If there’s one topic that draws a crowd in Texas these days it’s how to meet our state’s water supply challenges. That’s why 150+ people turned out on a cold winter day in Houston for the 3rd Annual Gulf Coast Water Conservation Symposium, held on January 23rd. This conference focused on the region that covers the Houston-Galveston area, including fast-growing suburban Brazoria, Fort Bend, and Montgomery Counties.
The goal of the symposium was to provide area elected officials, senior government managers, water utility staff, business and community leaders, and advocates crucial information about water conservation best practices from state and national leaders so that they may plan for and implement programs that reduce water use across all user categories to enable Texas to meet it’s future water needs.
Presentations and discussions at the symposium focused on maximizing the role of water conservation in meeting the future water supply needs of the Gulf Coast region with reports from Region H and Houston’s Mayor Annise Parker’s Water Conservation Task Force. Other presentations focused on the impacts from the 83rd legislature on conservation and water supply funding, updating conservation and drought contingency plans, conservation education and implementation strategies, smart investment in water supply infrastructure, and the benefits of practical and efficient water conservation education programs. All the presentations are available online.
One big take-away from the meeting was that water conservation is a critical component in achieving future water supply needs for the Gulf Coast region. According to the State Water Plan, 12% of Region H’s future water needs will be met through implementing conservation programs. The annual Gulf Coast Water Conservation Symposium and monthly meetings of the Gulf Coast Water/Montgomery County Efficiency Network are helping water providers in the region meet that challenge head on by providing education on industry best practices and building partnerships to get the job done.
If you are interested in attending a conference on Texas water supply issues, the 4th annual Central Texas Water Conservation Symposium will be in San Marcos, Texas on February 25th. The focus of this year’s symposium is “Maximizing Alternative Water Supplies.” Making use of the water that we already have access to makes sense for utilities. It is better for their bottom-line and for the environment. This conference will focus on success stories and lessons learned from utilities around Texas. Texas Water Development Board Chairman Carlos Rubinstein will give the keynote. Registration is $30 and information can be found at www.texaswater.org. We hope to see you there.