- Stakeholder-supported Habitat Conservation Plan developed by EARIP
A resolution to the longstanding struggle to balance endangered species protection with Edwards Aquifer water use may finally be realized in the form of a stakeholder supported Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP), according to Dr. Robert Gulley, manager of the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program (EARIP).
The HCP will serve as a species and habitat management plan to protect listed species associated with the Edwards Aquifer and to comply with the Endangered Species Act. The HCP was developed by stakeholders participating in the EARIP, and their goals included water supply stability during drought.
- Propositions up for vote in November could affect Texas' water future
Two of the 10 Propositions being voted on in the Nov. 8 Texas Constitutional Amendment Election address water issues in the state.
Proposition 2, would allow the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) to issue general obligation bonds not exceeding an aggregate of $6 billion at any point, without additional elections. Proposition 8 is another of the propositions dealing with water on the ballot during the upcoming election. Currently, the Texas Constitution requires that all “real and tangible property” be taxed in proportion to its value, unless under some type of exemption. If Proposition 8 is approved, “water-stewardship” will be added to the list of open-space land that will be taxed based on productive capacity rather than in proportion to its value. In essence, the amendment would allow for lower, or at most equal, taxation on these types of open-space land.
- November Watershed Planning Short Course will provide comprehensive training
The Texas Water Resources Institute will host the Texas Watershed Planning Short Course Nov. 14–18 in Bandera. Through lectures and case studies, the weeklong course provides guidance on stakeholder coordination, education, and outreach; data collection and analysis; and the tools available for plan development.
Individuals interested in or responsible for watershed protection and restoration, including employees and volunteers with federal, state, county, and local agencies; soil and water conservation districts; universities; consulting firms; non-governmental organizations; and watershed groups will benefit from this course. It will be especially beneficial to those pursuing or receiving Clean Water Act Section 319(h) Grant funds.
- ANRA develops innovative online content, partners with Attoyac Bayou WPP
The Angelina and Neches River Authority (ANRA) has recently combined imaging technology and water quality monitoring to offer innovative online resources to its customers throughout 17 counties in the Neches River Basin. ANRA administers several water quality related environmental programs, including the Texas Clean Rivers Program, and in April began taking panoramic photos for each of their Clean Rivers water quality monitoring sites.
“In the past we just had maps, station locations, and station descriptions,” said Brian Sims, ANRA Environmental Division Manager. “It’s easy for us to give people information about the monitoring site, but if they can see it for themselves and explore the sampling site themselves, online, then it makes it that much easier to understand.”
- Trinity Waters hosting free land stewardship workshops Nov. 21-22
The workshops are free and open to the public, said Blake Alldredge, Texas AgriLife Extension Service associate in College Station and education and outreach coordinator for a new middle Trinity River project. They are being sponsored by Trinity Waters and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board.
The Nov. 21 workshop will be held in Kaufman at the Kaufman County Library, 3790 S. Houston St, and the Nov. 22 workshop will be in Huntsville at the Walker County Storm Shelter adjoining the H.E.A.R.T.’s Veterans Complex Museum, 455 State Highway 75 North.
- BST researchers "genetically fingerprinting" E. coli from Lampasas and Leon watersheds
When working to improve water quality, detecting bacteria in a stream is only half the battle—figuring out the source of the bacteria can be very complicated. Researchers for the Lampasas and Leon Bacterial Source Tracking (BST) Assessment project are working to do just that.
The Lampasas and Leon rivers watersheds have been listed as impaired by the state due to high counts of E. coli and other bacteria taken there in the late 1990s, but from whom, what and where the contamination originates is unclear, say Texas AgriLife Research experts. Because the watersheds are located in a predominately rural and agricultural area, there has been some conjecture that the sources of E. coli are livestock related, said Dr. June Wolfe, an AgriLife Research scientist.
“However, the origin of the sources is unclear,” said Wolfe, who is based at the Texas AgriLife Blackland Research and Extension Center at Temple.
- Statewide invasive species conference Nov. 8-10
The Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Council will host the fourth statewide conference on invasive species at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin Nov. 8–10. The Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Conference is a professional level meeting including keynotes, concurrent sessions, posters and symposia designed to serve scientists, land managers, state and federal agencies, local governments and other professionals with an interest in Texas' invasive species.
- Irrigation Expo requests student poster abstracts
According to expo organizers, emphasis will be given to projects that address a water-related topic, such as water conservation, water quality, irrigation or water impacts on crop production.
Abstracts are due Nov. 4 and posters are due Nov. 18. Awards and cash prizes will be presented at a reception in McAllen on Dec. 8, prior to the start of the Texas Irrigation Expo. More information on the contest, including how to enter, specific dates and contact information, is available online.
- New Publications/Papers and Training Courses
Evaluating the Economics of Best Management Practices for Tarrant Regional Water District's Eagle Mountain Lake Watershed, Soil & Water Assessment Tool Theoretical Documentation Version 2009, Provide Assistance to Improve Water Quality in Hood County Final Report, and upcoming training courses.