Institute to hold water quality meeting Feb. 19 in Rogers

Water testing at Big Elm Creek. (Texas Water Resources Institute photo)

ROGERS – The Texas Water Resources Institute, or TWRI, is hosting a meeting Feb. 19 in Rogers for anyone interested in improving and protecting water quality in the Big Elm Creek watershed.

TWRI is part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.

The meeting, which is free and open to the public, will be at 1 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 5 W. Prairie Ave.

Dr. Allen Berthold, TWRI senior research scientist, said the meeting is the second in a series with local stakeholders to address water quality impairments in Big Elm Creek, a major tributary of Little River in Central Texas.

“Bacteria concentrations in Big Elm Creek currently exceed the state water quality standard for recreation,” he said.

Ed Rhodes, TWRI research associate, College Station, said TWRI will work with local landowners, agricultural producers, residents, governmental entities and other stakeholders to develop a strategy to reduce these pollutants in the watershed.

“The first step to improving water quality is to get local feedback and participation in designing a voluntary work plan that addresses possible sources of bacteria,” he said. “The local stakeholders in the partnership will develop and implement that plan to improve water quality and reduce bacteria levels in the creek.”

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is supporting stakeholder engagement activities for the Big Elm Creek watershed with funding provided by the EPA through a Clean Water Act grant.

For more information, visit the project website at http://littleriver.tamu.edu/ or contact Rhodes at edward.rhodes@ag.tamu.edu.

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Contacts: Dr. Allen Berthold, 979-845-2028, taberthold@ag.tamu.edu

Ed Rhodes, 979-458-5663, edward.rhodes@ag.tamu.edu

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