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Contact

(979) 845-1532
bushschoolmosbacher@tamu.edu

The Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy

The Bush School of Government and Public Service

Texas A&M University
4220 TAMU
College Station, Texas 77843-4220


Contact

(979) 845-1532
bushschoolmosbacher@tamu.edu

The Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy

The Bush School of Government and Public Service

Texas A&M University
4220 TAMU
College Station, Texas 77843-4220

Rethinking Texas Water Policy text with a drop of water splashing in the background

Rethinking Texas Water Policy

April 5-6, 2018

The Bush School of Government & Public Service
Texas A&M University

This two-day conference on Rethinking Texas Water Policy will feature educational presentations on groundwater and surface water policy by government, industry, and academic experts.


Conference Objectives

Before assessing substantive regulatory change, one must understand all the issues relating to water policy—the legal, scientific, economic, and political complexities. Therefore, Rethinking Texas Water Policy is organized around these four complexities, with Day One focused on groundwater and Day Two focused on surface water and also on how groundwater and surface water can be better utilized conjunctively.

Given that the themes are educational, the speakers represent a balanced mix of academics and practitioners with the goal of involving key water policy legislators and their staffs.


Event Details

Conference Participants

Legislators, legislative staff, industry representatives, government representatives, faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and interested members of the general public.

The State Bar has approved this Program for MCLE Credit of 9.0 Hours (0.0 Ethics).

Dates

Thursday, April 5 - Friday, April 6, 2018

Location

Annenberg Presidential Conference Center
1002 George Bush Drive West
College Station, Texas 77843

Registration

  Fee before March 9, 2018 Fee as of March 9, 2018
One Day $100 $150
Two Days $150 $200

Lunches are included both days.

Register

Conference Registration Cancellation/Refund Policy:
Cancellation before March 9: 90% refund
Cancellation before March 30: 50% refund
Cancellation after March 30: no refund

Student Registration

A limited number of full scholarships are available for students and post-docs who apply before March 9, 2018. Awards will be announced in mid-March.

Bush School Student Registration TAMU Student Registration

Hotel Information

Cavalry Court: Group code RTWP379, Reserve at www.cavalrycourt.com or 866-842-0100, $139/night
The George: Group code RTWP946, Reserve at www.thegeorgetexas.com or 844-599-3871, $129/night
Prices are likely to increase after the March 9, 2018 deadline.

Conference Schedule

Thursday, April 5, 2018
Understanding the Complexities of Groundwater

Time Topic Panelists
7:30-8:45 a.m. Registration/Continental Breakfast
9:00-9:30 a.m. Welcome/Introduction &
Charge to the Conferees
Dr. James Griffin, Professor of Economics & Public Policy, Bush School, Texas A&M University

John Sharp, Chancellor, Texas A&M University System
9:30-10:45 a.m. Understanding the Legal Complexities Moderator: Ed McCarthy, Attorney, McCarthy & McCarthy, LLP

James Blacklock, Justice, Texas Supreme Court

Craig T. Enoch, former Justice, Texas Supreme Court

Jan P. Patterson, Justice in Residence, Baylor Law School and former Justice, Texas 3rd Court of Appeals
10:45-10:55 a.m. Break
10:55 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Understanding the Science:
Texas’ Major Aquifers & Hydrologic Characteristics
Moderator: Dr. John Tracy, Director, Texas Water Resources Institute, Texas A&M University

Larry French, Director, Groundwater Resources, Texas Water Development Board

Bob Harden, President, Harden Hydrology & Engineering

Greg Stanton, Associate Director for Science (Groundwater and Geophysics), Texas Water Science Center
12:15-1:15 p.m. Lunch – Texas Water History Dr. Charles Porter, Visiting Professor, St. Edward’s University
1:15-2:25 p.m. Understanding the Economics Moderator: Carlos Rubinstein, former Chairman of the Texas Water Development Board and former Commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Dr. James Griffin, Professor of Economics & Public Policy, Bush School, Texas A&M University

Dr. Ryan Williams, Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics, Texas Tech University
2:25-2:35 p.m. Break
2:35-3:45 p.m. Limitations on Sharing the Resource Moderator: Marc Rodriguez, Government Relations Consultant, Offices of Marc A. Rodriguez

John Durand, President & COO, WaterBridge Resources LLC and Chair, Water Subcommittee, Texas Alliance of Energy Producers

Jon Hockenyos, President, TXP, Inc.

