2016 Hopkins County Water and Energy Conservation
Developed by Dr. Mario A. Villarino, County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources Hopkins County, Texas
Relevance: Water quality and water quantity has emerged as the predominant issue across the state as indicated through local input, legislative efforts, and numerous other indicators. Agriculture is the largest water user in the state and agriculture is under close scrutiny because of the potential for negative environmental (water quality) impacts. Water use in the municipal environment including irrigation of athletic fields, in parks, home landscapes, and within the home constitutes a major portion of water used in Texas. Programs designed to educate all adult and youth water users on water conservation will reduce overall water use and increase water use efficiency. Care must also be taken to reduce the risk of water quality contamination from production agriculture areas as well as urban/suburban settings. Marketing will be conducted accordingly to every activity included in this plan. This plan will include educational opportunities for dairy producers to learn and adopt manure management and water conservation principles required by State and Federal Conservation Agencies.
Response: To address the educational needs established by this plan we conducted the following multidisciplinary activities:
- Agents and specialist planning for Dairy Outreach Program (February 2016).
- Planning sessions with CWA for Kids Camp and Skills Camp (Monthly)
- Kids Camp Water Session (June, 2016): The camp included a training session in native gardening (Youth Education).
- Ag in the Classroom Water training: 847-4th grade students participated in a water training related to erosion, water protection and impact of human activity on rivers and lakes (October 2016)(Youth Education).
- 2016 Result demonstration in use of drought resistant empress trees (Paulownia elongata) to mobilize soil nutrients.
- Septic System Inspection training for Homeowners, October, 2016 (12 participants).
- Dairy Outreach Program Area (DOPA training)(October 26, 2016)(5 CEU): Dairy producers learned the impact of manure management in fly control, use of drones in manure management, Proper management of sedimentation pools, pros and cons of commercial fertilizers, composts and manure and White oak watershed evaluation project.
Evaluation Strategy: Retrospective post evaluation
- 64% (12/19) consider good or excellent the information related to imagery in manure management programs (DOPA 2016).
- 48% (9/19) consider good or excellent the information related to NRCS local programs (DOPA 2016).
- 74% (14/19) consider good or excellent the information related to White Oak watershed project (DOPA 2016).
- 58% (11/19) consider good or excellent the information related to manure management of flies (DOPA 2016).
- 42% (8/19) consider good or excellent the information related to use of manure, compost or fertilizers (DOPA 2016).
- 91.6% (11/12) will benefit economically from the training (Septic System Inspection Training for Homeowners).
- 100% will recommend the training to others (Septic System Inspection Training for Homeowners).
- Youth impacts are described in 4-H section of this report.
Future implications: Dairy Outreach Program Area credits will continue to be offered to permit dairies during 2017.