The Texas Living Waters Project hosted the conference entitled “Texas Groundwater: Yours? Mine? Ours?” in March 2003 in Austin, Texas. The agenda was designed to explore the complexities surrounding groundwater management in Texas, specifically those associated with marketing and our current management regime.
The conference opened with a generalized overview of the hydrological connections between groundwater and surface water. This introduction was followed by a panel discussion on varying approaches to groundwater marketing. For this panel, participants were chosen to represent the variety of perspectives involved in groundwater marketing and afford the audience greater insight into the issue as a whole. After lunch, the Honorable Robert Puente, chair of the House Natural Resource Committee, gave an update on water issues currently being addressed by the legislature. The day wrapped up with a roundtable discussion on the powers of groundwater conservation districts. Roundtable participants included representatives closely involved with groundwater conservation districts and thus able to address the strengths and limitations of the districts’ authority.
Over 200 people participated in the day’s forum. In addition to numerous interested individuals, attendees included representatives of 24 groundwater conservation districts, 12 river and water authorities, three municipalities, six state and two federal agencies, and over 26 different nonprofit organizations.