The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) has published its latest annual report, focusing on our accomplishments and project highlights from 2018.
As part of our Water Quality Improvement Program, we worked in 29 different watersheds in Texas, improving water quality through watershed-based plan development and implementation assistance. Dr. John Tracy, TWRI’s director said, “We have led the way with statewide water planning through a statewide-driven approach. There hasn't been a state that's approached it in the same way before.”
With our Water Sustainability Program, we partnered in two U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-funded projects — the Ogallala Aquifer Program and the Ogallala Water Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP) — examining ways to extend the life of the aquifer and sustain agriculture and the rural economy. We also participated in the Ogallala Water Summit, hosted by the Ogallala Water CAP and the Kansas Water Office. Over 200 water management professionals and stakeholders from all eight Ogallala-region states attended to build cross-state relationships, encourage information exchange and identify opportunities.
Our Texas Watershed Planning Program provides needed training and sustainable proactive approaches to managing water quality throughout the state to watershed coordinators and other water resources professionals. With the only watershed planning short course in the state, TWRI has educated more than 242 water professionals — including almost every watershed coordinator in Texas — through 10 courses over 10 years, ensuring watershed protection efforts are adequately implemented and improving water quality restoration efforts statewide.
In 2018, TWRI participated in 70 projects with 65 total collaborations. We partnered with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) through a Memorandum of Understanding and participated in the FAO Adaption to Water Scarcity in Agriculture Task Force, an international task force with the objective of better using water in agriculture to ensure food security.
We continue to lead the Texas A&M Transboundary Groundwater Science, Management and Governance initiative, a collaborative effort with the Bush School of Government and Public Service, the School of Law and the College of Geosciences, and also participate in the Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program. For the last few years, TWRI has successfully collaborated with other universities in the Ogallala Water CAP led by Colorado State University and is the lead on the Rio Grande Water project, a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, “Diversifying the Water Portfolio for Agriculture in the Rio Grande Basin.”