Wednesday, May 20, 2015

PGCD Announces 2015 Scholarship Winners

In 2002, Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District (PGCD) established a scholarship program for graduating seniors throughout the District. The applicants are required to write a 500-1,000 word essay on a topic chosen by PGCD and to enroll as a full-time student at the college of their choice the fall semester immediately following selection. Also, they are to maintain at least a 2.5 college GPA. A committee of four board members and a staff member select the winners. The student awarded first place receives a $4,000 scholarship, second place receives $3,000, and third place receives $2,000. The scholarship total is paid out over four years.

PGCD’s topic this year was “Due to continuing drought conditions in many parts of the state and a growing population, Texas is considering alternative water sources such as Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) and use of Brackish Groundwater. In your opinion, what would the advantages and disadvantages be to the use of ASR and Brackish Groundwater?” PGCD had seventeen applicants this year and is proud to announce Kati Adams, Yesenia Soria, and Meghan Collier as the top three winners of PGCD’s scholarship.

Kati Adams, daughter of Lon and Nicki Adams of Hedley, is our first place winner. Kati will graduate first out of her class of seven from Hedley High School with a 4.0 GPA. She will be attending Clarendon College in the fall and majoring in Agriculture.

Yesenia Soria, daughter of Gerardo and Maria Soria of Pampa, received second place. Yesenia will graduate second out of two hundred twenty-eight from Pampa High School with a 4.0 GPA. She will attend Baylor University in the fall and majoring in Business Administration.

Meghan Collier, daughter of Mark and Tracy Collier of White Deer, received third place. Meghan will graduate first out of her class of twenty-two from White Deer High School with a 4.0 GPA. She will be attending Texas A&M University in College Station in the fall and majoring in English.

PGCD wants to thank all of the applicants and congratulate the winners. We thoroughly enjoyed each essay and perspective on the topic. We wish you all the best of luck on your future endeavors.



Monday, April 20, 2015

Study Shows Program Increases Economic Value

Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District’s Precipitation Enhancement Program was recently included in a benefit-cost analysis study of Texas weather modification activities completed by Dr. Jason L. Johnson, associate professor at Texas A&M University and extension economist for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. The study considers what impact an additional inch of rain will have on dryland crop acreage, irrigated crop acreage and grazing lands, and what economic gain this will provide to the areas of study and throughout the state. Besides PGCD’s Precipitation Enhancement Program two other programs were a part of the study including West Texas Weather Modification Association in San Angelo, Texas, and South Texas Weather Modification Association in Pleasanton, Texas.

According to Johnson, “The purpose of this analysis was to provide the framework for an economic assessment to agriculture of a hypothetical one inch of additional rainfall in counties participating in selected weather modification programs.” PGCD provided operating cost data which enabled a benefit-cost ratio to be calculated so the potential return on investment from increased agriculture production could be considered. Counties included in the study are those counties located within the PGCD district boundaries and includes portions of Armstrong, Potter and Hutchinson counties and all of Carson, Donley, Gray, Roberts and Wheeler counties.

After considering the increased dryland crop revenues, the cost savings to irrigated acreage and increased grazing land revenues from an additional inch of rainfall for the District the direct local economic impact is $4,877,938. In addition to the local economic impact, Johnson also calculated an estimate state economic impact using Impact Analysis for Planning output multipliers. These secondary impacts can help with increased economic stability and growth in the state and are not confined to the agricultural community. The estimated state impact for an additional inch of rainfall in the PGCD’s district is $9,407,140. After comparing these economic gains to the cost of the program the benefit-cost ratio for the PGCD’s Precipitation Enhancement Program is a $22.20 return on every $1.00 invested.

PGCD participated in this study to provide an educational resource to the District to help assess potential benefits versus cost of the program now and in the future. Johnson states that he used a very conservative stance during the study to avoid any overstate of potential benefits, and noted that if an additional inch of rainfall can be realized, the benefits will meet or exceed expectations. “Clearly this study shows that our program is a cost effective program and a prudent use of our tax dollars,” stated C.E. Williams, PGCD General Manager.

PGCD’s precipitation enhancement program started back up April 1 for its 16th year.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

PGCD Educational Presentations

There is still plenty of time to get a water conservation presentation scheduled for your students. Our presentation is directed towards District 5th graders and is an excellent learning experience for students. Students will learn about where there water comes from, the water cycle, aquifers, playa lakes, water facts, and how the aquifer works. The presentation is a great teaching tool and refresher for the STAAR Test.

The District also offers informational presentations about the District to local civic groups. For more information about our presentations or to get a presentation scheduled please contact Korri Packard at the PGCD office at (806) 883-2501 or by email at pgcd_education@yahoo.com or kpackard@pgcd.us.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

50/50 Meter Cost Share Reminder

Receive a meter from PGCD at a 50/50 cost share before the May 1 deadline. For more information about this program call the PGCD office at (806) 883-2501.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pick Up a Lawn Gauge Today

