Want Water Savings With Your Order?

“Do you want water savings with your order?”  

 You probably won’t be asked that question during the next visit to your favorite eatery. However, the commercial, industrial, and institutional (CII) sector offers many opportunities for water conservation.

 The hospitality industry is the second largest CII sector in the United States, according to EPA WaterSense Program Manager Veronica Blette.

 Of this, the majority of water use is for kitchen and dishwashing purposes (52%); domestic and restroom use (31%); other uses (12%); landscaping (4%); and cooling and heating (1%).

 “Restaurants have a lot of products that use water and many can have high consumption rates,” Blette said. “The food service industry also provides a great opportunity to engage customers in water conservation efforts,” she said.

 Blette said owners understand water conservation cost benefits—but the focus on customer service may increase shortcuts or other practices that result in water waste. In addition, franchise policies, employee hours, and staff turnover may add other obstacles.

 She cited a 2016 American Water Works Association study that indicated less than 25 percent of utilities have a formal water conservation program for CII customers.

 Representatives from Long Beach, Santa Fe, El Paso, and Athens shared insights about their restaurant water conservation programs during a panel discussion at the recent WaterSmart Innovations 2018 Conference.

 Long Beach, CA

 Restaurants represent the third largest CII water usage in Long Beach, CA.  Because of this, Long Beach Water Department has a Certified Blue Restaurant program recognizing those establishments that voluntarily meet high-efficiency water requirements.

 “These restaurants must meet specific water efficiency requirements. As an example, installed pre-rinse spray valves must produce 1.1 gallons of water per minute or lower. There are similar requirements for kitchen hand sinks, restroom faucets, toilets, dishwashers, ice machines, food steamers, and dipper wells,” said Jenyffer Vasquez, assistant administrative analyst for water resources.

 Long Beach Water has completed 90 water efficiency surveys since the program’s inception in August 2017. This resulted in 38 Certified Blue Restaurants in the city. Approximately 285 water saving devices were installed, which saves 403,661 gallons of water annually. The Certified Blue restaurants get special online recognition and in social media posts. 

 As part of its outreach program, Long Beach Water held a “Certified Blue Restaurant Crawl” this year. This allowed six restaurant owners an opportunity to discuss their water conservation efforts with the public.

 Santa Fe

 “Drought, uncertain climate, aging infrastructure, and continued population growth reinforce our understanding that water is a finite resource,” said Christine Chavez with City of Santa Fe Water Conservation.

 The city’s population has increased from 68,000 in 1995 to 84,000 in 2018.  However, water consumption dropped from 168 gallons per capita per day (gpcd) to 90 gpcd during the same period.

 Santa Fe is a long-time leader in water conservation efforts.  Much of this success is due to automated meter reading (AMR); rebate programs for clothes washers, dishwashers, toilets, and rainwater harvesting equipment; landscape codes; water banking; tiered water rates; and land use requirements.

 A new “Make a Reservation to Save Water” pilot project began in Fiscal Year 2017-2018 to incentivize water efficiency in the restaurant sector. The program includes a partnership with the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce and endorsements of EPA WaterSense and the Santa Fe Restaurant Association.

 “The City is working with 30-40 local restaurants to offer ways for them to save water and money. Partners receive a free commercial water audit to help them understand where and how they can be more water efficient. The results will help generate ways to create rebate incentives,” said Chavez.

 She added that the California Energy Commission estimates restaurants use about two million gallons of water per year. “Santa Fe has more than 300 restaurants. This equates to about 635 million gallons of water per year using this formula.  Our pilot program resulted in direct savings of 450,000 gallons of water per year with aerators alone. This could jump to 1.5 million gallons of water saved per year if all recommended actions are taken,” she said.

 El Paso

 Like Santa Fe, El Paso is balancing population growth with limited water resources.

 “El Paso is the 20th largest city in the United States and the sixth largest city in Texas. Approximately 50 percent of its water supply comes from the Rio Grande River, 28 percent from the Hueco Bolson aquifer, 19 percent from the Mesilla Bolson aquifer, and three percent from desalinated groundwater.  Unfortunately, river conditions are subject to drought,” said Norma Guzman-Kennedy with El Paso Water.

 Water conservation ordinances, rebates, and incentive programs reduced El Paso’s consumption from 205 gpcd in 1985 to 128 gpcd in 2018. However, there was a need for additional water savings.

