Texas Water Symposium | Texas Public Radio

Texas Water Symposium

Water, essential for life, is our most precious and valuable natural resource, but water supply is limited and under increasing pressure from a growing population.  How will we protect this resource and plan for a sustainable future?  There is a great need for a water-literate public; decisions being made today have far reaching and long lasting effects for our children and future generations.

The Texas Water Symposium series provides perspectives from policy makers, scientists, water resource experts and regional leaders.  Join us as we explore together, the complexity and challenges in providing water for Texans in this century.  Each session is free and open to the public.

The Texas Water Symposium is presented through a partnership with the Hill Country Alliance, Schreiner University, Texas Tech University and Texas Public Radio.

Nathan Cone / TPR

This edition of the Texas Water Symposium features lawmakers and analysts looking at current and proposed legislation that will affect water resources and property rights in Texas. Topics addressed include the Kinder Morgan pipeline project, flooding, water well protection, the Texas State Park system, and more.

Recorded March 28, 2019 at the Texas State Capitol building.

Moderator:

Vanessa Puig-Williams, Puig-Williams Law, PLLC

Panelists:

Jack Morgan

The ongoing effects of the Llano River flood, Hurricane Harvey, the Blanco River flood of 2015, and flooding across the state over the past several years have caused loss of life and immense property damage.

As communities rebuild, questions about how we ensure the safety of all Texans remain.

Nathan Cone / Texas Public Radio

Across the Hill Country, there’s a proliferation of permit applications to discharge treated wastewater directly into Hill Country creeks and rivers. Population increases are putting pressure on utilities to expand services, and many do not have the technical or financial resources to explore non-discharge options. At this Texas Water Symposium panel held on November 8, 2018 at Schreiner University, panelists discuss the implications of wastewater discharge for creek and river health and for the quality of rural well water, and explore the alternatives for the region.

Nathan Cone / Texas Public Radio

“We are looking at starting the summer months, in the Hill Country, with only five inches of rain,” Katherine Romans, Executive Director of the Hill Country Alliance, explained during the opening of the most recent Texas Water Symposium on Wednesday, May 30. As the Hill Country continues to grow at unprecedented rates, the demands on limited water resources will increasingly outpace the current supply.

Nathan Cone / Texas Public Radio

“We take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude,” Dr. Tom Arsuffi stressed near the beginning of the most recent Texas Water Symposium. The panel discussion, moderated by Katherine Romans, Executive Director of the Hill Country Alliance, also brought together District 53 Rep. Andy Murr and Texas A&M researcher Hughes Simpson to discuss the preservation of natural assets.

SuSanA Secretariat / Wikimedia Commons

Declining aquifer levels and the rapidly rising cost of water supply and management has prompted suppliers, builders, and homeowners across the region to turn to alternative sources of water. As we look to a long-term future of increasing population growth and demand on groundwater resources, how can individuals, businesses, and cities create sustainable water supply in innovative ways? How can we incentivize water independence and conservation? 

U.S. Department of Agriculture

The state’s expanding population, coupled with more extreme flooding events and drought cycles, is creating short-term management challenges and long-term planning uncertainty. We rely on prevailing climate patterns to plan for development, agriculture, and ranching, but those patterns are changing.

April Chavez / TPR

Invasive Arundo cane, Zebra Mussels, and Hydrilla are among a host of aquatic plants and animals that are not native to Texas and compete with our native animals and plants for food and space. Because introduced species lack natural enemies in our waterways, they can multiply and spread at an alarming rate, interfering with boat traffic, affecting water quality and quantity, and causing a range of other problems. 

Paul Huchton Photography / http://paulhuchtonphotography.com

“God just gave us so much water. We can't make it, it's just there. But we’re making more people.” Such as it was plainly stated by Mike Bira at the latest Texas Water Symposium, held on February 23, 2017 on the campus of Texas State University in San Marcos. The panel discussion focused on watershed protection programs at a city and community level.

AgriLife Today http://bit.ly/1rFzmHP / cc

The legal challenges that come with private property rights and Texas’ growing need for water were the topic of the most recent Texas Water Symposium, held on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin.

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