Experts release recommendations on water sustainability in Texas

A diverse group of water and energy experts, known as the Texas Roundtable on Water, has published a set of recommendations “to ensure the security and sustainability of water resources for the long-term economic and social viability of Texas,” according to the group’s news release.

“These leaders have worked to find consensus solutions that they can advance in order to spur legislative leadership, state agency, water stakeholders and the general public to make sorely needed changes in our state’s public policy and regulatory practices,” the release stated.

Jon Comola, founder of the Wye River Group, said many people in Texas are working to find practical solutions to the state’s water challenges, “but they’ve traditionally worked in silos.”

Wye River Group is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that tackles challenging public policy issues such as water, health and health care.

Comola said the Texas Legislative leadership invited the Wye River Group “to bring these fragmented interests together, pool talent and resources and hammer out workable solutions.”

The roundtable includes 23 state water experts, including Ken Kramer with the Sierra Club; Weir Labatt, former member of the Texas Water Development Board; Wayne Klotz of Klotz Associates; Robert King of South-central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource; Carole Baker of the Texas Water Foundation; and Myron Hess of the National Wildlife Foundation.

“While the population in Texas continues to boom, the future water supply becomes more uncertain,” Weir said. “If consumption continues at the same pace, and we don’t come together to drastically change how we operate, our state will be in crisis mode before we know it.”

Comola said the recommendations are intended to be adopted at multiple levels across the state and include strategies that the group will tackle in the upcoming legislative session as well as strategies that can be adopted at the regional and local levels.

The group developed recommendations and an abbreviated summary.

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