Clearwater Underground Water Conservation District will be hosting its 17th Annual Bell County Water Symposium on November 15, 2017 beginning at 8:00 a.m. at Texas A&M Central Texas, 1001 Leadership Place, Killeen. Co-sponsors include Texas Well Owner Network, Lloyd Gosselink Attorneys at Law, HALFF Associates, LBG-Guyton & Associates, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Bell County Engineers Office, Bell County Commissioners Court, Baylor University Department of Geology and Texas A&M University Central Texas.

This year’s theme is: “Water Planning for Texas, Now or Never”

“The Reality for Current and Future Water Needs of Central Texas”

This year’s event will have two keynote addresses from key leaders in Texas. The first keynote address will be by Bech Bruun, Chairman of the Texas Water Development Board. Bruun has served as a Board member of the Texas Water Development Board since September 1, 2013. Governor Greg Abbott designated him chairman in June 2015.

Prior to his appointment to the Board, Bruun served on the senior staff of Governor Rick Perry’s administration. Bruun has also worked as the government and customer relations manager for the Brazos River Authority. During the 81st Legislative Session, Bruun served as chief of staff to State Representative Todd Hunter (District 32) and as general counsel to the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence.

Bruun currently is a gubernatorial appointee to the Western States Water Council and the Texas Environmental Flows Advisory Group. He also serves as an ex-officio member of the Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Council.

He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Austin and a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas.

The second key note address will be by Lyle Larson, Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Texas House of Representatives, District 122.  The Natural Resources Committee addresses most of the water related legislation by the Texas House of Representatives.

Rep. Larson served as San Antonio City Councilman, District 10 for 2 terms and as Bexar County Commissioner, Pct. 3 from 1997-2008. Chairman Larson currently chairs the House Natural Resources Committee; and is a member of the General Investigating and Ethics Committee, He has attained a reputation for being committed to working to secure Texas’s water future. Over the course of the last 6 years, he has traveled across the state to meet with individuals involved in water policy and planning. Since 2011, Rep. Larson has visited 49 groundwater conservation districts, 12 river authorities, all large public utilities, and several other municipalities and water districts.

Lyle Larson is a lifelong resident of the San Antonio area. Born and raised in northern Bexar County, he grew up helping his parents and four brothers and sisters on their family farm. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas A&M University in 1981.

According to the Texas Water Development Board, about 7.2 million acre-feet of water currently stored in surface water reservoirs evaporates in an average year. While surface reservoirs continue to feature prominently in the recently adopted 2017 state water plan, many consider ASR to have several advantages over reservoirs that justify its expanded use. In addition to resisting water loss through evaporation, ASR does not involve the acquisition and flooding of land above ground, which can be expensive and result in destruction of wildlife habitat and private property.

In 2015, the 84th Legislature enacted HB 655 by Lyle Larson, which resulted in several changes to the way ASR is regulated. The bill specified how ASR facilities must account for the water they inject and recover and the role of groundwater conservation districts in such projects.

For the record, CUWCD embraced this bill and believes that ASR is a critical strategy to help answer the regional question, “How can we meet the growing need for water in both Bell and Williamson Counties?” Growth in the entire IH35 corridor is eminent and water is limited.

This year’s program will also include presentations from the staff and executive directors of both the Texas Water Conservation Association and the Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts. Clearwater UWCD has been a proud member of both organizations since 2002.

In addition, the symposium will have speakers from Brazos River Authority, Clearwater UWCD, TexMesonet Weather Station program, Texas AgriLife Research Blackland Center, Texas A&M University and LBG-Guyton & Associates.  The topics and discussions will provide attendees insight into the challenges that local and regional leadership are faced with due to our growing population, cost of infrastructure, and demand on current water resources.

The water symposium is open to the public free of charge.

Please RSVP to the Clearwater Office at 254-933-0120 by November 9, 2017.

Pre-registering allows us to plan for the free noon meal and breaks.