Water conference to address rural and urban water issues

By: Beth Luedeker
Contact: Diane Boellstorff, dboellstorff@tamu.edu
Drew Gholson, drew.gholson@msstate.edu
Joel Pigg, j-pigg@tamu.edu

Landowners are becoming increasingly aware of the value of water and water quality.

Those and others issues will be addressed at the Southern Region Water Conference July 23-25 in College Station, TX.

sprinkler head with crops in background

Irrigation scheduling, cover crops, conservation tillage and other water conservation practices will be part of the focus of the Southern Region Water Conference.

The conference, titled “Improving Adoption of Sustainable Water Management Practices” will focus on optimizing water use efficiency and protecting water quality in the southern United States. Speakers will provide relevant information for all water users, not just agriculture producers.

Wednesday’s keynote address will be a climate outlook by John Nielsen-Gammon, Regents Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University and Texas State Climatologist.

rain barrel under gutter downspout

Rainwater harvesting and other forms of urban water conservation will be discussed at the Southern Region Water Conference in addition to sessions focused on agricultural practices. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo)

“Don’t Mess with Texas – Water Edition” will be the Thursday keynote address given by Brooke Paup, one of three board members for the Texas Water Development Board.

Breakout sections will address topics such as private water wells and drinking water, urban water conservation, watershed management, and ecosystem services as well as those aimed at crop irrigation and tillage practices.

“The conference has something for anyone who uses water,” said Dr. Diane Boellstorff, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Water Resource Specialist in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences and one of the conference organizers. “We would love to see some people interested in turfgrass and rainwater harvesting, urban planners and homeowners here.

Faculty and staff from the TAMU Department of Soil and Crop Sciences will be among those presenting at the conference. Those speakers and their topics include:

  • Dr. Paul DeLaune – Optimising cotton production with conservation tillage and irrigation timing.
  • Ward Ling – Effectively engaging stakeholders in watershed planning projects.
  • John Smith – Improving and protecting urban surface water quality.
  • Joel Pigg – Texas Well Owner Network
  • Drs. Diane Boellstorff and Drew Gholson of Mississippi State will lead a workshop regional and national collabortion efforts to improve water management.

The program agenda can be found on the conference website: https://agrilifecdn.tamu.edu/southern-region-water-conference.

two boys drinking bottle of water

Private water well management, drinking water and watershed management breakout sessions are included in the agenda for the Southern Region Water Conference.

The regional conference is a collaborative effort between AgriLife Extension, Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI), Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Educations (SARE), Oklahoma Water Resources Center, University of Kentucky, and the cooperative extension programs from Alabama A&M and Auburn Universities, Clemson University, University of Florida, University of Georgia, Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University, North Carolina State University, and Prairie View A&M University.

Registration is open at https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/organizationListings/90.

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