 A certified Water Conservation Partner program for restaurants began in spring 2017.  It targets four key areas:  1) Fats, Oil, and Grease (FOG) compliance; 2) kitchen water use efficiency; 3) restroom water use efficiency; and 4) other practices, such as providing water to customers. Restaurants receive bonus points for outdoor water conservation practices.

 As of October 2018, 54 restaurants were certified.  “This is 71 percent of our target goal, which is still a small percentage of the total restaurants in El Paso. El Paso Water hopes to expand the Water Partner program and assess the best opportunities for additional water savings. We will circle back to those restaurants that did not receive certification and encourage them to complete their water efficiency improvements,” she said.

 The positive publicity has been good for participating restaurants.  “They receive window clings, website mentions, and free promotion through social media.  In addition, a Conservation Hero Award goes to the certified water partner with the top score from evaluations.  The presentation takes place at an El Paso Chihuahuas minor league baseball game. A video is shown on the stadium’s video screen and on the El Paso Water website,” she said.

 Athens-Clarke County, GA

 Athens-Clarke County (ACC) has a population of about 127,000 with an additional 37,000 students enrolled at the University of Georgia.  The base population may increase to 154,000 by 2035.

 “The North Oconee and Middle Oconee Rivers, as well as the Bear Creek Reservoir, are the surface water resources in the region.  Recurring droughts are a constant threat,” said Laurel Loftin, Water Conservation Office Coordinator with the ACC Public Utilities Department.

 Beginning in 2013, the “Certified Blue” program is a voluntary water conservation effort for restaurants, bars, and fast food establishments served by ACC Public Utilities.

 “The program provides education to business owners on opportunities for water use reduction. The ACC Water Conservation office conducts a water use assessment. Owners/managers must repair any leaks or issues found during the inspection. They must agree to implement water saving practices from a specified list and incorporate at least two public education strategies,” said Loftin.

 Participants also receive high-efficiency pre-rinse spray valves, sink aerators, water conservation signs, coloring placemats and crayons for children, Certified Blue beverage napkins, and a window decal.  Participants are included in print promotions and social media posts.

 Currently, there are about 30 Certified Blue locations in Athens. Of these, 17 are restaurants, eight are fast food restaurants, and five are bars.  The average water use in restaurants was approximately three times that of bars and fast food establishments.

 “The Certified Blue program resulted in a noticeable water use reduction (-5%) as compared to non-participants (+1.2%). If you look at restaurants only, there is a 10.1% reduction in water use as compared to a 1.5% increase for non-participants,” said Loftin.

 She said there is a recommendation to continue the program with emphasis on restaurants. “Certified Blue should still be available for bars and fast food establishments—but the focus may be more on educational materials.”

 All panelists encouraged everyone in attendance to consider whether a water conservation certification/recognition program for restaurants would work in their respective communities.

Nov. 14 Ogallala Commons Playa Field Day at Crosbyton

Approximately 20 persons – including landowners, Master Naturalists, and teachers – attended the Nov. 14 Crosby County Playa Basin Field Day in Crosbyton.

 The meeting featured an overview of playa basins in the Southern High Plains region, a presentation about waterfowl and fall migration patterns, and an update on the Playa Basin Restoration Program sponsored by the Texas Playa Conservation Initiative.

 “Playa basins are the most important place for birds on the Southern Great Plains,” said Dr. Darryl Birkenfeld of Nazareth, executive director of Ogallala Commons. “Each year, thousands of birds make their way along the Central Flyway, where they eat and rest at up to 60,000-80,000 playa basins along the route.”

 Birkenfeld said Ogallala Commons sponsors playa field days for adults and playa festivals for students to increase knowledge of the importance of playa basins and their restoration.

 Texas Master Naturalist Jim Steiert of Hereford agrees.

 “Playa basins are truly the ‘Rodney Dangerfield’ of the plant world. They do not get the respect they deserve. The Central Flyway is the second most important migration and wintering area for waterfowl and other migratory birds.  There is increasing evidence that playa basins in this area are the most valuable habitat for these birds,” he said.

 Steiert said migratory birds are attracted to “habitats created by plant communities responding to a changing environment.” In essence, the birds travel to those areas with abundant food and water.  He noted that migrating Sandhill cranes appeared in the Hereford area on October 3 – about two weeks earlier than normal.

 “Playas are the keystone of the Great Plains ecosystem. They are the stone that holds it all together. It is sort of like playing Jenga.  Everything is fine until you remove the piece that causes the tower to fall,” Steiert said.