Kathleen Jackson, Texas Water Development Board

Sarah Rountree Schlessinger, Executive Director, Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts
3:45-3:55 p.m. Break
3:55-5:05 p.m. Understanding the Political Constraints Moderator: Dr. Ron Kaiser, Professor, Water Law & Management, Texas A&M University

Sen. Buster Brown, former Texas State Senator and former Chair of Senate Natural Resources Committee

Rep. Tracy King, Member, Texas House Natural Resources Committee

Rep. Four Price, Member, Texas House Natural Resources Committee
5:05-6:00 p.m. Reception

Friday, April 6, 2018
Understanding the Complexities of Surface Water

Time Topic Panelists
7:45-8:45 a.m. Registration/Continental Breakfast
9:00-9:20 a.m. Welcome/Introduction
Perspectives from the Governor’s Office
Dr. Lori Taylor, Director, Mosbacher Institute for Trade Economics and Public Policy, Professor of Economics & Public Policy, Bush School, Texas A&M University

Sen. Tommy Williams, Senior Advisor for Fiscal Matters, Office of the Governor, and former Texas State Senator
9:20-10:35 a.m. Understanding the Legal Complexities Moderator: Dr. Todd Votteler, Editor-in-Chief, Texas Water Journal and former Director, Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust

Toby Baker, Commissioner, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Doug Caroom, Partner, Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta LLP

Kevin Ward, General Manager, Trinity River Authority of Texas
10:35-10:45 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Understanding the Science Moderator: Dr. Robert Brandes, Robert J. Brandes Consulting

Dr. William Espey, Director, Water Resources, LJA Engineering, Inc.

Dr. Larry McKinney, Executive Director, Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Dr. Ralph Wurbs, Senior Professor, Zachry Department of Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University
12:00-1:00 p.m. Lunch – Legal Impediments to Conjunctive Water Use: Experience from other States Dr. Burke Griggs, Associate Professor of Law, Washburn University School of Law
1:00-2:20 p.m. Understanding The Economics Moderator: Gabe Collins, Baker Institute, Rice University

Sharlene Leurig, Project Director, Texas Environmental Flows Initiative, Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, Texas State University

Carlos Rubinstein, former Chairman of the Texas Water Development Board and former Commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Maria Vaca, 2017 Bush School Graduate and Capstone Participant, Surface Water Regulation in Texas: Problems and Solutions
2:20-2:35 p.m. Break
2:35-4:00 Understanding the Politics Moderator: Toby Baker, Commissioner, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Rep. Poncho Nevárez, , Member, Texas House Natural Resources Committee

Rep. Dade Phelan, Vice Chair, Texas House Natural Resources Committee
4:00-4:20 Closing Perspective – Where we go from here? Glenn Hegar, Comptroller, State of Texas

Conference Topics

Day One: Understanding the Complexities of Groundwater

Understanding the Legal Complexities:
  • Vestiges of the Rule of Capture
  • The Day Decision & takings lawsuits
  • Correlative rights and the future impact of oil and gas law
Understanding the Science:
  • Texas’ major aquifers and their hydrogeologic characteristics
  • The physics of aquifer drawdown and the relationship between declining artesian pressure and remaining aquifer storage
  • Issues of subsidence and incursion of lower quality water
Understanding the Economics:
  • Optimal depletion of non-renewable and quasi-non-renewable resources
  • Inefficiencies of Rule of Capture and the existing GCD regulatory apparatus
  • Sharing the resource: regional and state planning
  • Infrastructure limitations
Understanding the Politics:
  • Sustainable resource use—being good stewards to future generations
  • Protecting water for local use
  • Protecting historical users’ rights

Day Two: Understanding the Complexities of Surface Water

Understanding the Legal Complexities:
  • Prior Appropriation Doctrine
  • River Authorities
  • Water Masters
  • TCEQ legal obligations & limits
Understanding the Science:
  • Ground/surface interactions
  • East vs West Texas water availability
  • Maintaining minimal stream flow for environmental reasons
  • Managing return flows, their magnitude and requirements for quality
Understanding the Economics:
  • Using water pricing as a conservation method
  • Water markets—benefits and impediments
Understanding the Politics:
  • TCEQ difficulty in changing points of diversion
  • Regional conflicts preventing water from moving east to west
  • Limited acceptance of Water Masters
  • Lengthy approval process for new dam construction

Hosts

Bush School logo
Mosbacher Institute logo


Sponsors


Locke Lord LLP, Attorneys & Counselors
McCarthy and McCarthy
Sprouse Shrader Smith


Texas Association of Groundwater Owners and Producers (TAGOP)
Bleyl Engineering
Metropolitan Water Company, L.P.


Woodland Oaks Utility Logo
QUADVEST

Cliff A. Skiles, Jr., DVM


Contact

Cindy Gause
Program Coordinator, Mosbacher Institute
Mosbacher Institute
cgause@tamu.edu
(979) 862-8832

Contact

(979) 845-1532
bushschoolmosbacher@tamu.edu

The Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy

The Bush School of Government and Public Service

Texas A&M University
4220 TAMU
College Station, Texas 77843-4220


Contact

(979) 845-1532
bushschoolmosbacher@tamu.edu

The Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy

The Bush School of Government and Public Service

Texas A&M University
4220 TAMU
College Station, Texas 77843-4220


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