Texas Water Symposium

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Thank you for supporting over TEN YEARS of Texas’s longest running water oriented lecture series, and the only  Radio Programming dedicated to discussions on water resources!

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.For twelve years, the Texas Water Symposium Series has provided perspectives from policy makers, scientists, water resource experts and regional leaders. Join us as we continue our exploration of the complex issues and challenges of providing water for Texans in this century. Each session is free and open to the public. Each hour-long program begins at 7:00 pm, followed by a half hour discussion with Q&A. The events are recorded and aired on Texas Public Radio one week later.

Texas Water Symposium Series is a partnership program of Texas Tech University – Junction, Schreiner University – Kerrville, Texas Public Radio, and the Hill Country Alliance.

Subscribe for updates on future events  |  Learn about past Symposia  |  Listen to past Symposia HERE

2022 Symposia

Seizing the Moment for Rural Water Infrastructure

Panelists:

  • Jennifer Walker Deputy Director for the Texas Coast and Water Program, National Wildlife Federation
  • Rebeca Gibson  – Mayor Pro Tem, City of Bandera
  • Mike Pearson West Texas Coordinator, Communities Unlimited
  • Troy Dorman – PhD, PE, CFM, Director of Water Resources, Halff Associates, Inc. 

Credit: Nathan Cone / L to R: Cliff Kaplan, Jennifer Walker, Rebeca Gibson, Mike Pearson, Troy Dorman.

L to R: Cliff Kaplan, Jennifer Walker, Rebeca Gibson, Mike Pearson, Troy Dorman. Credit: Nathan Cone

One year ago this past February, Winter Storm Uri shined a light on the fragility of our state’s infrastructure as an energy crisis quickly evolved into a water crisis. However, even before Texas was plunged into the ice, our state’s water infrastructure systems received a C- for Drinking Water and a D for our Wastewater systems from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Rural and historically disadvantaged communities are the most impacted by aging or poorly planned water systems. 

Texas will soon receive $2.9B that will flow through the Texas Water Development Board to be distributed to communities for improvements to their water and wastewater infrastructure. In the face of a changing climate, it is important we place long-term resiliency as our top priority when considering the “types” of water projects being implemented. There exist creative approaches and technologies to do more with less, to make the most of every drop. 

Seizing this moment, we have organized a panel of experts and community members to share with Texans the once-in-a-generation opportunity we have to revitalize the lifeblood of our state, its water. Join our panel as they discuss the grant and loan opportunities available and hear from rural voices on their plans to  put these funds into action.

Download Flyer HERE

Listen to the program HERE

2020 Symposia

From Drought to Deluge: Preparing for Texas Floods

DELAYED INDEFINITELY – stay tuned for updates

Moderator:

  • Todd Votteler, Ph.D. – Editor-in-Chief, Texas Water Journal

Panelists:

  • Rep. Dade Phelan – Texas State Representative, District 21
  • Mindy Conyers, Ph.D.  – State Flood Assessment Coordinator, Texas Water Development Board
  • Matt Berg – CEO and Principal Scientist, Simfero Consultants
  • Marcio Giacomoni, Ph.D.  Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Kristen Schlemmer – Legal Director, Bayou City Waterkeeper

Stay tuned for updates on when a future date is determined

While record setting flooding following Hurricane Harvey in 2017 made national news, these were not the only floods to wreak havoc on Texas in recent years. Flooding affects communities across the state – whether you live along the Gulf Coast or on the I35 corridor.

In response to this ongoing challenge, the Texas Legislature decided to take on flooding in a way it has never done before. The result is a new state and regional flood planning process set to produce the first state flood plan in 2024, as well as a financial assistance program for Texas communities looking to be prepared for “the next big one.”

Join our moderator and panel in a conversation about how new flood legislation could provide opportunities for proactive, intentional, and affordable solutions for Hill Country communities from San Antonio to San Saba.

Download Flyer HERE

Link to listen will be posted after the event

2019 Symposia

One Water: Projects in Motion

Thursday November 21, 2019 at Texas State University, San Marcos 

Moderator:
Sharlene Leurig: Chief Executive Officer at Texas Water Trade

Panelists:
Dennis Lozano, PE: Vice President – Murfee Engineering
Nick Dornak: Director of Watershed Services – The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment
Katherine Jashinski, PE: Austin Water, Systems Planning
Ian Taylor, PE: Chief Executive Officer, New Braunfels Utility

Panelists from the Fall 2019 event at Texas State University

As the Hill Country continues to grow at unprecedented rates, our demands on limited water resources will increasingly outpace our supplies. An alternative to the status quo is the One Water concept that re-imagines how we manage traditional and non-traditional water sources in order to achieve the triple bottom line—providing benefits for humans, the environment, and the economy.

Implementation of the One Water set of strategies is beginning to surge with a growing list of completed projects and some bold new projects under construction. Accelerating water and energy costs have encouraged Engineers and Developers to design and build projects that look for opportunities to consider all water—including stormwater and wastewater—as potential supply. They are bridging the gap between conceptual ideas and finished construction. They are creating a One Water project portfolio that future clients, builders, and tradesmen can refer — and to which we can hold as examples of water resilience in the Hill Country.

Join our panel of experts to learn more!

Download Flyer HERE

Listen to the program HERE

Mysterious Creatures: Exploring the Depths of our Karst Aquifers

Save the Date – November 13, 2019!

Wednesday November 13, 2019 at Schreiner University, Kerrville 

Moderator:
Dr. Robert Gulley J.D. — Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Retired

Panelists:
Chad Norris: Aquatic Biologist, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Andrew G. Gluesenkamp: Director of Conservation, Center for Conservation and Research, San Antonio Zoo
Liza Colucci: Project Manager/Biologist, ZARA Environmental
Ben Hutchins Ph.D.: Assistant Director, Edwards Aquifer Research and Data Center

 

Our water resources are the lifeblood of the Texas Hill Country. Our precious aquifers and spring-fed rivers and creeks provide our drinking water and allow for irrigation of pastures, farms, and vineyards. They also contribute to the region’s amazing quality of life and, from a practical perspective, help us maintain diverse local economies.

These water resources also nourish the fish and wildlife that call the Hill Country home. Some of that wildlife is found deep underground in our aquifers where millions of years of evolution has transformed them from former surface dwellers into fascinating and highly specialized sightless creatures living in perpetual darkness.

Join us as we explore the mysterious biological world of deep aquifer life and the aquatic conditions required to maintain safe habitat for them — and for us.

Download Flyer Here

Listen to the Program Here!

Water and the 2019 Legislative Session: The Outlook for Hill Country Water Resources

Social media flyer

Thursday March 28th 2019 at the State Capitol Building 

Moderator:
Vanessa Puig-Williams — Puig Williams Law PLLC

Panelists:
Representative Kyle Biedermann – District 73; Comal, Kendall, & Gillespie Counties
Representative Vikki Goodwin – District 47; Western Travis County
Representative Andrew Murr – District 53; Western Hill Country Counties
Representative Erin Zwiener – District 45; Hays and Blanco Counties

The 86th Texas Legislative session has begun, and lawmakers are considering bills of immediate relevance to the Texas Hill Country. Booming population growth in our region, when coupled with extreme drought and catastrophic flooding, creates myriad management challenges in regards to water resources.

Join state representatives from the Hill Country as they engage in a conversation and public question and answer session  to discuss bills that address flooding, treated effluent discharges, water well protection, growth, and support of sound science oriented natural resource policy.

Listen to Program Here

Download Flyer Here