 He encouraged the group to take care of playas on their property and near their communities.

 “Playas are the sources of recharge for groundwater stored in the Ogallala Aquifer. It is important to have grass barriers around the playas to remove silt, which improves the quality of the water that may ultimately make its way back into the aquifer,” Steiert said.

 Another way to improve the playas is through a voluntary restoration program, sponsored by the Texas Playa Conservation Initiative.

 “There are about 23,037 playa basins in Texas.  Of these, 4,080 are functional, 5,631 are functional and at risk in the next 20-30 years, and 13,326 are non-functional.  A loss of buffer area, land development, and modification of the basins have all taken their toll on playas,” said Don Kahl with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

 He told the group about the Texas Playa Conservation Initiative (TPCI), which is a partner-driven effort to restore playas in the Texas Panhandle.

 Years ago, it was a common practice to dig pits or trenches into the bottom of playa basins.  Irrigation tailwater and/or rainfall collected in these pits.  Lake pumps transported the water to the head of the field for reuse.

 “Many of these pits and trenches are no longer needed and can be easily restored. Once the pit is backfilled, rainwater and runoff can again reach the entire playa basin, including the large cracks in the dry playa floor. This is essential for recharge to occur. It also allows plants and insects to flourish—which provides food for migrating birds and other wildlife,” he said.

 Kahl said landowners participating in the program incur no costs associated with restoring a playa.

 “We coordinate and conduct all the work.  To compensate for any inconvenience, there is an $80 per playa basin acre payment upon completion of the restoration,” he said.

 Playa restoration efforts are currently concentrated in Armstrong, Castro, Crosby, Floyd, Hale, Hockley, Lubbock, Lynn, and Swisher Counties. 

 The program has resulted in 489 playa basin acres restored to date.

 In addition to restoration efforts, Kahl said other conservation practices could be included in the program.

“This could include installing grass buffers around farmed playas, silt removal, and incentivizing leaving grass buffers around playas in expired Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land,” he said.

 A tour of a restored playa, located three miles east of Cone, TX, concluded the Field Day.

 Precinct One Director Dan Seale and Information/Education Supervisor Carmon McCain represented HPWD at the field day.

 Additional information is available at ogallalacommons.org and PlayasWorkForTexans.com









WSI 2018: Thinking about water & climate

More than 800 industry professionals attended the 11th annual WaterSmart Innovations (WSI) Conference and Exposition held October 3-5. The conference has drawn participants from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 42 countries since it began in 2008.

In his keynote address, Jerry Yudelson, P.E. discussed how water industry professionals must adapt their planning to account for future climate conditions.

Dubbed the "Godfather of Green" by Wired Magazine, he is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Fellow.  Yudelson is the author of 14 books on green building, green homes, green marketing, water conservation, and sustainable development. 

"How can water professionals begin to plan for climate-related risks, especially with so much uncertainty about timing, magnitude, frequency, and duration?" he said.

He noted that changing weather conditions could likely lead to extreme events, resulting in a far greater cost to water systems and people.  "Extreme weather, such as drought, flooding, heat, and wind, always have a human face. We must be resilient," Yudelson said. 

Yudelson said extreme weather events often probe a city’s weaknesses much as standing water finds cracks in the foundation of a house. “Are we considering extreme weather events, sea level rises, and how they may impact our own vulnerabilities? Think about it — 40 percent of the United States population lives in counties directly on a shoreline.”

The California Coastal Commission advised its coastal cities to prepare for 10 feet of sea level rise by 2100. However, the Port of San Diego responded that “…planning for such events without a greater degree of certainty is not appropriate.”

He noted that changing weather conditions could include more intense, longer-lasting storms with heavier rainfall. This could result in a greater cost for storm remediation.

As an example, Yudelson shared statistics provided by Kevin Trenberth with the National Center for Atmospheric Research.  “Hurricane Florence (2018) is estimated to cost $45 billion, which is 20 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of South Carolina. Hurricane Maria (2017) could cost $90 billion, or 85 percent of Puerto Rico’s GDP. Hurricane Katrina (2005) could cost $130 billion, or 65 percent of Louisiana’s GDP,” Yudelson said.

It is time for water professionals to "box outside the think."  Yudelson asked the group to imagine new possibilities by soliciting advice from unlikely sources that may see water planning in a different way.

