Water for Texas 2017 Inspires Innovative Thinking and Water Solutions
AUSTIN, TX More than 550 attendees, speakers, and sponsors attended the Water for Texas 2017 conference, hosted by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) in Austin, Texas. Themed as "Innovation at Work," the conference featured panels, presentations, and demonstrations aimed at water professionals and enthusiasts from around the state.
"Ensuring sufficient water supply for our future requires thoughtful planning and implementation of innovative solutions throughout the state," said TWDB Chairman Bech Bruun. "Water for Texas 2017 brought together an array of experts who play a part in this important issue, and thanks to their participation and dedication, the event was an overwhelming success."
The conference featured remarks by several well-known professionals and legislators, including Lieutenant Governor of Texas Dan Patrick; Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar; International Space Station Commander Dr. Leroy Chiao; and Roy Spence, co-founder and Chairman of GSD&M and co-founder and CEO of the Purpose Institute. In front of a packed room, a legislative panel featuring Senator Charles Perry, Representative Eddie Lucio III, and Representative Lyle Larson and moderated by Texas Tribune Co-Founder Evan Smith discussed water policy challenges and solutions and the need for innovation.
Three projects in particular that exemplify innovative thinking in the areas of conservation, education, and technology were honored as the winners of the first-ever Innovative Water Supply Awards at the awards banquet. The city of Lago Vista, Texas, was named the winner of the Conservation category; Texas A&M AgriLife Research's Water University received the award in the Education category; and Enviro Water Minerals and NorrisLeal's El Paso Full Recovery Desalination Project was named the winner in the Technology category.
Also recognized at the banquet was the Leadership Montgomery County Class of 2014, recipient of the All-Star Rain Catcher Award for its Harvesting the Rain Project. The All-Star Rain Catcher Award celebrates 10 years of the TWDB's Rain Catcher rainwater harvesting competition and recognition program.
Attendees were invited to participate in several breakout sessions, all of which fell within the tracks of Emergency Management and Flood; Science, Technology, and Conservation; Planning and Infrastructure Financing; and Policy and Law. TWDB staff hosted several sessions and demonstrations and highlighted programs and technology available through the agency. Between sessions, attendees were encouraged to visit the exhibit booths and TWDB Interactive Room hosted by the TWDB's Texas Natural Resources Information System (TNRIS).