The greatest percentage, up to 35 percent, of water we use for non-agricultural use goes to watering our lawns. Your lawn only needs water twice a week and less if it rains. Overwatering our lawns can not only be costly and wasteful, but can also cause damage to the roots of healthy grass. Knowing how much to water your lawn will diminish these issues that many face in the summertime and help conserve water.
To help you know how much water your lawn is getting, we recommend that you accurately measure using a lawn gauge provided by  Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District, which can be picked up at numerous locations around the district (see below).
Using the Lawn Sprinkler Gauge
S Randomly place sprinkler gauge on your lawn and run the sprinkler for 15 minutes. Record the amount of water collected in the gauge.
S Repeat and take measurements at three or four different locations around the lawn.
S Calculate the average of all measurements and multiply average by four.
This will tell how many inches per hour your sprinkler applies to your lawn; e.g., if your sprinkler waters 1/8 inch in 15 minutes, the hourly rate is 1/2 inch, which is the ideal rate for proper soil absorption.
How Much to Water
Apply enough water to wet soil to a depth of 4-6 inches. After watering your lawn, determine the depth the water reaches by using a soil probe or screwdriver. Even during the hottest months, one inch of water per week is usually adequate. 
When to Water
Stress for your lawn is natural, especially during the summer. When your lawn is ready for water, it will have a grayish cast and footprints will remain in the turf. Wait for these signs of stress to appear before watering. Avoid watering on a windy day, and only water in early morning or late evening to reduce evaporation.
Type of Grass
When choosing what type of grass to plant, it is best to choose a type that is best suited for our area.
S Best Choice: Buffalo grass-normally remains green on as little as 1.5 inches of water per month, even during the summer. Due to deep root systems, 2 or 3 soakings a summer may be sufficient.
S Good Choice: Bermuda grass-requires about one watering a month during the winter and may require 1 to 2 inches per week during the summer.
S Not Recommended: Fescue-this type of grass may require as much as 3 inches a week during the summer and 1 inch per week during the winter.
Choosing low-water or native grasses will save water as well as many hours behind the lawn mower. You can find these grasses and other low-water hybrid grasses at your local lawn and garden center.

 Lawn Gauge Distributors

Amarillo-Coulter Gardens, Gebo's, Home Depot-Soncy, Lowes-Tascosa Rd, Home Depot-Georgia, Pete's Greenhosue, Potter Co AgriLife, Pride Home Center, Sutherland's, Walmart-Grand, Walmart-Tascosa Rd  
Clarendon-J&W Lumber, Lowes/Ace Hardware
Claude-Keith's Service Center  
Groom-Groom Hardware  
Miami-Roberts Co AgriLife  
Pampa-B&G Rental-Hobart, Bartlett's Hardware, D&C Greenhouse, Frank's Hardware, Gebo's, Gray Co AgriLife, Walmart  
Panhandle-Lane's  
Shamrock-Bartlett's Hardware  
Wheeler Hefley's Hardware  
White Deer-Freeman's Grocery, Joel's NAPA, White Deer Supply, PGCD Office

Monday, March 16, 2015

Install a Rainwater Harvesting System

What is rainwater harvesting?
Rainwater harvesting is the collection and storage of rain from roofs or from surface catchment for future use. The water is stored in tanks to be saved or directed into mechanisms used for groundwater recharge.
Why install a system?
In most communities, about 35% of water use is applied to landscape irrigation. Using a rainwater harvesting system can help reduce demand on our water supply as well as reduce water bills.
Rainwater harvesting can also help prevent flooding and erosion, reduce contamination of run-off, and turn storm-water problems into a usable water supply.
 Approximately 0.62 gallons per square foot of collection surface per inch of rainfall can be captured. This tends to vary because some water is lost in the first flush of the system, splash-out or overshoot in hard rains, or possible leaks. Some rainwater can be lost if the tank is full.  Smooth run off surfaces provide a more efficient method for capturing rainwater during intense rainfalls.
What supplies will you need?
· Catchment surface
· Gutters and Downspouts
· Leaf screens
· Storage tanks
· Delivery system
· Treatment/Purification
Cost of installation
The cost of a rainwater harvesting system can be as small or large as you choose to make it. There are various types of materials that can be used in each stage of the system. You can choose these pieces according to your budget. The size of storage tank and choice of potable or non-potable water will be the main expenses in your system. The tables below show average costs of the different options for each component of the system.
For more information view our rainwater harvesting page at www.pgcd.us.
Our rainwater harvesting system located on our office building. This 2500 gallon tank can be filled with just one inch of rainfall.

Rainwater harvesting systems can be as simple as this and can be used to water nearby plants. Average cost of barrel like this is around $100.



Thursday, March 12, 2015

Water Conservation Advisory Council Announces the Winners of the 2015 Blue Legacy Awards

Water Conservation Advisory Council Announces the Winners of the 2015 Blue Legacy Awards in Municipal, Agricultural & Manufacturing Water Conservation

AUSTIN - (March 12, 2015) - The Water Conservation Advisory Council (Council) announces the winners of the 2015 Blue Legacy Awards in municipal, agricultural, and manufacturing water conservation.

The Council celebrates innovators who champion preserving the state's most precious resource, water, by presenting the Blue Legacy Award. This award program recognizes outstanding water conservation efforts and successes of Texans. The nine winners chosen for 2015 will be honored during Texas Water Day at the Capitol, hosted by the Texas Water Foundation, on March 26, 2015, at 1:00 p.m. Find the full agenda for the event at www.texaswater.org.

The winners within each category are:

Agricultural
Dr. Shad D. Nelson - non-producer
Tim Miller of Millberg Farm - producer

Manufacturing
Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation in Friona

Municipal
Fort Davis Water Supply Corporation - population less than 10,000
Interstate Municipal Utility District - population between 10,000 and 50,000
The Woodlands Joint Powers Agency - population between 50,000 and 100,000
City of Frisco - population between 100,000 and 500,000
City of Austin - population more than 500,000

River Authority or Regional Water District
North Texas Municipal Water District

To learn more about this year's winners, visit www.savetexaswater.org or contact Mindy Conyers, council support staff, at mindy.conyers@twdb.texas.gov or (512) 463-5102.

The Water Conservation Advisory Council provides a professional forum for the continuing development of water conservation resources, expertise, and progress evaluation of the highest quality for the benefit of Texas.