Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lessons In Oil for Groundwater

by Colin Miner
A man irrigates his field with an electric water pump in Inida. Some experts argue that with diminishing supplies of groundwater around the world, changes are needed in how it is managed. Todd Jarvis, the associate director of the Institute for Water and Watersheds at Oregon State University, sees parallels between the planet’s dwindling oil supplies and groundwater depletion.

“Groundwater is the oil of this century,” Mr. Jarvis said at a water-use conference last week in Stevenson, Wash. “Much as we saw oil shortages grip the world, we are now seeing that with groundwater.”

Mr. Jarvis said the solution may come from studying how the world reacted to the crisis in the 1970s when the oil industry was thought to have reached its peak production.

“We are draining water from the aquifers faster than they can be replenished,” Mr Jarvis said. “The groundwater that supplies the drinking water for half the world’s population is now in jeopardy.”

Indeed, the United Nations devoted its 2003 World Environmental Day to the theme of water. “One person in six lives without regular access to safe drinking water,” United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Anan said at the time. “Over twice that number — 2.4 billion — lack access to adequate sanitation. Water-related diseases kill a child every eight seconds,” he said.

Meanwhile, a more recent report using NASA data indicated that farmers in India, scrambling to meet the nation’s food demands, have been taking water out of aquifers faster than they can be replenished.

For Mr. Jarvis, solutions lie in moving away from the traditional precedents for establishing water law.

“The race to the pump serves nobody,” he said, referring to standard practice that generally grants unlimited water rights to individual property owners who pull it up from underground stores beneath them — ignoring the fact that wells even miles apart are likely drawing from the same aquifer.

Mr. Jarvis and other advocates suggest following the oil industry’s lead and moving to a method where all property owners over an aquifer would run it cooperatively and agree to divide the costs and profits proportionately.

“It has worked with oil with companies, countries and people working together to make the resource last,” he said. “And it could work with groundwater.”


Monday, December 20, 2010

We Are Still Here

No worries........we are still here! I like to give the students time to find their pictures on our blog before i start posting again. We had over 1,000 people view our blog last month! WOW!! We are always proud to showcase our students artwork and I hope you all enjoyed looking at it as much as we did posting them.

The number one topic i am asked about is rainwater harvesting. A lot of people are interested in the subject but they don't know how to get started. Below is an article about the basic uses for rainwater. For more information on the topic, you can visit the South Plains UWCD website. They have pictures from their 2010 project at the BCISD school as well as information for anyone who is interested in harvesting rain water.

How To Conserve Water By Using Rain Barrels

Water is essential for all living beings. Water is everywhere around us in the air and soil. We use water for many things to drink, since we should drink eight glasses of water every day to stay healthy. We also need it in washing cars, clothes, dishes and we bathe in water to stay clean. We also have to use water to boil, put out fires, watering plants especially our backyard garden to contribute to the surroundings. There are also countless plants and animals relying on water since it is the place they dwell in, salt or fresh water and on land.

These are just a few reasons why water is significant. Most people do not understand what they are wasting water. For example, they keep the water running while brushing teeth, and even dish washing. We need to conserve water by using rain barrels, because we do not have much fresh water on earth.
Related CoverageRain Barrels - Confessions of a Convert
At first I was skeptical about rain barrels. However, as my water bill increased along with summer temperatures, I became more interested in water conservation. My initial objections were quickly erased as I learned how easy it is to collect rain water and the benefits of using FREE water for my garden and my water bill.
Rain Barrel Maintenance

Rain barrels easily make a great addition to any backyard. Not only do they help save money, but they can have a great impact on the preservation of the earth's natural resources. Although rain barrels are very low maintenance, it is still very important that they are taken care of properly to keep your water clean and your barrel useful for many years to come.

Rain Barrels And Some Neat Alternatives
Using rain barrels to harvest rainwater from your roof is a simple, low-expense solution for conserving water and saving on your water bill. Water conservation isn't something new and saving it for future gardening or even car washing can come in handy.

Rain Barrel Diverters - How to Collect Rain Water
Rain barrel diverters are one of the easiest ways you can save money around your household. Many cities are facing drought conditions or water restrictions. Because of this, water rates have been rising. While water is still one of the least expensive items we pay for, it is still becoming more expensive. And since it rain water collection is one of the easiest things you can do.We need to lessen water consumption and recycle wastewater for various purposes such as clean-up, manufacturing and agricultural irrigation.

