- Watershed Coordinators Roundtable, Stakeholder Facilitation Training July 26–27
The Texas Water Resources Institute will host a Texas Watershed Coordinators Roundtable on July 27 at the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) Dalchau Service Center in Austin. Preceding the roundtable, a Stakeholder Facilitation Training will be held July 26, at the LCRA Complex.
“Excessive levels of bacteria are the leading cause of water quality impairment in Texas,” said Kevin Wagner, TWRI associate director. “This roundtable and training will provide much needed insight on these impairments and how to facilitate improvements.”
- Earth Day proves productive for Arroyo Colorado partners
Throughout the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Earth Day and the month of April drew hundreds of volunteers from organizations that are stakeholders and partners of the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership.
The Valley-wide Spring Trash Bash was hosted by the Valley Proud Environmental Council (VPEC) and included volunteers in several cities.
- With drought looming, learn how to better conserve water
Throughout the state of Texas, citizen’s minds are turning to water conservation because of drought conditions. The Texas Water Resources Institute has water conservation materials and resources all in one place for convenient online access. For information on rainwater harvesting, in-home water conservation and more, visit twri.tamu.edu/resources/water-conservation.
- TWRI on Shades of Green Energy Radio
On May 5 the radio program Shades of Green Energy, on 91.7 KOOP FM out of Austin, interviewed the Texas Water Resources Institute’s (TWRI) Dr. B.L. Harris and Kevin Wagner. They discussed TWRI’s work in water quality and water conservation, as well as the current drought in Texas.
“People need to have an attitude of water conservation, and that means changing all of your habits to use less water wherever you can, whether it’s in-home use or outdoor use of water. During this critical period, please reduce your water usage as much as possible.” said Harris during the program.
The recording is available online.
- UT to conduct comprehensive study of hydraulic fracturing of shale formations
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin’s Energy Institute will conduct a comprehensive review of the science, policy and environmental issues surrounding hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” of shale gas. The goal of the study is to promote a fact-based approach to regulatory policies for shale gas development, according to the institute.
"What we're trying to do is separate fact from fiction," said Dr. Raymond L. Orbach, director of the Energy Institute. "Unlocking huge reserves of natural gas could be vital to our nation's energy security. If proven to be safe and environmentally benign, fracking could unleash a bountiful supply of domestic energy for generations, if not centuries, to come."
- May is American Wetlands Month
This May marks the 21st annual American Wetlands Month. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created American Wetlands Month in 1991 to “celebrate the vital importance of wetlands to the nation and educate Americans about the value of wetlands as a natural resource,” according to EPA’s website.
The Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership, administered by the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI), is doing its part to preserve wetlands by constructing wetlands, conserving and restoring existing wetland habitats and hosting wetland maintenance training courses.
- GLO hosting Texas Coastal Expo June 18 in Galveston
The Texas General Land Office (GLO) is hosting the Texas Coastal Expo at Galveston’s Moody Gardens June 18. The event will include interactive marine life exhibits and touch tanks, hands-on educational exhibits, recreational activities and demonstrations. The expo will be “a day of fun and learning about one of Texas' most precious resources - the Texas Coast,” according to GLO’s website.
- Watershed Planning Short Course returns to Bandera in November
The Texas Watershed Planning Short Course will be held Nov. 14–18 at the Mayan Dude Ranch in Bandera. The short course provides training to watershed coordinators and water professionals and promotes sustainable, proactive approaches to managing water quality throughout the state.
Sponsored by the Texas Water Resources Institute, this weeklong course provides participants with guidance on stakeholder coordination, education, and outreach; meeting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) nine key elements of a watershed protection plan; data collection and analysis; and the tools available for plan development. This information is presented through lectures and case studies.
- Geosciences professor to develop drought prediction system
Stephen Quiring, assistant professor in the Department of Geography at Texas A&M University, received a $486,000 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop a drought prediction system for the Great Plains, one of the country’s most fertile but fickle climate regions.
The ability to pinpoint the moisture in the soil at any given time and place will help scientists better predict drought conditions and take steps to lessen its effects.
- 14th World Lake Conference to be held in Austin
The River Systems Institute, part of Texas State University, and the International Lake Environment Committee are co-sponsoring the 14th World Lake Conference, in Austin Oct. 31 – Nov. 4. The conference will provide an interactive international forum for current lake and reservoir science, management and governance issues.
- New Publications/Papers and Training Courses
Water Quality Testing and Management, and upcoming training courses.