Rio Grande Basin Initiative

2008-09 Deliverables

Principal Investigator(s): District 12

Cameron County:

  1. Within urban, rural and colonia communities and schools, introduce and demonstrate:
    1. The newest and/or most current technically appropriate home water quality conservation technologies.
    2. On-site Extension education demonstrations utilizing equipment, material and resources to conduct direct individual or group educational activities (Master Volunteer Program) on water quality and conservation.
    3. Implement education events, activities in the form of workshops, conferences and seminars, and establish project to increase the knowledge or awareness for adults and youth.
  2. Promote and support on-going water quality and conservation result demonstrations with agriculture producers.
  3. Develop and implement curriculum, education exhibits and flip charts promoting water quality and conservation to colonia residents, school youth and master volunteers.
  4. Develop urban water conservation demonstration for sports and athletic fields, including a field day to share results with area administrators, maintenance staff and coaches.

Dimmit County:

  1. Materials, supplies and equipment to use in multi-county child care provider training on water quality and water conservation
    1. Staff will train 25 providers using requested materials, supplies and equipment.
    2. Centers with staff who have participated in the training will be provided books, equipment, etc. on a check out basis for use in their child care facilities so they may duplicate the activities taught at the training.

Hidalgo County:

  1. Conduct educational programs for commercial ag producers: Cotton Pre-Plant Conference, nutrient management program, result demonstrations in row crop production.
  2. Maintain weather station in support of local result demonstrations and Texas ET Network.
  3. A native ornamental grass trial will be established to evaluate various grasses for use in landscapes along with a wildflower meadow at San Juan Park.
  4. Compost demonstration site, developed collaboratively with the City of McAllen, will be utilized for educational programs.
  5. Water conservation educational programs directed to elementary youth will be used utilizing school-based curricula.
  6. Collaborate with housing authorities, public utilities, home supply stores and schools to conduct water conservation carnivals. Water-related games and prizes and free water saving appliances (showerheads, aerators, etc.) will be the incentive to attend.
  7. Continue weekly newspaper promotion of Earth Kind principles to utilize native and drought-tolerant plants, drip irrigation, mulch and compost use and reduce use of harsh chemicals in urban landscapes.
  8. Continue Earth Kind Rose and Turf Grass Trials utilizing drip irrigation and compost. Expand turf trial to include turfalow varieties.
  9. Conduct 4-part training for grounds maintenance crews from county and city governments based on Earth Kind principles (October/November 08).
  10. Test organic herbicides against traditional methods (May 08).
  11. Promote use of compost, compost tea and mulch in backyard, organic, vegetable production.

Maverick County:

  1. Purchase water sensor markers and moisture meters to use on several irrigated fields throughout the county to establish baseline data for the PIN project.
  2. Maverick County agent and other interested clientele will attend meetings, workshops and seminars throughout the year established by the multi-region PIN collaborators.
  3. Result demonstrations and tours will be conducted on test plots in neighboring counties during meetings, workshops and seminars in order to educate our clientele about he goal of the PIN project and our ongoing findings.

Starr County:

  1. Introduce and demonstrate various methods of intervention in order to reduce in-home water-use.
  2. Implement educational events and activities for elementary youth in schools on water quality and conservation using the investigating water curriculum.
  3. Promote and support on-going water quality and conservation result demonstrations with agriculture workers.
  4. Promote and support professional development, so that professional staff and volunteers are highly skilled.

Webb County:

  1. Continue to evaluate and monitor the Rainwater Harvesting demonstrations on the Killam-Ortiz and Duval County Ranches.
  2. Conduct brush removal and native grass planting on the Paired Watersheds Catchment Plots on the Cerrito Prieto Ranch.
  3. Conduct a series of Maintaining Ranching Sustainability education workshops, field days and seminars that will promote water quality, quantity and conservation on rural rangeland watersheds.
  4. Utilize the Rainfall Simulator to conduct Elementary youth outreach programs targeting where our rainfall actually goes after a given rainfall event.
  5. Incorporate drought management and recovery strategies into on going local Extension agricultural and natural resources programs.
  6. Promote urban and rural water conservation techniques through programs, mass media and educational Extension booths at the annual Laredo Home & Garden Show.
  7. Coordinate Annual Water Screening Days on October 1 & 2, 2008, to test surface water and groundwater for fecal coliform, bacteria, nitrates, arsenic and petroleum-based contaminants.
  8. Sponsor a Rainwater Harvesting seminar on October 3, 2008, for the benefit of the local community.
  9. Distribute water educational flyers and fact sheets at Laredo International Fair and Exposition and other educational events.

Willacy County:

  1. Provide producers with the latest technology to better help them with management decisions in regards to water conservation, water usage and efficient usage of water.
  2. Promote and conduct water-related meetings and educational programs at the county, district and state levels.
  3. Some planned educational programs and activities include: a residue management meeting, a soil testing campaign, sugarcane production work, water conservation in schools, an irrigation conference, summer youth camps, a nutrient management meeting, promotion opportunities and variety trials in cotton, grain and corn.

Zapata County:

  1. 4-H Curriculum Enrichment: Water Quality and Conservation Awareness Program – Agent plans to conduct an educational program through the local school district and/or youth organizations to teach youth about water quality and water conservation issues in Zapata County.
  2. Water Issues in Zapata County: Agent plans to conduct a series of education events to address water issues in Zapata County related to the Rio Grande watershed and local agricultural production and to promote Best Management Practices for Rangeland.


  1. Help coordinate an outreach conference at Weslaco for reporting of project accomplishments to urban and agricultural stakeholders.
  2. Coordinate and develop materials for an Irrigation Training Program workshop for the Weslaco region. This project is funded by the Texas Water Development Board and is in collaboration with the Rio Grande Basin Initiative.
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