Water reuse projects are a proven solution to Texas’ water availability challenges, but many more could be built if developers took greater advantage of a statewide financing program for water and energy conservation improvements known as PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy).
This webinar offered interested parties a chance to interact with experts from the PACE Authority, Austin Water, National Wildlife Federation, and Texas Water Trade.
The panelists introduced their new report highlighting the considerable potential of using PACE to finance the upfront capital costs of water reuse. They then fielded a great set of quality questions that dug into the details of how and where PACE can be used to fund water reuse and energy efficiency components of building projects in Texas.
Featuring: Jennifer Walker (National Wildlife Federation), Sharlene Leuring (Texas Water Trade), Jonathon Blackburn (PACE Authority), Robert Stefani (Austin Water)
Jonathon Blackburn is Technical Advisor to the Texas PACE Authority. He was a co-founder of the Texas PACE Authority, developing the financial and operational capabilities of the organization and financing over $100mm in energy efficiency projects. He now assists with reviewing technical and financial analyses of projects prior to closing. He also currently manages M&A transactions for utility scale solar, wind, and storage for a large independent power producer. He started his career as an engineer at the electric utility Southern Company with various roles in environmental and energy policy and renewable energy development. He holds graduate degrees from the University of Cambridge and Duke University. He also has a BS in Chemical Engineering and is a licensed Professional Engineer.
Sharlene Leurig is Chief Executive Officer of Texas Water Trade, a nonprofit harnessing markets and technological innovation to build a future of clean, flowing water for all Texans. Sharlene is a sustainable water finance expert with extensive experience in Texas on long-range water planning, infrastructure finance and water transactions. She also chaired the Austin Water Forward Task Force, which developed a groundbreaking 100-year water plan approved unanimously by the Austin City Council in 2018. She holds a BA in Physics and English from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Robert Stefani is an Environmental Program Coordinator at Austin Water. He has worked on numerous disparate projects, including auxiliary water and intergovernmental issues, over the last eight years as a member of Austin Water’s Conservation Division Research and Special Projects team. Robert received a Bachelor of Science in Geography, specializing in Resource and Environmental Studies, from Texas State University.
Jennifer Walker is Deputy Director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Texas Coast and Water Program. She has nearly two decades of experience focusing on water policy issues in Texas with an emphasis on water planning, water conservation and bay and estuary protection issues. Jennifer is Chair of Austin’s Water Forward Task Force and serves on the Water Conservation Advisory Council of Texas. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Water Efficiency and the Colorado River Alliance. Jennifer strives to work collaboratively and approach resource management challenges with a solution-oriented perspective. She has a BS in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology from the University of Texas at Austin.