SAN ANGELO – A free Texas Watershed Steward workshop on water quality and availability related to the Concho River will be held from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. March 23 at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 7887 U.S. Highway 87, north of in San Angelo.
The training is free and open to anyone interested in improving water quality in the Concho River, coordinators said. Participants are encouraged to preregister at http://tws.tamu.edu.
The workshop is presented by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board in coordination with the Upper Colorado River Authority.
“The workshop is designed to help watershed residents improve and protect their water resources by becoming involved in local watershed protection and management activities,” said Steve Sturtz, AgriLife Extension agent for agriculture and natural resources in Tom Green County.
Sturtz said the workshop will include an overview of water quality and watershed management in Texas, and primarily will focus on water quality issues relating to the Concho River, including current efforts to help improve and protect this important water source. There also will be discussion of watershed systems, types and sources of water pollution, and ways to improve and protect water quality, as well as discussion on community-driven watershed protection and management.
“Surface water in the Concho River is a critical source of water in the area,” said Dr. Christy Youker with Upper Colorado River Authority. “The river’s tributaries supply Twin Buttes and OC Fisher lakes, both sources of drinking water for San Angelo residents.” .
Youker said the Concho River has been on the state list of impaired waters since 2008 for elevated levels of bacteria and low dissolved oxygen concentrations.
“With the development of a watershed protection plan for the Concho and the establishment of a partnership with the City of San Angelo, UCRA has been addressing water quality issues in these water bodies more aggressively than ever before,” Youker said. More information on these efforts can be found at http://ucratx.org .
“Along with the free training, participants receive a free copy of the Texas Watershed Steward Handbook and a certificate of completion,” said Galen Roberts, AgriLife Extension program specialist and Texas Watershed Steward program coordinator in College Station.
The program also offers seven continuing education units in soil and water management for certified crop advisers, seven units for professional engineers and certified planners, and seven continuing education credits for certified teachers. It also offers three general continuing education units for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders, seven for certified landscape architects and three for certified floodplain managers.
“Participating in the Texas Watershed Steward program is a great opportunity to get involved and make a difference in your watershed,” said Roberts.
For more information about the river authority’s watershed improvement efforts, contact Youker at 325-617-4350, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Texas Watershed Steward program is funded through a Clean Water Act §319(h) nonpoint source grant from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.