Bell County Water SymposiumThe Clearwater Underground Water Conservation District is hosting its 13th annual Bell County Water Symposium. This year’s event will be held November 14, 2013 beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Central Texas Council of Governments Building at 2180 N. Main Street, Belton, TX. Co-sponsors include Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service; Lloyd Gosselink Attorneys at Law; HALFF Associates; and Bell County.

Keynote presentation by Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon, Texas State Climatologist and Regents Professor at Texas A&M University, will highlight the day’s activities. Dr. Nielsen-Gammon’s weather-related work involves jet streams, extreme rainfall events, and land and sea breezes. His air quality research includes field forecasting support, numerical simulation, and diagnostic analysis of ozone events in Houston and Dallas for the Texas Air Quality Studies in 2000 and 2005-6. Dr. Nielsen-Gammon has also worked on drought monitoring and forecasting, air pollution climatology, and improvements to the climate data record. He teaches courses in weather analysis, weather forecasting, climatology, and atmospheric dynamics.

Dr. Nielsen-Gammon received a Presidential Faculty Fellow award (now known as PECASE) from the National Science Foundation and the White House in 1996, a Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching at Texas A&M University from the Association of Former Students in 1996, and was named a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in 2011. He is Past President of the International Commission for Dynamical Meteorology and is past chair of the AMS Board on Higher Education.

In a recent blog interview with Dr. Nielsen-Gammon, he was asked about the mission of the State Climatologist. He responded by saying “Part of the mission of a state climatologist is to help make climate information available and understandable to the public and to policymakers so that they are able to make the best use of it. So my job inherently involves outreach, helping people understand what climate science does or does not tell us about what’s going to happen in my state six months from now or what might happen to the Earth fifty years from now.”

Because of his belief in outreach education, Clearwater UWCD has, for the third year in a row, invited Dr. Nielsen-Gammon to speak at the annual Water Symposium. His reputation of being understandable, science driven, fact based and articulate to the general public about drought conditions and the scientific facts are why Clearwater UWCD and local leadership see him as a scientific source of fact and reason. Local policy makers are struggling with the epic drought which began in 2011 and still continues today. Attendees will learn more about his thoughts and predictions for 2014 and beyond.

In addition, the symposium will have speakers from Brazos River Authority, United States Geological Survey Water Science Team, Texas Water Development Board, and Baylor University Hydrogeology Department. The topics and discussions will provide attendees insight into the challenges that local leadership is faced with due to growing population, cost of infrastructure, and demand on current water resources.

Texas AgriLife Extension Service will provide local farmers and ranchers who have private applicator licenses with 3 hours of continuing education units. These units will be fee based and can be purchased at the meeting from County Extension Agent, Lyle Zoeller.

Topics include the following:

• Clearwater UWCD Annual Update
• Is the Legislature Concerned about Groundwater? and Brackish What?
• TWDB and Groundwater Management (Rules, DFC, Statewide Groundwater Monitoring)
• Status of Surface Water Supply in Central Texas and Future Water Plans
• Drought of Record? (2011 to 2013)
• What we know about the Edwards BFZ Aquifer in Bell County
• Life after the Endangered Species Designation
• New Understanding of the Northern Segment of the Edwards BFZ
• Understanding the Geochemistry of the Edwards BFZ
• Lampasas River Watershed Partnership Update

The water symposium is open to the public free of charge. Please RSVP to the Clearwater Office at 254-933-0120 by November 7, 2013.

For a complete agenda and list of speakers click here.

NOTE: The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service- Bell County, Mr. Lyle Zoeller, County Extension Agent Agriculture will be offering three (3) CEU’s for Private and Commercial Pesticide Applicators licensed by the Texas Department of Agriculture. These CEU’s are fee based thus his staff will collect a fee of $10 upon request at the door November 14th. For more information call 254-933-5305 on the CEU program.