New Waves June 2011

Breaking news about water resources research and education in Texas

Watershed Coordinators Roundtable, Stakeholder Facilitation Training July 26–27

Watershed Coordinators Roundtable, Stakeholder Facilitation Training July 26–27 The Texas Water Resources Institute is hosting two programs spotlighting watershed restoration and protection July 26–27 in Austin for watershed coordinators and water resource professionals.

A Stakeholder Facilitation Training Program will be held July 26 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.at the Lower Colorado River Authority, 3700 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin. The training, by Charlie MacPherson of Tetra Tech, an environmental engineering and consulting firm, will highlight the tools used to effectively identify, engage and involve stakeholders throughout a watershed to restore and maintain healthy environmental conditions.

“Effective stakeholder engagement is essential to address watershed issues,” said Kevin Wagner, an associate director of the institute. “Solving the water quality problems we face today requires commitment and participation of stakeholders throughout the watershed.”

“Stakeholder engagement is more than just holding a public hearing or seeking public comment on a new regulation,” MacPherson said. “Effective stakeholder engagement provides a method for identifying public concerns and values, developing consensus among affected parties, and producing efficient and effective solutions through an open, inclusive process.”

The Texas Watershed Coordinators Roundtable will be July 27 at the river authority’s Dalchau Service Center, 3505 Montopolis Dr. in Austin.

“These roundtables, held biannually, provide a forum for watershed coordinators where they can develop interactive solutions to common watershed issues faced throughout the state and add to the fundamental knowledge conveyed at other courses,” said Courtney Smith, the institute’s training program coordinator.

Presentations and discussions at this roundtable will focus on bacteria dynamics, assessment methods and best management practices, Wagner said.

“Excessive levels of bacteria are the leading cause of water quality impairment in Texas,” he said. “This roundtable and training will provide much needed insight on these impairments and how to facilitate improvements.”

The training course and roundtable are supported by funding from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality through an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency nonpoint source grant.

For more information on these programs and to register, visit watershedplanning.tamu.edu or contact Smith at courtneysmith@ag.tamu.edu.

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