New Waves September 2010

Breaking news about water resources research and education in Texas

  • Hot off the presses: Special Edition of txH2O and reader survey

    Have you received a copy of the Special Edition of txH2O magazine yet? This issue covers the full range of the Texas Water Resources Institute’s work—from fighting giant salvinia in Caddo Lake, to funding new water resources research, to writing and implementing watershed protection plans all over Texas. To voice your opinion on txH2O magazine, take the reader survey.

  • New rainwater harvesting manual has it all

    The Texas AgriLife Extension Service recently released a rainwater harvesting manual that is the first of its kind, according to Billy Kniffen, AgriLife Extension’s state rainwater harvesting specialist at Menard. “Rainwater Harvesting: System Planning” (publication number: B-6240) offers a comprehensive perspective on rainwater harvesting, with 17 chapters full of the how-to’s and best management practices associated with planning and installing rainwater catchment systems of all sizes, Kniffen said.

  • Converting manure to energy: project completed

    Texas Water Resources Institute’s Assembly and Testing of an On-Farm Manure to Energy Conversion BMP for Animal Pollution Control project, which demonstrated the conversion of animal manure in a fluidized bed gasifier to produce heat and power, recently finished. The study involved developing and assembling a portable On-Farm Manure to Energy Conversion System that can be used for on-site demonstrations to show alternative uses of manure from dairy waste effluent while producing energy that is beneficial to the producer.

  • TWDB hosts Texas Innovative Water 2010

    The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) will host Texas Innovative Water 2010 on Oct. 11-12 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio. The event is a seminar aimed to advance the development and management of innovative water supplies in Texas. Water professionals will discuss a range of topics, including water reuse, aquifer storage and recovery, desalination, and stormwater harvesting.

  • TWRI grant recipient studies deficit irrigation and cotton production in southwest Texas

    Yujin Wen, a doctoral student in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University, worked with his advising professor Dr. J. Tom Cothren to evaluate the irrigation method of regulated deficit irrigation application and its impacts on agronomic yield. Wen received a 2009-10 Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) research grant. With the $5,000 grant, he conducted experiments on cotton crops in southwest Texas. Final results of the study indicated that regulated deficit irrigation demonstrated higher potential to save water, establish deeper cotton plant root systems, produce more lint yield per unit water input, and maintain fiber quality.

  • Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership featured on KRGV

    On Aug. 15, Jaime Flores, watershed coordinator for the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership, and Rueben Saldana, Jr., a volunteer with the partnership, were featured on “Inside the Valley,” a news segment on KRGV Channel 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. The video is available online. Flores and Saldana discussed the various pollutants contaminating the Arroyo Colorado, the effect of recent flooding on the Arroyo, and what citizens can do to help improve the water quality of the Arroyo.

  • EPA Region 6 to host Quality Assurance Conference Oct. 18-22

    Region 6 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host its 20th Annual Quality Assurance Conference in Dallas Oct. 18-22. The main conference registration form can be found here, as well as registration for special sessions. For more information and the conference agenda visit

  • Rainwater harvesting course to be held in Kinney County

    A Rainwater Harvesting Workshop will be held from 1-5 p.m. on Sept. 17 at the Kinney County Civic Center, 200 E. Spring St. in Bracketville. The workshop, presented by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, will be led by Billy Kniffen, AgriLife Extension specialist in water resources management. The workshop costs $5 and topics will include water quality and quantity concerns, and rainwater harvesting systems for home use, landscape irrigation, wildlife and livestock.

  • World Water Monitoring Day encourages protecting water resources

    World Water Monitoring Day, Sept. 18, is an international education program that strives to build public awareness about the importance of protecting water resources, according to organizers. The program works with citizens around the world to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies. For more information, visit

  • A river flipped: TWRI grant recipient studies Brazos's carbon cycle

    A new study by geochemists at Rice University has found that damming and other human activities have completely obscured the natural carbon dioxide cycle in Texas' longest river, the Brazos. "The natural factors that influence carbon dioxide cycling in the Brazos are fairly obvious, and we expected the radiocarbon signature of the river to reflect those influences," said study co-author Caroline Masiello, assistant professor in the Department of Earth Science at Rice. "But it looks like whatever the natural process was in the Brazos, in terms of sources and sinks of carbon dioxide, it has been completely overprinted by human activities." Fanwei Zeng, first author of the study and a doctoral student in biogeochemistry at Rice, was a recipient of a 2007-08 Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) research grant.

  • Texas Environmental Excellence Awards applications available

    Applications are now open for the 2011 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality initiated the Texas Environmental Excellence Awards (TEEA) in 1993 to honor the efforts of citizens, communities, businesses, and organizations that preserve and protect the Texas environment. Applications must be postmarked or submitted by Oct. 8, 2010 and can be found here.

  • New Project, Publications/Papers and Training Courses

    Center for Invasive Species Eradication, Education Program for Improved Water Quality in Copano Bay Task Two Report, Assembly and Testing of an On-Farm Manure to Energy Conversion BMP for Animal Waste Pollution Control, Economies of Size in Municipal Water-Treatment Technologies: A Texas Lower Rio Grande Valley Case Study, Texas Watershed Planning Short Course Final Report, Golden Alga and Your Pond: Know the Facts!, and upcoming training courses.

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