Texas Well Owner Network publication wins educational materials award

MINNEAPOLIS – The educational publication “Texas Well Owner Network: Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply” has received a 2015 Extension Education Community Education Materials Award from the American Society of Agronomy.

The "Well Owner's Guide to Water Supply" has won an Agronomy Society of America award for educational materials. (Texas Well owner Network photo)

The “Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply” received an American Society of Agronomy award for educational materials. (Texas Well owner Network photo)

The award was presented at the 2015 ASA Educational Materials Awards Program held recently in Minneapolis. This year’s meeting also included members of the Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America, as well as the Entomological Society of America. These organizations connect more than 7,000 scientists, professionals, educators and students.

According to the association, the purpose of this educational program is “to provide society members a chance to share their creative and useful educational materials and programs with colleagues and to receive recognition for their superior achievement.”

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service personnel identified in the award presentation were Dr. Diane Boellstorff, specialist; Dr. Mark McFarland, former associate department head and program leader, retired; and program specialists Kristine Uhlman, Drew Gholson and John W. Smith, all from College Station. Also noted was Ryan Gerlich, program specialist with the biological and agricultural engineering department.

“Texas Well Owner Network: Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply” was selected from 66 entries in six topic areas setup to recognize excellence in Extension materials.

“It’s an honor to have this publication recognized, especially since household well owners in Texas are responsible for ensuring that their well water is safe to drink,” Boellstorff said. “Our goal was to provide them with a practical, useful, science-based guide to use to help ensure their water quality.”

She said the publication discusses common factors that affect well water quality and quantity, including common contaminants in well water in Texas, water testing methods, treatment options, well siting and recommendations for protecting well water quality.

“There is also information on aquifers, watersheds, and federal, state and local regulations,” she said.

The guide and other educational materials can be found at http://twon.tamu.edu/fact-sheets/.

The Texas Well Owner Network was developed to respond to the state’s water quality needs through the management and protection of private water wells under the control of the landowner. The network has been supported by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board in grant cycles beginning in 2010 and again in 2013.

A major goal of the network is to deliver a science-based, community-responsive educational program focusing on protecting human health, groundwater quality and aquifer integrity, Boellstorff said. Another is to enhance awareness of water quality issues and increase knowledge of best management practices.



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