Ten water research projects from throughout three Texas A&M University System agencies have received a total of $2.39 million in Water Seed Grant investment funded by state appropriations from the Texas Legislature to Texas A&M AgriLife Research, and administered by the Texas Water Resources Institute, TWRI.

Trees line the banks along the San Marcos River as rain drops can be seen hitting the river.
Ten Water Seed Grant-funded research projects are aimed at securing resources for advanced water management in Texas. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Sam Craft)

Each funded project team is required to be multidisciplinary and include at least one representative from each of these Texas A&M System agencies: AgriLife Research, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, TEES.

“The purpose of this initiative is to invest in multidisciplinary teams to be leaders in emerging fields and successfully secure resources that advance water management in Texas,” said Allen Berthold, Ph.D., TWRI interim director.

Ten projects were selected, and each submission went through a panel review process including representatives from all three agencies. The 2024-25 Water Seed Grant projects are:

  • Climate-Smart Alternate Wetting and Drying, AWD, Rice Production. Principal investigator, PI: Fugen Dou, Ph.D., AgriLife Research, Beaumont. Co-principal investigators, Co-PIs: Xingmao Ma, Ph.D., TEES, Bryan-College Station; Jake Mowrer, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension, Bryan-College Station; Terry Gentry, Ph.D., AgriLife Research, Bryan-College Station.
  • A Risk-B Approach to Mobilize South Texas Communities for Groundwater Management and Water Quality. PI: Susie Dai, Ph.D., AgriLife Research, Bryan-College Station. Co-PIs: Garrett McKay, Ph.D., TEES, Bryan-College Station; Joel Pigg, AgriLife Extension, Bryan-College Station; Omar Montemayor, AgriLife Extension, Rio Grande City.
  • Satellite Remote Sensing for Agricultural Water System Management in Texas. PI: Zong Liu, Ph.D., AgriLife Research, Bryan-College Station. Co-PIs: Huilin Gao, Ph.D., TEES, Bryan-College Station; Jennifer Spencer, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension, Stephenville.
  • Scalable Anti-Fouling MXene Quantum Dots Membrane-based Energy-Efficient Water Desalination. PI: Shiren Wang, Ph.D., TEES, Bryan-College Station. Co-PIs: Jingjing Qiu, Ph.D., TEES, Bryan-College Station; Murthy Girisha Ganjegunte Keshava, Ph.D., AgriLife Research, Temple; Anish Jantrania, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension, Temple.
  • Enhancing Corn Water-Use Efficiency Through Integration of Sensor, Crop Model and Machine Learning-based Approaches. PI: Srinivasulu Ale, Ph.D., AgriLife Research, Vernon. Co-PIs: Qingwu Xue, Ph.D., AgriLife Research, Amarillo; Thomas Marek, Ph.D., AgriLife Research, Amarillo; Chukwuzubelu Ufodike, Ph.D., TEES, Bryan-College Station; Jourdan Bell, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension, Amarillo.
  • Projection of Hydrologic Intensity Duration Frequency Parameters and Their Uncertainties Based on Climate Projections for 21st Century in the State of Texas. PI: Bardia Heidari, Ph.D., AgriLife Research, Dallas. Co-PIs: Fouad H. Jaber, Ph.D., AgriLife Research, Dallas; Nicholas G. Duffield, Ph.D., TEES, Bryan-College Station.
  • Next Generation Sustainable Water Treatment System Using Engineered Nano Materials. PI: Velumani Subramaniam, Ph.D., TEES, Bryan-College Station. Co-PIs: Guillermo Aguilar, Ph.D., TEES; Anish Jantrania, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension, Temple; June Wolfe, Ph.D., AgriLife Research, Temple.
  • On-Site Wastewater Monitoring Using Miniaturized Optical-Sensing Chips. PI: Pao Tai Lin, Ph.D., TEES, Bryan-College Station. Co-PIs: Jantrania and Wolfe.
  • Advanced Irrigation Management System Guided by Remote Sensing and Artificial Intelligence. PI: Craig Bednarz, Ph.D., AgriLife Research, Canyon. Co-PIs: Nick Duffield, Ph.D., TEES; Mahendra Bhandari, Ph.D., AgriLife Research, Corpus Christi; David Parker, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension, Canyon.
  • Optimizing Agricultural Water Management: A Climate-Smart Approach to Reduce Carbon Intensity and Harness Carbon Market Opportunities. PI: Nithya Rajan, Ph.D., AgriLife Research, Bryan-College Station. Co-PIs: Salvatore Calabrese, Ph.D., AgriLife Research, Bryan-College Station; Pancho Abello, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension, Vernon; Nick Duffield, Ph.D., TEES, Bryan-College Station.

This story was written by Leslie Lee from the Texas Water Resources Institute

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