The amount of water used for irrigating crops in Texas is more than the amount of all other uses combined. According to the Texas Water Development Board’s state water plan, 60 percent of water used in Texas currently goes to irrigating crops and this percent will need to decline to 42 percent by 2050. Conservation-based water management practices are essential to meet that decline. Efficient use of irrigation water through the training of agricultural irrigators has the potential to yield large dividends in water savings.
Therefore, the Texas Water Development Board, through its Agricultural Water Conservation Grant program, provided funds to the Texas Water Resources Institute to develop a statewide Irrigation Training Program to help farmers and others learn about efficient tools and techniques of irrigation management. In collaboration with Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) and its network of local soil and water conservation districts, and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a comprehensive program was developed and implemented during 2008 and 2009. The Texas Water Resources Institute submitted a final report to the Texas Water Development Board in February 2010 to document all activities and results from the Irrigation Training Program project funded by TWDB.
Six training programs were held throughout the state in Lubbock, Chillicothe, Mercedes, Sinton, Hondo and Amarillo during 2008 and 2009. Agendas and presentations from these trainings are available.
Additionally, a comprehensive curriculum notebook was developed and contains many of the resources and information available to producers in a one-stop shop location. Two editions, a North Texas and South Texas edition were developed and printed. This web-site provides access to these materials. CDs of the manuals can be ordered for free by contacting the Texas Water Resources Institute. Limited hard copies are also available.