The task of water conservation education is vital to future water planning, and The Major River’s program was developed for just such a task.
Initially designed by the Lower Colorado River Authority in 1989, the Major River’s program has been re-released by the Texas Water Development Board, partnering with local groundwater conservation districts, to encourage water conservation at the grade level.
Due to increasing water demands, students of today will face the issue of strategic water planning and management in order to sustain a growing population in North Texas. According to the Texas Water Development Board, more than 23 percent of future water resources will come strictly from conservation efforts. As of today, 60 percent of the 16.1 million acre-feet of water used in the state is groundwater and the groundwater levels are substantially lower than previous years.
The Major Rivers program was adopted in 2003 and has since been modifying the curriculum toward the state regulatory education standards. It was again reformatted in 2011 to meet STAAR and TAKS criteria and addresses numerous subjects such as science, history and social studies. It focuses on a cowboy named Major Rivers, after the major rivers in Texas, and his horse, Aquifer, who encounter the many obstacles of protecting water resources across the State. The lessons range on a variety of topics including the importance of water in Texas, the water cycle, Texas water supply and water planning, watersheds and river basins, how our water use affects our world, water treatment and distribution, and using water efficiently.
Upper Trinity recognizes the necessity of water conservation education and has been cooperating with TWDB to supply local schools with the program. In the past few weeks Upper Trinity has distributed more than 30 Major Rivers packets to local schools throughout the district. Supplying water education is just one of the tasks required of Upper Trinity, along with registering new and existing water wells, monitoring water wells, and ensuring that the residents of Montague, Wise, Parker and Hood Counties maintain local control over their groundwater. Water education is just one step toward protecting major rivers, aquifers and water resources for our state.