BUILDING A ROADMAP FOR TEXAS WATER SECURITY, RESEARCH, OUTREACH, AND EDUCATION: THE TEXAS WATER ROADMAP FORUMS
The first forum was held in February 2015, with participants anticipating to concentrate on acceleration of water technology in Texas from lab, through market, to industry application. Notions about direction took an abrupt turn when participants concluded that many of the most pressing problems in the water sector will not be solved using new technologies. Discussions focused on undervaluation of water, counter-productive policies, failing infrastructure, investment and market challenges, and compartmentalizing of just about everything relating to water in Texas.
For that first forum NSF/RCN-CE3SAR was joined in conducting the event by the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment and STAR Park at Texas State University, and Accelerate H2O. The forum’s results provided a starting point for the second forum.
The next forum was held in November 2015, when NSF/RCN-CE3SAR co-hosted with Texas A&M University System, Area 41, and WEF Nexus Initiative. Leaders in Texas water sectors were joined by water experts from throughout the U.S. to expand the dialogue to include the nexus of water, energy, and food. Discussion addressed climate, water governance, siloed utilities, water rights, energy exploration, water use reporting, and use of water in agriculture and society. During a second day of discussion emphasis pivoted back to Texas, with consensus found on Texas educational systems, information gaps, public understanding, and data storage/delivery.
This set the stage for the third and final Texas water forum held in late November 2016 when NSF/RCN-CE3SAR was joined in hosting by the Texas Water Development Board. Results of the final forum are being compiled and will be presented along with an overall summary and conclusions for all three forums.