Texas watershed planning short course in Bandera
By Courtney Smith Texas Water Resources Institute
The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) will present a five-day Texas Watershed Planning Short Course Sept. 24-28 in Bandera. The course will be held at the Mayan Dude Ranch, 350 Mayan Ranch Rd., about 47 miles northwest of San Antonio.
"Voluntary, locally led watershed protection plans are one of the primary methods being used to restore Texas surface waters," said Kevin Wagner, an associate director at TWRI and course leader.
Wagner said this is one of the few courses in the country that builds upon the nine essential elements for watershed planning as identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
"People attending this course will come out better prepared to develop watershed protection plans according to EPA guidelines," he noted.
In addition to EPA's nine elements, the course provides watershed coordinators and water resource professionals with guidance on stakeholder coordination, education and outreach; data collection and analysis; and the tools available for plan development. This information is presented through lectures and case studies, Wagner said.
Wagner added that the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the two state agencies responsible for Texas' water quality, are financing the creation of more than a dozen watershed protection plans statewide.
Upon completion, participants will receive continuing education units from the National Registry of Environmental Professionals.
Course registration is $350 if postmarked by Aug. 10 and $375 until Sept. 18.
A block of rooms at the Mayan Dude Ranch has been reserved at a special rate of $121 per night, which includes all meals and lodging, but reservations must be made by Sept. 18 to receive this special rate.
Participants are asked to identify themselves as short course attendees when making reservations.
The upcoming short course is the sixth such program to be held in Bandera. The course is funded by TCEQ and EPA.
For more information on the course, registration and lodging, go to watershedplanning.tamu.edu or contact Wagner at firstname.lastname@example.org or Courtney Smith at