Texas: Lower Rio Grande Valley Climate Workshop, Weslaco, May 23

    Water, weather and the climate outlook will be on the agenda for a one-day workshop May 23 at the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Citrus Center, 312 N. International Blvd., Weslaco.

    The event will be from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is free to the public and includes lunch, but participants must register here.

    “Participants will hear about short- and medium-range weather forecasts, irrigation scheduling, drought impacts and water availability,” said Dr. Cate Simpson, professor at Texas A&M University-Kingsville and one of the program organizers.

    Brian Fuchs from the National Drought Mitigation Center will open the sessions with an overview. Other morning sessions will include:

    • Current Conditions, Changing Conditions and Future Conditions: The Impact to Agriculture in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, by Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon, Texas state climatologist of College Station;
    • Drought Early Warning and Preparedness in the Southern Plains, by Fuchs;
    • U.S. Drought Monitor Educational and Outreach Materials for Stakeholders, by Tonya Bernadt of the National Drought Mitigation Center.

    After lunch, the sessions include a water providers panel with Sonny Hinojosa of the Hidalgo County Irrigation District No. 2, Tom McLemore of Harlingen Irrigation District, and Sonia Lambert of Cameron County Irrigation District No. 2. There will also be a presentation on the Texas Water Development Board’s Water Conservation Grants Program.

    An agricultural water conservation projects panel will be presented by Dr. Juan Enciso, irrigation engineer Texas A&M AgriLife Research-Weslaco; Victor Gutierrez, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Weslaco, assistant for the Texas Water Resources Institute; and Simpson. Salvador Salinas, Texas Natural Resource Conservation Services state conservationist, will talk about farm bill programs and funding opportunities.

    The workshop will conclude at 4 p.m. following a question and answer session.

    For more information, contact Simpson at 956-973-3002.

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