Using a rain barrel can save you thousands of gallons of water during summer months when rain falls are scarce. Rainwater is naturally soft, which means that it lacks the minerals and chemicals associated with ground water or municipal water systems. It is clean and unpolluted. During the summertime, most water for domestic use, irrigation of lawn and garden maintenance. A rain barrel collects and stores water for use during times that need it most. Using rain barrels will likely help homeowners lower water bills, while improving the vitality of plants, flowers, trees and grass.

Rainwater stored at home gives you a water supply in case of emergency water shortage, drought damaged the water line. You can also minimize the effects of drought with rainwater collected using precious supply of tap water for essential uses, and allowing non-potable uses for rainwater. So remember, the use of rain barrel is also more environmentally friendly as it helps to save valuable water and reducing pollutants.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

PBUWCD Art Contest Winners

We have the results from the 3rd annual Permain Basin UWCD Art Contest. The winners have received their cash prizes and certificates, so we are now ready for you to see their hard work.

There were four schools that participate in this years contest ; Elbow Elementary, Grady Elementary,Sands Elementary & Stanton Elementary. The judges, water district staff, and myself, enjoyed looking at all of the students' art work. It was interesting to see the water conservation message portrayed in so many unique ways.

The following picture was our grand prize winner this year. The student's picture will will be featured on the cover of our 2011 calendar.

by Shae Uranga, a student at Elbow Elementary

The following students' artwork will be featured on the monthly pages of our 2011 Calendar.

Justin Wells, Grady Elementary

Shelby McDaniel, Stanton Elementary

Willy Reddecopp, Grady Elementary

Kayla Morin, Elbow Elementary

Makenzie Merritt, Grady Elementary

Michael Kukaly, Elbow Elementary

Montie Munsell, Elbow Elementary

Andrew Wheeler, Stanton Elementary

Chasidy Grantam, Elbow Elementary

Dora Hickam, Forsan Elementary

Jillian Jones, Elbow Elementary

Joshua Traylor, Stanton Elementary

Monday, November 8, 2010

LEUWCD Art Contest

We have the results from the 4th annual Llano Estacado UWCD Art Contest. The winners have received their cash prizes and certificates, so we are now ready for you to see their hard work.

There were three schools that participate in this years contest ; Seminole Elementary, Seagraves Elementary & Loop Elementary. The judges, water district staff, & myself, enjoyed looking at all of the students' art work. It was interesting to see the water conservation message portrayed in so many unique ways.

A special thanks goes out to our judges. We appreciate you taking the time to be apart of our education program.

The following picture was our grand prize winner this year. The student's picture will will be featured on the cover of our 2011 calendar.

Alejandra Macias a 4th grader at Seagraves Elementary

The following students' artwork will be featured on the monthly pages of our 2011 Calendar.

Britni Starr a 5th grader at Seagraves Elementary

Alejandra Macias a 4th grader at Seagraves Elementary

Breana Fleming a 4th grader at Seagraves Elementary

Megan Letkeman a 5th grader at Seminole Elementary

Rebecca Henry a 5th grader at Seminole Elementary

Jordan Allen a 5th grader at Seminole Elementary

John Neufeld a 4th grader at Seminole Elementary

Madisen Jones a 5th grader Seminole Elementary

Zackary Thiessen a 5th grader at Seminole Elementary

Lacy Jackson a 5th grader at Seminole Elementary

Natan Ochoa a 5th grader at Seminole Elementary

Randy Knelsen a 5th grader at Seminole Elementary

David Reimer a 5th grader at Seminole Elementary

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Yoakum SWCD 2010 Conservation Jamboree

The Sandy Land UWCD participated in the Yoakum SWCD 2010 Conservation Jamboree this past Friday. We always enjoy going to this event and talking with the 4th & 5th graders from Denver City & Plains. There were several business and individuals who presented in their area of expertise. Presentors & topics included

Bugs & Things – Manda Cattaneo -AgrilLife Extension Service
Farm Equipment – Curt Summer – South Plains Implement
Rain Simulator – Matt Pruner – NRCS
Branding Cattle – Chip Bennett – Yoakum County Rancher
Water - Crystal Hogue- Sandy Land Underground Water District
Spices - Jarrod Chestnut - Southwest Spice
Honey & Bees - Dennis Ross
Peanuts – Golden Peanuts – Steve and Riley
Wildlife – Vicki Sybert - Texas Park & Wildlife
Cotton Gin – Martin Lefevere – Farm Bureau
Weather- Cary Allen-TV Channel 11 in Lubbock

This year I wanted to do something more interactive with the kids, especially since I was scheduled to talk after the “Bee Man”. I decided to concentrate on the topic of rainwater harvesting while still stressing the importance of water conservation. The students seemed to enjoy learning about the rainwater harvesting process and asked a lot of questions.

