COLLEGE STATION — A Water Education Network to help people in Texas learn the best ways to manage the precious resource has been launched by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
The site, http://water.tamu.edu, provides a “front door” for all of AgriLife Extension’s information on water conservation, water management, irrigation and water quality, which makes it easier to navigate, according to the developers.
“With water being our agency’s No. 1 topic, it was crucial that we develop easy access to water materials,” said Dr. Pete Gibbs, AgriLife Extension associate director. “AgriLife can be the go-to source for objective and reliable water information.”
A cheaper way to turn salt water into fresh water? (Posted By Gary Cutrer)
According to Reuters news service, defense contractor Lockheed Martin has developed a filter that will hugely reduce the amount of energy necessary to turn sea water into fresh water. The filter, which is five hundred times thinner then others currently available, lets water pass through but blocks all salt molecules. It will use almost 100 times less energy than other methods for making salt water drinkable, giving third world countries another way of expanding access to drinking water without having to create costly pumping stations. Post from The American Interest.
Man Sentenced to 30 Days Jail for Catching Rain Water on Own Property (Posted By Gary Cutrer)
An Oregon man recently began his 30-day jail term for violating a state rule prohibiting capturing surface runoff from rain and snow. Gary Harrington arrived Aug. 8 at Jackson County (Ore.) Jail to begin serving his sentence.
Here’s the odd bit about this — Harrington was collecting rain and snow melt on his own property.
Read more here.
Water News — August 2012 (Posted By Mike Mecke)
As Published in Ranch & Rural Living August 2012
DROUGHT UPDATE—Improvement in Texas Conditions Under El Nino!
Richard Heim National Climatic Data Center, NOAA July 19, 2012
Latest map of July 17th shows 87% of TX still at some level of drought rating. But, zero at Exceptional level and 8.17% at Extreme level. Big improvement for most of state compared to 2011. Normal areas on upper coast and SE corner of state. Which means most of the rangeland and intensive cropping areas are still in a drought….. with a couple of months of typically hottest summer weather yet. We would still benefit in many of our crucial lake catchments by having a wet tropical storm drift northward across from the coast to Red River country. Many important lake levels are still dangerously low.
Texas Groundwater Summit Set for Aug. 28-30 (Posted By Gary Cutrer)
The Texas Groundwater Summit has released the agenda for their conference which will be held in Austin Tuesday through Thursday, Aug. 28-30. The full agenda is here (PDF format).
The confab of groundwater conservation district representatives will explore topics and form discussion panels. From the agenda:
Join us for a refresher course on groundwater and its management. Industry experts will provide an in depth look at Texas water history, groundwater science and law, the current state of groundwater management, and administrative procedures related to groundwater conservation districts.
For more information or to attend the conference visit www.texasgroundwatersummit.com.
Who Should Attend?
- Groundwater conservation district staff and board members
- Legislative, agency, and university leaders and staff
- Municipalities, counties, water providers, and members of RWPGs
- Groundwater industry professionals, including lawyers, engineers, and geologists
- Oil and Gas industry professionals
- Groundwater technology experts and vendors
- Organizations and people interested in the future of groundwater in Texas
Prediction: Drought Should Ease in Specified Areas (Posted By Gary Cutrer)
Latest Seasonal Assessment – La Niña conditions in the equatorial Pacific transitioned to ENSO-neutral during Spring 2012, according to the National Weather Service’s Climate Predition Center. ENSO-related climate anomalies were not used in this outlook since ENSO-neutral conditions are expected to continue this summer. Tropical Storm Beryl brought a swath of heavy rain across northern Florida and southeastern Georgia northward through southeastern Virginia, easing drought conditions, while much of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast were drenched by heavy thunderstorm activity. Further drought improvement is likely across Florida and the coastal Southeast as seabreeze driven thunderstorms continue during the summer months, while summer convection is less likely to ease long term drought conditions in the southeastern Piedmont region. Persistence and slight expansion of drought can be expected across the central/southern Great Plains and middle Mississippi Valley. During the upcoming three month period, drought persistence is expected across the Great Basin and central Rockies due to a dry climatology. The onset of the monsoon season may bring some relief to portions of the Southwest. Beneficial rainfall during the next two weeks along with a wet summer climatology favor improvement across the upper Mississippi Valley.
Forecaster: A. Allgood and B. Pugh
Next Outlook issued: June 21, 2012 at 8:30 AM EDT
Dry Weather Predicted for Southwest, March through May (Posted By Gary Cutrer)
Prospects for drier-than-normal conditions for both March 2012 and March-May 2012 are elevated over the Southwest, the southern and central High Plains, the immediate Gulf Coast, and Florida, according to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center.
Water Events in March (Posted By Gary Cutrer)
Following are water events, meetings, seminars, etc., scheduled for March 2012 according to the Texas Water Development Board:
Sheraton Dallas Hotel
Hearing on Appeal of Groundwater Management Area 12 Desired Future Conditions
March 7, 10:00 a.m.
Milano Civic Center
Fort Worth Omni Hotel
Fort Worth, TX
Westin La Cantera
San Antonio, TX
Crowne Plaza Hotel
March 30, 2012
LCRA Dalchau Service Center
Texas Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Groundwater Rights (Posted By Gary Cutrer)
FORT WORTH, TEXAS – The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) today [Feb 24] applauded the opinion of the Texas Supreme Court in the Edwards Aquifer Authority v. Burrell Day and Joel McDaniel case regarding whether or not landowners own the groundwater below their land.
“The Texas Supreme Court has affirmed that landowners own the groundwater in place below their land and that it is subject to constitutional protection as a property right,” said Joe Parker Jr, rancher and president of TSCRA.
“This opinion is a victory for Texas landowners and will be important for generations to come. It also recognizes the important legislation, S.B. 332, that was passed by the Legislature in 2011” Parker said.
“TSCRA would like to thank the Texas Supreme Court for their diligent efforts in writing this opinion,” Parker continued.
Ranchers, Farmers Cautiously Optimistic about Rains (Posted By Gary Cutrer)
Heavy rains in Central and East Texas and soaking rains in West Texas fell the last two days. Some occasional showers and light but soaking rains have occurred since the first of the year with the latest rains doing a lot of good in West Texas and actually causing some minor flash flooding in the San Antonio and Austin areas.
Farmers are watching the skies closely in preparation for the upcoming planting season. Ranchers are thankful to have any moisture at all across grazing lands in Texas, even though much of the livestock inhabiting those pastures has been sold off.
Winter weeds are emerging and providing feed for goats and sheep still left out there. Winter wheat pastures are surviving now that the rain has come. This year is already an improvement over the tinder dry conditions of 2011 when spring winds whipped up a record number of wildfires across Texas.
With the prognostication that La Nina will continue to influence the weather of the Southwestern U.S. in the dry direction, ag producers are crossing their fingers that those predictions are wrong and that the occasional rains will continue.