"If you have 100 engineers working on an aerospace challenge, then the 101st engineer is not going to make that much difference. However, if you add a biologist, a nanotechnologist, or a musician, maybe you will see something fundamentally different. This will help envision and create alternative systems that could respond better to weather events," Yudelson said.

He asked conference attendees to continue their water conservation and water efficiency efforts. "Conservation oriented water rate structures, use of new technologies, new regulations, and public education efforts are all ways to stretch existing water supplies. You can’t cover all future situations—but it is important to imagine various scenarios for extreme events," he said. 

This can include new standards for land use and/or landscaping; use of stormwater, wastewater, and graywater; and developing new standards for “near net-zero” water use in new buildings and major renovations.

“Here’s a scenario for you — Imagine that you are attending the WaterSmart Conference opening session in this ballroom five to ten years from now. Suddenly, the sensors in your Apple Watch detect carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the room to be higher than allowed standards. Real time connectivity allows us to find the problem, diagnose it, and quickly remedy it. Just imagine how that type of technology could have impacted the Flint, Michigan water crisis,” he said.

WaterSmart Innovations featured more than 100 technical sessions and 30 poster presentations. Be sure to visit https://watersmartinnovations.com/sessions.php to view or download the PowerPoint presentations.

Highlights from these talks will be included in future issues of The Cross Section.

Texas experiences record-setting wet fall

From AgriLife Today

Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon reported statewide temperatures from May through August were tied for the second hottest on record, and summer 2018 was also drier, with statewide precipitation levels through August running 3 inches below average, ranking the year to date as the 27th driest on record. 

But conditions changed drastically beginning in September, which he said was the fourth wettest month statewide on record with 6.77 inches of rainfall on average. October was even wetter with over 7 inches of rain on average, which made it the second wettest month on record.

“Already at the end of October Texas has received more rainfall than it receives on average in an entire year,” Nielsen-Gammon said.

The high rainfall amounts in September and October made it easily the wettest two-month period on record, he said.

“It’s fairly common to follow droughts with heavy rainfall,” he said. “That happened in 1957 and 2015 where you had extended drought followed by rain and flooding.”

Of the 10 climatic regions around the state, Nielsen-Gammon said four had stations that recorded more than 30 inches of rain over the past 60 days.

Some notable observations include, 45.03 inches near Galveston – the highest reported total; 32.65 inches in Madisonville; 33.65 in Bonham; 31.65 inches near Rock Springs; 24.24 in Haskell; 22.38 in San Antonio; 18.27 in Harlingen; and 15.3 inches in Tahoka.

One important exception was Amarillo, which received 4.64 inches and remained one of the drought areas in the state along with parts of the Trans Pecos region, Nielsen-Gammon said.

“The last 60 days has pretty much wiped out all of the color from the drought monitor map for most of the state,” he said.

Nielsen-Gammon said the state didn’t catch any rain from Atlantic tropical storms but caught significant rains from Pacific tropical storms that made their way through Mexico and into Texas.

This year was the most active East Pacific hurricane season ever, which typically allows for significant rainfall from thunderstorms in Texas.

Texas also experienced a few cold fronts that stalled out across the state bringing repeated rain activity day after day, he said.

HPWD remembers Dr. John Abernathy 1945-2018

The agriculture community is mourning the loss of a long-time leader. Dr. John R. Abernathy of Lubbock, 73, passed away Sept. 18, 2018.

A celebration of life service is at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, at the Combest Family Funeral Home Chapel, 2210 Broadway, in Lubbock.  Burial will follow at Resthaven Memorial Park.

A native of Altus, Oklahoma, Abernathy received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Agronomy from Oklahoma State University. He later received his Ph.D. in Agronomy from the University of Illinois.

 Abernathy joined the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station staff in June 1973 as professor and project leader of weed research. He continued in that capacity until named resident director of research of the Lubbock Center in December 1984. Abernathy also served a brief time as interim resident director of research at the Extension Center in Vernon.

 He was dean of the Texas Tech University College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) from 1997 to 2003.

 Abernathy received numerous honors for his research. He won the first Outstanding Young Weed Scientist Award from the Southern Weed Science Society in 1980. The United States Department of Agriculture honored him with the Group Award for Excellence as a member of the AG-Complex for Advanced Research and Extension Systems (AG-CARES) team in 1994.

 He also received the Gerald W. Thomas Outstanding Agriculturist Award from the Texas Tech College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) and the West Texas Ag Chemicals Institute Award for "Outstanding Contributions to West Texas Agriculture."

