South-Central Section - 51st Annual Meeting - 2017

Paper No. 4-1
Presentation Time: 8:05 AM


BANNER, Jay L.1, JAMES, Eric1, PIERCE, Suzanne A.2, SHEARER, Alan3, SCHWARTZ, Suzanne4, UDDAMERI, Venkatesh5, WAGNER, Kevin6, NIELSEN-GAMMON, John W.7, POTTER, Lloyd8, YANG, Zong-Liang9, YOUNG, Michael H.10, LIEBERKNECHT, Katherine3 and NORONHA, Alexandra9, (1)Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station C1100, Austin, TX 78712, (2)Texas Advanced Computing Center, Austin, TX 78758-4497, (3)School of Architecture, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, (4)School of Law, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, (5)Texas Tech University, Water Resources Center, Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering, Box 41023, Lubbock, TX 79409, (6)Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, (7)Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, 3150 TAMU, College Station, TX 778074808, (8)College of Public Policy, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78207, (9)Department of Geological Sciences, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station C1100, Austin, TX 78712, (10)Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, University Station, Box X, Austin, TX 78713,

Texas is a region of intense contrasts, exemplified by a steep east-west rainfall gradient, a north-south temperature gradient, and climate-change driven extremes in the hydrologic cycle such as drought and flooding. A near doubling of the state’s population by 2070 (TWDB, 2015) is projected, with nearly all growth adding to urban centers. More significantly, these great contrasts are in a state of flux. Projections for climate in the Southwest US and Central Plains in the 21st century indicate durations and intensities of drought that will be ‘unprecedented’ compared with any time during the past 1,000 years (Cook et al. 2015). The relatively short-lived 2011 drought is estimated to have caused over $8B in economic losses, while the 2015 Memorial Day Floods displaced thousands across Texas. These changes will intensify the challenges of water management in Texas through altering biogeochemical cycling of water, carbon and nitrogen, and will induce pressures on food and energy security and public health. Understanding the forcings and feedbacks in this coupled human-natural system is essential to enable effective mitigation of and adaptation to the problems Texas is projected to face.

The Texas Water Research Network (TWRN) was formed to help address these challenges through research and communication. TWRN comprises researchers from universities in Texas and other regions facing similar challenges. Its mission is to facilitate 1) collaborative scientific research on the nexus of changing water availability and rapidly growing urban corridors; and 2) collaboration and communication linking science and policy to advance Texas water resilience. Meetings of the network provide a forum for members to identify and discuss the major challenges regarding Texas’s water resiliency, identify gaps in information, and discuss collaborative means for research to address these challenges. These activities are fostered through four main ‘nodes’ of research collaboration: Water Science, Climate Projections, Scenarios for Urbanization and Population Growth, and Stakeholders.