The Texas 4-H Water Ambassadors Program was formed in 2017 in an effort to educate youth about water resources in Texas. Every spring, up to 30 high school youth are selected to participate in a summer 4-H2O Leadership Academy. Over eight days, students journey more than 2,200 miles and learn how water is collected, conveyed, treated, conserved and managed to meet the need of our economy and citizenry. Now in its fourth year, the 4-H Water Ambassadors Program continues to grow in number and is gaining recognition and support from the Texas water industry. To date, 110 youth have participated in the Program representing more than 65 counties. Prairielands GCD is proud to support this youth leadership organization and provide an opportunity for young people to nurture their passion and knowledge for management of natural resources in Texas. The District currently has five ambassadors representing Ellis, Hill and Johnson Counties.
Through the program, ambassadors gain insight into water law, policy, planning, and management as they interact with representatives from state water agencies, educators, policy-makers, and water resource managers. Ambassadors also gain an appreciation for the complexity of managing Texas surface and groundwater resources, its importance to local, regional, and state economies, and the importance of protecting this valuable resource for future generations.
To reinforce knowledge gained during the academy, water ambassadors pass on that information to others as they engage in various education and service activities throughout the year. This program also provides a platform for youth to connect with water industry professionals and educators who represent a wide range of water disciplines. Water Ambassadors commit a minimum 40 hours of service over a 12-month period following a Leadership Academy. Service hours include delivering water education at local 4-H clubs, schools, and community events. Many ambassadors have been accomplishing this goal through virtual presentations and meetings.