Texas Well Owner Network publication wins educational materials award

The educational publication “Texas Well Owner Network: Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply” has received a 2015 Extension Education Community Education Materials Award from the American Society of Agronomy.

The award was presented at the 2015 ASA Educational Materials Awards Program held recently in Minneapolis.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service personnel identified in the award presentation were Dr. Diane Boellstorff, specialist; Dr. Mark McFarland, former associate department head and program leader, retired; and program specialists Kristine Uhlman, Drew Gholson and John W. Smith, all from College Station. Also noted was Ryan Gerlich, program specialist with the biological and agricultural engineering department.

“Texas Well Owner Network: Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply” was selected from 66 entries in six topic areas setup to recognize excellence in Extension materials.

“It’s an honor to have this publication recognized, especially since household well owners in Texas are responsible for ensuring that their well water is safe to drink,” Boellstorff said. “Our goal was to provide them with a practical, useful, science-based guide to use to help ensure their water quality.”

She said the publication discusses common factors that affect well water quality and quantity, including common contaminants in well water in Texas, water testing methods, treatment options, well siting and recommendations for protecting well water quality.

“There is also information on aquifers, watersheds, and federal, state and local regulations,” she said.

The Texas Well Owner Network was developed to respond to the state’s water quality needs through the management and protection of private water wells under the control of the landowner. The network has been supported by Clean Water Act nonpoint source grants from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The National Integrated Water Quality Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture also supported the network. The Texas Water Resources Institute manages the grants.

A major goal of the network is to deliver a science-based, community-responsive educational program focusing on protecting human health, groundwater quality and aquifer integrity, Boellstorff said. Another is to enhance awareness of water quality issues and increase knowledge of best management practices.

The guide and other educational materials can be found on the TWON’s website.

Read the complete AgriLife Today story.

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