of the Texas Engineering Experiment Station, is partnering with the city and conducting a comprehensive energy and water audit to establish a baseline for energy and water efficiency retrofits, and then design, implement and monitor these improvements.
- Environmental Trade Fair and Conference
- Educational opportunity: National Drinking Water Week
- New Mexico Water Research Symposium accepting abstracts
The New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute will host the New Mexico Water Research Symposium on Aug. 3. The final day for online registration is July 29. Abstracts must be submitted online by June 30 and may not exceed 250 words.
- Texas Irrigation Expo registration now open
Registration is open for the 2010 Texas Irrigation Expo, a free event, taking place Oct. 21-22 at the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show Grounds in Mercedes. It will feature two days of educational presentations on agricultural water conservation, tours of local farms being used as demonstration sites, and exhibits on products and services for the agricultural irrigation industry. The Expo is also conducting a statewide science contest for junior and high school students with cash prizes for the winners.
The Expo is funded by a grant from the Texas Water Development Board, with some expenses underwritten by sponsors. Registration for is free, but must be completed in advance of the conference. For more information and to register for the Expo, visit www.texasirrigationexpo.org.
- New TWRI projects
The Texas Water Resources Institute recently acquired funding for the following new projects: Statewide Implementation of Lone Star Healthy Streams, Environmental Effects of In House Windrow Composting (IWC) of Poultry Litter, Implementing the Pecos River Watershed Protection Plan through Invasive Species Control (Saltcedar) and by providing Technical and Financial Assistance to Reduce Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution and Implementing the Pecos River Watershed Protection Plan through Continuous Water Quality Monitoring and Dissolved Oxygen Modeling, Carter Creek TMDL Implementation Plan Development
- New Publications/Papers and Training Courses
Making a Rain Barrel publication and upcoming training course information.