Water is Life Conference slated for April 18 at Sonora AgriLife Research station

SONORA – The Texas A&M AgriLife Research Station at Sonora will conduct the “Water is Life Conference” from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. April 18 at the station located on U.S. Highway 55-North between Sonora and Rocksprings.

“As the conference name implies, this program will deal with the future of groundwater not only in our crucial Edwards Aquifer region but across the entire state as well,” said Dr. Charles “Butch” Taylor, the station’s superintendent. “As our state’s population continues to boom, the need for this fast-dwindling precious resource for all living things grows. We hope this conference will offer some answers to looming questions and stimulate much needed grassroots involvement from our region’s landowners.

“I expect there will be a lot of landowners at this conference. And if it doesn’t rain a lot between now and the time of this meeting, we’ll be right back in an extreme drought situation such as much of the state experienced in 2011.”

Registration begins at 8 a.m. followed by the program at 9 a.m.

The morning’s topics and speakers will include:

- History of Water Law in Texas, Charles Porter, professor at St. Edwards University, Austin.

- Texas Water Law, Judon Fambrough, attorney with the Texas Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, College Station.

- Hydrogeology of Edwards-Trinity Aquifer, Ron Green, scientist, geosciences and engineering division of Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio.

- Understanding the Hydrology of the Edwards-Trinity Aquifer, Jim Polonis, general manager, Sutton County Underground Water Conservation District, Sonora.

- Hydraulic Fracturing, Dean Prather, Halliburton, Midland.

The afternoon topics and speakers will include:

- Long-term Rainfall Trends in Texas, Dr. John Walker, AgriLife Research director of research, San Angelo.

- Future of Groundwater Use in Texas, Lawrence French, director, Groundwater Resources Division, Texas Water Development Board, Austin.

- Understanding the Consequences of Drought, Taylor.

- Update on 83rd Legislation, Joe Morris, legislative consultant specializing in water, transportation, agriculture and real estate development issues, Austin.

- Weather Modification and Cloud Seeding, Jonathan Jennings, meteorologist, West Texas Weather Modification, San Angelo Regional Airport.

The day will conclude with a question-and-answer session and panel discussion comprised of the day’s speakers.

Three Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units will be offered – one-half integrated pest management and 2.5 general.

Organizers urge those planning to attend to RSVP by April 15 to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Sutton County at 325-387-3101. Organizers said there are currently no plans to charge for the meal or program.

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