 Abernathy also provided insightful thought and expertise to numerous boards and committees.  He served as an agricultural representative to the Llano Estacado Regional Water Planning Group (“Region O”) from 1998 to 2003.  In recent years, he had served as a member of the HPWD research and demonstration funding review committee.

 Survivors include his wife, Cindy; two daughters; two siblings; and five grandchildren.


HPWD now accepting water depletion data requests

HPWD is now accepting requests for data to claim a cost-in-water income tax depletion allowance.

This yearly program uses annual water level measurements to determine changes in the water table throughout the District.

The information is then made available to land owners for use in preparation of their taxes to determine if a loss of water under their property may constitute a tax break.

Please follow the steps below to participate in the program:

▪ Visit www.hpwd.org and browse to the “Water Use” heading. Select the “Water Depletion” link to find the Initial Request and Reorder Forms.

▪ To complete the form, you need to provide your contact information, legal description of your property, and the year of the land purchase. This information is used to determine the level of the water table (“saturated thickness”) when the property was purchased.

▪ There is no limit to the number of properties that can be requested as long as they are within the boundaries of the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District

. ▪ If you normally have a tax professional prepare your return, you may also ask them to contact HPWD for your Water Depletion values.

▪ If you would prefer a paper form, please call 806-762-0181 or stop by the HPWD office. ▪ Once completed, the forms may be returned to us by the following methods:

Email: Jed@hpwd.org

Fax: 806-762-1834

In Person or by Mail: HPWD, 2930 Avenue Q, Lubbock, TX 79411-1499.

Please call (806) 762-0181 or email Jed@hpwd.org if you have questions or need more information.

HPWD Precinct One election set for Nov. 6, 2018

Residents in Precinct One of the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) will go to the polls Nov. 6, 2018, to elect a Board member to represent them in groundwater matters for the next four years.

Paul Bjerk and Dan Seale, both of Lubbock, are candidates for Precinct One District Director. 

Seale, the incumbent, was elected to the Board in Nov. 2014. 

Precinct One consists of the portion of Crosby County above the Caprock Escarpment within the district, Lubbock County, and Lynn County.

Early voting for the Precinct One General Election will be conducted Oct. 22 - Nov. 2, 2018. 

A listing of Early Voting/ Election Day polling dates, times, and locations is available at www.hpwd.org/election2018 

In accordance with Section 2.051 of the Texas Election Code, the HPWD Board of Directors canceled the general election in District Directors’ Precinct Two and Precinct Five since these were uncontested races. 

Both unopposed candidates were declared duly elected to their offices at the Sept. 11, 2018 HPWD Board of Directors meeting in Lubbock.

Brad Heffington of Littlefield was re-elected to his second four-year term as Precinct Two District Director, representing Cochran County, the portion of Hockley County within the district, and Lamb County. 

He was appointed to the Board in April 2013 to fill the unexpired term of Jim Copeland of Anton.

Ronnie Hopper of Petersburg was re-elected to his second four-year term as Precinct Five District Director, representing the portion of Floyd County above the Caprock Escarpment within the district, Hale County, and Swisher County.

He was appointed to the Board in March 2013 to fill the vacant position held by Bruce Rigler of Plainview, who resigned.

"Political subdivisions can declare the results of an election without conducting it, if there are no contested positions and no propositions on the ballot," said HPWD Manager Jason Coleman.

"In this instance, the election results in Precincts Two and Five were known when the filing deadlines passed. This provision of the Texas Election Code saves considerable time and taxpayer money," he said.

Additional election information is available by contacting HPWD Governmental Affairs Director Victoria Whitehead at (806) 762-0181.

Board adopts 2018 ad valorem tax rate

During their Sept. 11 meeting, the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) Board of Directors approved a resolution setting the 2018 ad valorem tax rate at $0.0067 per $100 valuation for operation and maintenance of the district.

The adopted 2018 tax rate is 1.1 percent less than the effective tax rate. This slight reduction provides a similar amount of tax revenue as last year.

Persons with $100,000 in property value will pay $6.70 in annual taxes to HPWD under the approved rate, as compared to $6.90 in 2017. The HPWD 2019 fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

"The Board of Directors have lowered the tax rate each year since 2014. It is our priority to have balanced annual budgets. This allows us to reduce the tax rate for operation of the district, while at the same time, improve services for constituents in our 16-county service area," said Board President Lynn Tate of Amarillo.

