Texas 4-H Water Ambassadors Program
Thanks to the generous support of the water industry, the Texas 4-H Water Ambassadors Program (initiated in 2017) is looking forward to its third year of growing the next generation of water leaders. Today there are 42 youth water ambassadors which represent 39 Texas counties. In spring 2019, we plan to add another ~30 high school students, further expanding our reach and impact.
One of the pillars of the Program is to enable water ambassadors to provide water education in their 4-H clubs, schools, and communities. In 2018 alone, water ambassadors contributed approximately 800 hours of service and reached more than 16,000 youth and adults with water education. The Texas 4-H Water Ambassador Program was also recognized as one of three “Finalists” for the prestigious Texas Commission on Environmental Quality – Texas Environmental Excellence Award (youth category).
The Texas 4-H Water Ambassadors Program is funded primarily through sponsorship and grants which cover our summer 4-H2O Leadership Academies (tours) and continuing education activities throughout the year. Planning is now underway for year 3 of the 4-H Water Ambassadors Program and a new cohort of water ambassadors. I invite Gonzales County Underground Water Conservation District to become a sponsor of this Program in 2019. Attached is an informational brochure and sponsor forms which detail sponsorship levels and benefits.
*Online applications for students to apply to the Texas 4-H Water Ambassador Program will be accepted March 15 through May 15. Applications instructions here: https://texas4-h.tamu.edu/wp-content/uploads/water_application_2019.pdf. In the coming weeks, more information will be posted on Facebook and Twitter. Please feel free to share these postings and encourage youth to apply.
More Information & Social Media Contacts
Texas 4-H website - https://texas4-h.tamu.edu/projects/water/ (application instructions & brochure)
Facebook - @TX4HWaterAmbassador
Twitter - @4H2O_Ambassador
October 2018 Quarterly Newsletter - https://conta.cc/2CPMkDQ
Multi-County Youth Water Fairs
Relevance: Importance to the County
Water continues to be a significant issue across Central Texas. Citizens, youth, in particular, need
to be educated about water, where it comes from, its uses and how it can be conserved and
Role Education Can Play in Addressing the Issue
By equipping young people with knowledge on the importance of water, it will allow them to share
what they have learned with their parents and others. In turn, conservation efforts might become
standard practices in the home, thus reducing the amount of water used in the home and lowering home water bills.
Where Issue Was Identified
Participants during the 2000 and the 2004 Texas Communities Futures Forum Hays County
identified the issue of water as one of the main issues affecting them. The issue has also been
validated by the Hays County Leadership Advisory Board.
This program was geared towards third-grade students in at least one elementary school in
Bastrop, Caldwell, Gonzales, Guadalupe, and Hays Counties. In 2008, a total of 560 students
participated in the multi-county water fairs, also known as the "H20 for You" program, within the
five counties. Three-hundred ninety-two students completed the pre- and post-tests from
Caldwell, Guadalupe and Hays Counties.
Response: Discuss the Program That Was Developed
The Texas AgriLife Extension Service staff in Bastrop, Caldwell, Gonzales, Guadalupe, and Hays
Counties developed Youth Water Fairs to address this relevant issue. The Water Fairs consisted
of six educational learning stations. The stations were: Aquifers, Pollution, Rainfall Simulator,
Water and the Body, The Water Cycle, and Indoor/Outdoor Water Conservation.
Summary of Results:
Results indicate that the participants of the H20 for You Water Educational Program met its objectives of increasing the knowledge of water among youth participants. The greatest perceptual knowledge change was for the topics associated with water's importance to the body and water usage in relation to landscaping.
Future Program Actions:
As we continue to address water issues in Bastrop, Caldwell, Gonzales, Guadalupe, and Hays Counties, this has helped provide information on how future educational efforts can be improved. This data will be used within each of the five counties to promote the H20 for You program to other schools.
The Edible Aquifer:
The GCUWCD staff teach students in three counties about groundwater, conservation, pollution, and aquifers using The Incredible Edible Aquifer Experiment. Please see the document below that outlines the experiment.