The Texas Water Resources Institute’s (TWRI) Winter 2014 issue of txH2O is now online. This new issue focuses on the key connection between rural private lands, and land and water stewardship. Beginning with its beautiful cover photo, taken by Robert Stubblefield of the Texas Tech University Center at Junction, the magazine is full of informative articles, captivating photos and helpful resources.
“Texas is losing working lands faster than all other states, and this rapid loss of working lands has tremendous implications for our state’s water — both its quality and quantity,” said Dr. Roel Lopez, TWRI interim director, in txH2O.
Such private rural working lands are featured in the lead story, Conserving private lands conserves water, which looks at what private land stewardship means and the importance of private lands to the state's water resources. The next story spotlights three award-winning landowners committed to conserving their land, and another highlights a unique program that markets water as a crop.
Empowering landowners highlights a few of the many Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service programs that promote good stewardship practices to rural landowners, and the following story presents research findings from three researchers studying the barriers to landowners adopting best management practices on their land. The importance of Texas Land Trends and its new report in guiding conservation efforts and natural resource policy development is underscored in Tracking the Trends.
This issue also covers the Texas Water Observatory Network, a Texas A&M University initiative in development by a group of Texas A&M researchers that will help predict and plan for Texas’ water future. Look for more about the network in future issues.
Finally, the issue looks back at TWRI's history. This year is the 50th anniversary of the federal Water Resources Research Act, which formally established water resources research institutes in all 50 states. Following the act, Gov. John Connally and the Texas Legislature designated TWRI as the state institute for Texas.
If you are not a subscriber to txH2O, you can subscribe to this magazine at twri.tamu.edu/publications/subscribe.