2021 Central Texas Water Conservation Symposium: Presentation Materials

The 2021 Central Texas Water Conservation Symposium (April 20-21, 2021) provided water utilities with the information needed to implement successful water conservation programs, effectively engage customers, and plan for the future. Participants learned from state and national experts about the latest approaches, what is coming next and best practices for maximum efficiency gains.

Topics included:

  • Incorporating climate change into water supply and conservation program planning
  • Lessons learned from conversion to AMI and implementing customer portals
  • Insights on how generational learning shapes customer behavior
  • Tips on implementing landscape water budgets & promoting outdoor irrigation efficiency
  • Examples of small & large utilities leveraging water reuse strategies
  • Tips & guidance on improving water loss audit methodology

Attendees included:

Mayors, City Council, Board Members of MUD’s, Regional Water Authorities, City Managers, Water Utility Directors and Staff, Water Conservation Managers, Program Staff and other Relevant Staff, CFO’s Finance Directors, Sustainability Directors, Business and Community Leaders, Consultants and Advocates.

Effective Customer Leak Notices via AMI system | download presentation
Jeff Koska, Utility Director, City of Horseshoe Bay, Texas

Integration and Engagement | download presentation
Caleb Kraenzel, Assistant City Manager, City of Marble Falls

Empowering Customers through AMI | download presentation
Blake Neffendorf, Water Resource Coordinator, City of Buda, Texas

Maximizing Water Conservation through WaterMyYard | download presentation
Charles Swanson, Extension Program Specialist, Texas A&M

Using Landscape Water Budgets and Targeted Outreach to Increase Irrigation Efficiency | download presentation
Alan Lewis, Texas A&M University, Jennifer Nations, City of College Station

Meet OSCAR and CLARA: Demonstrating Onsite Water Reuse in the City of Austin
download presentation
Katherine Jashinski, P.E. – Supervising Engineer, Austin Water

Taking Backwash Water from a Negative to a Positive | download presentation
Earl Wood, General Manager, Hurst Creek MUD

Water Loss – Audits, Validation & Migration | download presentation
John Sutton, Manager, Municipal Conservation Program, Texas Water Development Board

Water Loss Audit: Counting Every Drop | download presentation
Darryl Westbrook, Assistant Director of Water Utilities, City of Arlington, Texas

Amy Hays

Adult Education Manager, Noble Research Institute

Amy Hays directs and manages the adult outreach and education programming for Noble Research Institute. Noble’s adult educational programming provides producers guidance and proven ideas for regenerative ranching in grazing livestock with producer profitability. Noble learning includes outreach, demonstration, workshops, and distance resources. Hays specializes in designing adaptive learning environments, generational learning styles, competency-based programming, program evaluation, non-formal education engagement, distance education design practices, group facilitation, and digital learners. She joined the Noble Research Institute in 2015 after serving a combined 21 years at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Texas Parks and Wildlife. Amy is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a bachelors in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences and a masters in Rangeland Ecology and Management.

Katherine Jashinski

Supervising Engineer, Austin Water

Katherine Jashinski, P.E. has worked at Austin Water for over ten years as both a regulator and a planner of decentralized reuse systems. She is the project manager for the wastewater reclamation system at the city’s new Permitting and Development Center. As a member of the National Blue Ribbon Commission for Onsite Non-potable Water Systems, she helps advance best management practices nationally to support the use of decentralized reuse systems within individual buildings and at the local scale.

Jeffrey Koska

Director of Utilities,
City of Horseshoe Bay

Jeff Koska has worked in the utility business since 1985 and has previously worked for Trinity River Authority, City of College Station, Kingsland MUD, Lake LBJ MUD before taking his current job for the past 12 years as Director of Utilities with the City of Horseshoe Bay.  He has a BBA in Economics and International Business for Sam Houston State University and also Leadership Certification from the  University of West Virginia Darden School of Business.

Caleb Kraenzel

Assistant City Manager,
City of Marble Falls

Caleb Kraenzel was appointed Assistant City Manager for the City of Marble Falls in 2016 after having previously served as the Director of Development Services for over 9 years.  He currently oversees the Public Works, Parks and Recreation, and Development Services departments as well as the Downtown Coordinator operations.  Caleb’s passion for municipal government developed out of a desire change the way government is perceived and to make a positive impact on his community.  He is a 5 year veteran of the United States Army and holds a Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science Texas State University.  Caleb is a Certified Planner with the American Planning Association (AICP), a Certified Public Manager (CPM), member in the Marble Falls Rotary Club, and is a dedicated coach for his daughter’s soccer team.

Alan Lewis

PhD Candidate,
Texas A&M University

Alan Lewis is a Ph.D. candidate in the Water Management & Hydrological Science program at Texas A&M University. He also earned his M.S. in the WMHS program and his B.S. in Civil Engineering at UCLA. In 2018, he received the AWWA Water Conservation Division Best Paper Award. The following year, together with his research team for BVWaterSmart, he won statewide recognition for their work on residential water conservation and earned the Texas Blue Legacy Award and the Texas Environmental Excellence Award.  Alan is also a Certified Floodplain Manager and passed the P.E. civil engineering exam in 2017.