I ended the presentation with an activity that the students seemed to enjoy. They had to "harvest" rain, or my crafty version of rain, in cups. The students then passed the cups filled with rain to their classmates assembled in a line. At the end of the line their teammates were holding a gutter, or once again my crafty version of a gutter. The students had to pour the rain into the gutters and then into their teams rain barrel or bucket. The team that harvested the most rain water after four minutes won.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


The 4th annual Art contest is taking place at the Llano Estacado Underground Water Conservation District and the Permian Basin Underground Water Conservation District. Below are the 2010 LEUWCD and PBUWCD Calendar Art Contest Grand Prize Winners.

Each water conservation district within the education cooperative sponsors an art contest for fourth and fifth grade students. The program communicates the message of water conservation to the schools by giving a detailed and interactive presentation. Winning artwork is featured in a calendar published by each district and offered free to the public.

The first place winner in each district receives a $50 cash prize, a certificate of recognition and has his or her artwork featured on the cover of the calendar. Twelve second place winners each receive a $25 cash prize, a certificate of recognition and have their artwork featured on one month inside the calendar.

The 2011 winning pictures will be featured on the Education website soon at We will also post the winning pictures on an upcoming blog.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kids Say The Craziest Things

The past few weeks have been so busy for me. We had three playa festivals, three conservation jamborees, high school art contest and now our PBUWD & LEWUCD Art contest. (wipe sweat from brow)

Having been in and out of what seems like 100 schools, this month , I have had a chance to get to know some of our kids MORE than i want to. No matter where I go, i always have that one student who wants to tell me their life story. I ALWAYS listen close because you never know what is going to come out of their mouths.

So without further ado...i wanted to share with you some of the crazy stories I have heard from our 4th and 5th graders.

1: While looking at a playa in Brownfield a girl asked me "Mrs, what is that brown rock?" I responded "Ummm...i am pretty sure that is cow poop."

2: A 4th grader explained to me how her Mom likes to wear a lot of makeup and they go driving around in her car to see if truck drivers will honk at them. HAHAHA

3: Today, some of my old students saw me in their school hall. They ran up to me and said "Mrs. Hogue i love you hair and your shirt." I wasn't sure how i felt about someone half my age complimenting my outfit. Hummm....might need to update my closet.

4: While looking for frogs at Meadow a group of boys coming running up to me fighting over one small tiny toad. They keep telling the boy holding the frog to let one of them have it to keep. The boy with the toad tells the other boys " I am sorry but I caught this frog for Mrs. Hogue to have." Ohhhh thanksssss

5: MY ALL TIME FAVORITE..... While walking alone at Rich Lake, outside of Brownfield, a little boy ran up to me and said "Mrs. Hogue you should stay close to me because i am a trained boyscout." It took everything I had not to laugh. We spent the next 20 minutes talking about all the badges he has received while being a boyscout.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Kids Kows & More: Brownfield

Yesterday, the SPUWCD presented at the Kids Kows & More program in Brownfield. Students from Wellman-Union, Meadow & Brownfield listened to presentations about cheese, beef, rainwater harvesting and forestry.

As usual, I was not able to take many pictures of the presentations because i busy presenting myself. BUT i did get a few shots when we traveled to the Meadow Farmers Co-op Gin, for a tour.

Dan Jackson, the Gin Manager, walked the students through the gin so they could see first hand how cotton is processed. Being a cotton farmers wife, I was excited for the students to see everything that it takes to produce a bale of cotton. Agriculture is such a huge part of our communities in West Texas, and i think Mr. Jackson made the students appreciate all the hard work that goes into the cotton ginning process.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Meadow Playa Festival

Today concluded the Playa Festival at Burleson Elementary in Meadow. Students from Wellman-Union, Dawson and Burleson ,along with their teachers, took part in our two-day learning experience.

Our 5th graders enjoyed listing to the different presenters and learning about our watershed. When we went to the playa visit on the second day, the kids couldn't wait to get off the bus to collect plants and animals in their bags. We did get a little muddy, but it was nothing that we couldn't wash off later.

A special thanks goes out to all of our presenters this week and our schools and their awesome teachers and staff. Also to the Terry County NRCS, Jackie Pate, Terry County AgriLife Extension, SPUWCD and the Ogallala Commons. It is amazing how much we can accomplish and how many students we can reach, when we work together.