Texas Water Symposium Texas Water Symposium

The Texas Water Symposium provides perspectives from landowners, policy makers, scientists, water resource experts and regional leaders. Join us as we explore the complex issues and challenges in providing water for Texans in this century.  

Each session is free and open to the public. The hour-long program begins at 7:00 pm, followed by discussion time with Q&A. The events are recorded and aired on Texas Public Radio one week later.

Thursday, March 20, 2014
Doors open 6:30; Program 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Topic:  Pedernales: Challenges and Opportunities Facing an Iconic Hill Country River Basin
Hill Country University Center
2818 Highway 290 East
Fredericksburg, TX 78624

Water, essential for life, is our most precious and valuable natural resource. But water supply is limited and under increasing pressure from a growing population. How will we protect this resource and plan for a sustainable future? There is a great need for a water-literate public; decisions being made today have far reaching and long lasting effects for our children and future generations.

Moderator: Dr. Andrew Sansom, Director, Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, Texas State University

Tim Birdsong, Ecosystem/Habitat Assessment Chief, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Mark Steinbach, Executive Director, Texas Land Conservancy
Clinton Bailey, Director of Public Works and Utilities, City of Fredericksburg
Pam Mabry Bergman, Landowner and Hill Country Land Trust Board Member, Pedernales Basin
Howard Hicks, Landowner and Vice President of Public Affairs, Holt Cat

The Pedernales River runs 106 miles through Hill Country before eventually joining the Colorado River at Lake Travis. Its catchment area—the land that drains into the river—touches 8 counties and covers more than 800,000 acres.

The basin provides habitat for numerous fish and wildlife, supports agricultural, ranching and hunting pursuits, and contributes 23% of the flow into Lake Travis, providing a critical source of drinking water for downstream users such as the City of Austin.

How can we understand the economic, social and ecological value of such a diverse river, and how does the health of the river reflect land management decisions made in the far corners of its basin? What are the major threats to the water quality and quantity as the region sees steady population growth, land fragmentation and changing land uses?

Our panelists will discuss the challenges and opportunities facing this Hill Country resource and the work that is being done to protect it. Please join us!

The events are recorded and aired on Texas Public Radio one week later.The events are recorded and aired on Texas Public Radio one week later.

Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 7:00pm
Topic:  A Conversation about Private Property Rights and Water:  When should the government step in to protect water resources?
Schreiner University Campus, Kerrville
See press release

Sadly it has been documented that at least 63 historically significant Texas springs have completely ceased flowing. (Gunnar Brune’s Springs of Texas 1973).  As Texans grapple with water shortages and the expensive challenges ahead to provide water supply for growing populations, it is important to understand the nature and value of spring flow.  Spring flow is a barometer of underground water supply.  Springs provide what hydrologists call base flows, the water that feeds streams and rivers after runoff from rainfall ceases.  In order to protect these springs, it is essential that we care for land on a large landscape scale.   Conserved rural lands ensure healthy springs, rivers and aquifer systems which provide long-term drinking water supply for cities and towns downstream.  This is a unique opportunity to listen to Hill Country landowners’ stories and understand the connection between their stewardship efforts and our water supply.  It is not a coincidence that this program is being held the day before Kimble County’s annual public field trip to 700 Springs.  Join us!

The events are recorded and aired on Texas Public Radio one week later.The events are recorded and aired on Texas Public Radio one week later.