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Uvalde Center water research could have national, international applications
Date:3/24/2009

UVALDE Intensifying drought conditions in Texas and other parts of the U.S. plus increasing worldwide water consumption makes ongoing water conservation research at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Uvalde even more relevant, said the center's director.

"Our research includes develop methods of augmenting aquifers, ways to determine their uniqueness, and ways to increase the efficiency of water taken from them," said Dr. Bill Holloway of Texas AgriLife Research, resident director of the center. "We have several ongoing research projects tied to water conservation."

Holloway said the current drought likely serves as an example of what producers in many other areas of the nation will experience as normal water availability in the future. He added that crop irrigation represents the single-largest portion of water consumption in Texas.

"The majority of the water used for irrigation in Uvalde County and surrounding counties comes from two large but dissimilar underground water sources the Edwards Aquifer and Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer," he said.

Holloway said the center works closely with area producers to identify ways they can reduce their irrigation water use and, when necessary, meet watering restrictions, and still have good crop yield and quality. He pointed to the center's Precision Irrigators Network, which began in 2004, as an example of long-term researcher/producer cooperation toward water conservation.

The network is comprised of about 20 producers in a multi-county area of South Central Texas. It is supported by several regional water providers and conservation districts. Producers work with center researchers and Texas AgriLife Extension Service agents to gather data on rainfall and climatic factors, soil type, soil moisture evaporation and the growth stages of various crops. This information is then used toward developing methods to increase irrigation efficiency.

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Contact: Dr. John Holloway
jhollowa@ag.tamu.edu
830-278-9151
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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