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Dr. John C. Tracy

Message from the Director

Published by Texas Water Resources Institute

Working to make

every drop count

Developing sustainable water management policies and practices to support Texas’ municipalities, agriculture and industries is one of the state’s biggest challenges. In 2013 the Texas Legislature charged three agencies of The Texas A&M University System with developing new technologies and tools to improve the efficiency of agricultural and municipal water use. In response, Texas A&M initiated a competitive water research seed grant program. This program provides funding for Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station personnel to work in interdisciplinary teams to develop new technologies and approaches in water-use efficiency. The first round of this seed grant program resulted in more than 150 faculty working to bring forward 64 research ideas. Of those, seven proposals were funded and completed during fiscal years 2014 and 2015. The program’s second round has just begun with more than 50 research ideas considered and seven selected for funding over fiscal years 2016 and 2017. These projects seek to understand water-use efficiency and conservation from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives, addressing issues such as creating decisionsupport tools to aid water management during droughts; potential uses of poor quality and unconventional water as nonpotable water supplies; deployment of innovative monitoring systems to improve water management; and development of advanced technologies for water treatment and reuse. This issue of txH2O provides an overview of the first round of projects, highlighting their impacts on helping Texas manage its water resources. The project’s final reports are available on our online version of txH2O at I believe this water seed grant program has the potential to bring about significant and impactful changes to Texas’ water management, and I look forward to seeing it evolve even further to better help meet our state’s water needs. And, I applaud the Texas Legislature in being forward-thinking and committed to addressing this issue. Please join us as we continue to make every drop count.

John C. Tracy Director

Editor Kathy Wythe

Texas Water Resources Institute Art Direction Audrey Guidry

Texas A&M AgriLife Communications Assistant Editors Danielle Kalisek

Leslie Lee Texas Water Resources Institute Student Writer Eva Vigh Texas Water Resources Institute On the cover: Illustration by Audrey Guidry

For more information and to subscribe to txH2O, visit our website at

Texas Water Resources Institute's txH2O Spring 2016  

Articles on water resources research and education.