Robert Mace

Executive Director & Chief Water Policy Officer, The Meadows Center for Water & the Environment, Texas State University

Robert Mace, Ph.D., P.G., is Executive Director & Chief Water Policy Officer, The Meadows Center for Water & the Environment/Texas State University.  Robert is also a Professor of Practice in the Department of Geography at Texas State University. He  has over 30 years of experience in hydrology, hydrogeology, stakeholder processes, and water policy.  He was previously Deputy Executive Administrator for Water Science and Conservation at TWDB, where he worked for 17 years.

Jennifer Nations

Water Resource Coordinator,
City of College Station

Jennifer Nations oversees the water conservation and public education programs for the City of College Station’s  Water Services Department. She serves as the media liaison for Water Services, produces the annual Drinking Water Quality Report, provides programs on water conservation, water quality, and wastewater treatment.  From 2013 – 2020 she chaired the Water Conservation and Reuse Division of the Texas Section American Water Works Association. In March 2021, she was appointed to the Brazos G Regional Water Planning Group, representing water interests of municipalities.   She has a B.S. in Environmental & Resource Science from the University of California at Davis and an M.S. in Water Management & Hydrologic Science from Texas A&M University.

Blake Nefferdorf

Water Resource Coordinator,
City of Buda

Blake Nefferdorf has served as the Water Resource Coordinator for the City of Buda since 2018. With limited water resources and a rapidly growing community, the City of Buda has been proactive in reducing overall water use through multiple approaches. Blake is currently overseeing the City’s Aquifer Storage and Recovery Pilot Well Project and in 2019 managed the replacement of all 4,000 city water meters to a new AMI system complete with a WaterSmart Customer Portal. He is also working to expand the City’s Reuse Water System and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Alliance Regional Water Authority as Treasurer. Blake previously spent over 10 years working for the Texas Water Development Board in the Groundwater Division as a Program Supervisor overseeing the statewide real-time groundwater monitoring network

John Sutton

Manager, Municipal Water Conservation Program, Texas Water Development Board

John Sutton manages the municipal water conservation activities of TWDB and has been with TWDB for 27 years. He has a B.S. in Agriculture and majored Horticulture/Landscape Design from Oklahoma State University.  His duties include coordinating the submittal and review of required water conservation plans, annual water conservation reports and water loss audits. John also coordinates the conservation review of applicants for financial assistance from TWDB, as well as providing technical assistance; developing and providing informational and educational material; assisting TWDB Regional Water Planning staff and Regional Water Planning Groups; and working with other agencies and professional groups relating to drought, water conservation, and related activities. 

Charles Swanson

Extension Program Specialist, M.S. Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service

Charles Swanson works in the Landscape Irrigation Program at Texas A&M. He is a State of Texas Licensed Landscape Irrigator and conducts statewide trainings and short courses for irrigation professionals, municipal employees and state agency personnel in landscape irrigation and water conservation with the Texas A&M School of Irrigation. He currently manages the daily operations of the Texas Evapotranspiration (TexasET) Network, the Water My Yard Program and coordinates various testing and evaluation programs for landscape irrigation products such as drip irrigation, smart controllers, soil moisture sensors and sprinklers and serves as a member of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Irrigators Advisory Council.  Charles has a Bachelors of Science and Masters of Agriculture in Agricultural Systems Management from Texas A&M University in College Station.

Julie Vano

Research Director,
Aspen Global Change Institute

Julie Vano is the Research Director at the Aspen Global Change Institute, an organization dedicated to advancing global change science and solutions. Her research integrates elements of hydrology, water resource management, and climate impacts. She works closely with water utilities and US Federal water agencies to connect climate science and decision making. She holds an MS in Land Resources from the University of Wisconsin and a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Washington.

Darryl Westbrook

Daryl Westbrook,
Assistant Director of Water Utilities, City of Arlington, Texas

Darryl Westbrook has been in this position at Arlington Water Utilities for over 12 years and has worked at the City since 2002 and has also supervised the customer services and water conservation groups.  He currently supervises the Field Services Division which includes Field Operations, Meter Services and Meter Reading.  He has been directly overseeing the water loss audit process for over 12 years.  He previously held positions as Director of Support Services and Director of Customer Services with an online commercial real estate marketing company and a local Internet Provider. 

Earl Wood

General Manager,
Hurst Creek MUD

Earl Wood has been in the water treatment field since 1992 and holds a Texas AA water and wastewater license. He also has over 20 years experience in SCADA and computer automation integration and has been a part of many treatment system designs.  He currently manages the Hurst Creek Municipal Utility District as the general manager.