New Waves November 2011

Breaking news about water resources research and education in Texas

New Publications/Papers and Training Courses

Eagle Mountain Watershed: Calibration, Validation, and Best Management, T. Lee, B. Narasimhan, R. Srinivasan, Texas Water Resources Institute, TR-408, 2011.

The watershed modeling objective of this project was to use the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to assess the effects of urbanization and other landuse changes on sediment and nutrient delivery to Eagle Mountain Lake. The watershed is located on the West Fork of the Trinity River primarily in Wise County but also partially in Jack, Clay, Montague Parker and Tarrant counties. Eagle Mountain Lake was constructed in 1932 as a water supply reservoir for Tarrant County (Figure 1); the reservoir has a total drainage area of 2,230 km (551,045 acres). All model data in this report, both observed and simulated, includes inflow to Eagle Mountain watershed from Bridgeport Reservoir, also constructed in 1932 (Figure 1). Daily inputs, such as flow, sediment, and nutrients, from Bridgeport Reservoir were represented as a point source in the Eagle Mountain watershed model.

North Central Texas Water Quality Final Report, T.A. Berthold, Texas Water Resources Institute, TR-409, 2011.

Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) is one of the largest raw water suppliers in Texas, serving about 1.6 million people in ten counties including Fort Worth and the surrounding area. With growing urbanization, the District is expected to serve a projected population of 2.66 million in 2050. Work conducted through this project was built upon previously conducted work by the project partners in the watersheds of TRWD reservoirs. Exhaustive modeling has been completed in the Cedar Creek watershed and is now under way in the Eagle Mountain and Richland-Chambers watersheds. Previous modeling has resulted in a model that accurately represents conditions in the watershed and is highly capable of predicting the impacts of implementing designed BMPs in the watershed. Coupled with outputs from the modeling effort, an economic analysis has been conducted to evaluate the costs and benefits of implementing various BMPs throughout the Cedar Creek watershed. Educational activities have also focused on engaging local stakeholders and providing materials that are based on modeled outputs about pollutant concerns, impacts of these pollutants, and types of BMPs that address these pollutants in reservoir watersheds. The development of a watershed protection plan for the Cedar Creek watershed has been under development and is a culmination of the modeling, economic analysis, and stakeholder education components of the project. This plan has resulted in a detailed management plan that is tailored specifically to the Cedar Creek watershed and focuses on addressing issues of concern through a voluntary, stakeholder-driven approach.

Lone Star Healthy Streams Final Report, K. Wagner, L. Redmon, Texas Water Resources Institute, TR-410, 2011.

Runoff of Escherichia coli (E. coli) and other fecal indicator bacteria from grazing lands has been identified as a significant source of bacterial contamination in need of reductions to improve water quality. Development of best management practices to address these bacterial issues is critical to the success of watershed restoration efforts. The effects of alternative water supplies and grazing management were evaluated to assess their effectiveness as best management practices (BMPs).Based on the review of existing programs and compiled literature on bacterial runoff and BMPs; input from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB), Lone Star Healthy Streams (LSHS) Steering Committee, and internal Texas AgriLife Extension Service Planning Team; and results from the field demonstrations, the LSHS education program for grazing beef cattle was developed. The LSHS program consists of a PowerPoint presentation, Voice-Over PowerPoint presentation, and an accompanying Lone Star Healthy Streams Beef Cattle Manual. Portions of this program were delivered to audiences at over 40 events throughout the state, reaching well over 2,200 participants. In addition, unique visitors to the “Improving Water Quality of Grazing Lands” website exceeded 1,100. This highly beneficial program will continue to be carried out throughout the state in coordination with the TSSWCB and other project partners.

Evaluation of Canal Lining Projects in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas - 2011 Ratings and Analysis, G. Bonaiti, A. Karimov, G. Fipps, Texas Water Resources Institute, TR-412, 2011.

Since 1999, nine (9) irrigation districts in the Hidalgo, Cameron, Willacy and Maverick Counties have installed nine (9) different types of synthetic canal lining materials, totaling approximately 26 miles. In 2005, we began a program to track the long-term effectiveness and durability of these lining projects and to document the damage caused by such factors as weather, animals, intentional and unintentional vandalism, and normal irrigation district operation and maintenance activities. We visually inspected each project and documented any changes using a lining evaluation form which we developed.

TWRI Water Resources Training Courses

SWAT for Beginners Dec. 5–6
Advanced Data Processing for ArcSWAT Dec. 7
SWAT for Advanced Users Dec. 8–9
ArcAPEX Training Course Jan. 18–19, 2012
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