In other business, the Board of Directors approved the Consent Agenda; approved applications for water well permits received in August 2018; amended the adopted 2018 budget for the end of fiscal year; conducted the annual review and adoption of the District's investment policy; and received an update on HPWD supported research from Dr. Dana Porter with Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension at Lubbock.

No executive session was convened.

Board meeting agendas and minutes are available online at www.hpwd.org/agendas.

El Nino weather patterns may bring a wet winter

From AgriLife Today

COLLEGE STATION – Texas is emerging from one of the hottest, driest summers on record, but the long-term forecast suggests winter and spring will be wet, according to the state climatologist.

Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon in College Station said statewide temperatures from May through August were the third hottest on record.

This summer was also drier, with precipitation levels more than 2.5 inches below average for the state, ranking this year as the 29th driest on record.

But that could change soon, Nielsen-Gammon said.

Nielsen-Gammon said long-term forecasts call for El Niño weather patterns through winter and spring. El Niño weather patterns typically mean above-average rainfall, especially for southern parts of Texas.

“September is already off to a good start,” he said. “It’s not good for cotton producers, but much of the state has received moisture in the last few weeks.”

Nielsen-Gammon said 5 to 15 inches of rain had fallen between Del Rio and San Antonio in the past week and that much of Central Texas picked up two inches or more during that same time with forecasts calling for more precipitation to follow.

“It looks like wet tropical patterns will contribute more moisture,” he said. “It also looks like things may be drying out a little following the rains, but Texas can expect more consistent rain into the fall, winter and spring as the El Niño patterns strengthen.”

Whether warmer or colder temperatures will accompany the El Niño pattern is a toss-up, Nielsen-Gammon said.

While cooler temperatures typically accompany precipitation, factors associated with climate change will mitigate the overall effect of those weather events.

“At this point, it looks like equal chances of having above- and below-average temperatures,” he said.

USDA-NRCS now accepting drought assistance applications

From the USDA-NRCS

The USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is now accepting drought assistance applications from farmers and ranchers impacted by ongoing drought conditions in 128 of Texas’ 254 counties.

NRCS in Texas is making funding available through the agency’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for qualified agricultural producers to assist in conservation practices that help to sustain the lands natural resources during drought or assist during recovery.

“Farmers and ranchers in Texas are no stranger to drought which is once again slowly creeping across the state,” said Salvador Salinas, NRCS state conservationist. “Across the entire state drought conditions range from abnormally dry to pockets of extreme drought. In an effort to assist landowners during these difficult conditions, we are offering additional funding opportunities through EQIP. I encourage producers in impacted counties to reach out to their local NRCS field office.”

The sign up deadline for agricultural producers in the 129 counties is August 30, 2018. Funding decisions will be made by September 6, 2018.

Eligible counties are: Archer, Armstrong, Bailey, Bandera, Baylor, Bell, Blanco, Borden, Bosque, Bowie, Briscoe, Brown, Carson, Cass, Castro, Childress, Cochran, Coleman, Collin, Collingsworth, Comanche, Concho, Cooke, Coryell, Cottle, Crosby, Dallas, Dawson, Deaf Smith, Delta, Denton, Dickens, Dimmit, Donley, Eastland, Edwards, Ellis, Erath, Falls, Floyd, Foard, Franklin, Gaines, Garza, Gillespie, Glasscock, Gray, Gregg, Hale, Hall, Hamilton, Hardeman, Harrison, Hemphill, Hill, Hockley, Hood, Hopkins, Howard, Jack, Johnson, Kendall, Kent, Kerr, Kimble, King, Kinney, Knox, Lamar, Lamb, Lampasas, LaSalle, Leon, Limestone, Lipscomb, Llano, Lubbock, Lynn, McCulloch, McLennan, Marion, Martin, Mason, Maverick, Menard, Midland, Mills, Mitchell, Montague, Morris, Motley, Oldham, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Parmer, Potter, Randall, Real, Red River, Robertson, Runnels, Rusk, San Saba, Schleicher, Scurry, Somervell, Stephens, Sterling, Sutton, Swisher, Tarrant, Terrell, Terry, Titus, Tom Green, Upshur, Uvalde, Val Verde, Webb, Wheeler, Wichita, Wilbarger, Wise, Yoakum, Zapata and Zavala.

To learn more about NRCS and available financial and technical assistance visit www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov or visit your local USDA Service Center.