UTSA hosts pair of meetings addressing water planning

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(Feb. 3, 2014) -- UTSA invites the public to attend a pair of events on water planning.

>> On Thursday, Feb. 6, UTSA and the San Antonio Express-News will host "Planning for San Antonio's Water Future," a town hall meeting from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Buena Vista Street Building Aula Canaria (1.328) on the UTSA Downtown Campus.

Water has long been a critical issue for San Antonio. Two decades ago, the city relied almost exclusively on the Edwards Aquifer for drinking water, but a lawsuit under the Endangered Species Act forced San Antonio to diversify its water resources and live through water restrictions. Today, water remains a heavily debated topic.

At the Feb. 6 town hall, opening remarks will be provided by Francine Romero, UTSA associate dean of faculty in the College of Public Policy. A panel will be moderated by Bruce Davidson, San Antonio Express-News editorial page editor. Discussion will focus on what San Antonio can and should do to address future water needs.

Panelists will include:

  • Robert Puente, SAWS general manager, president and CEO
  • State Rep. Lyle Larson, Bexar County legislative delegation's water expert
  • Juan Gomez, deputy director and associate professor of research in the Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute at UTSA

>> On Monday, Feb. 10, the UTSA College of Public Policy will host an exclusive screening of "Water Blues Green Solutions" from 5:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. in the Durango Building Southwest Room (1.124) on the UTSA Downtown Campus. UTSA will present the screening in partnership with SAWS, the San Antonio River Authority, the Edwards Aquifer Authority and Penn State Media.

The one-hour documentary produced by Penn State Media details the stories of four communities across the United States including San Antonio that are working to create green solutions for the water problems in their cities. San Antonio is highlighted for its attempts to conserve, reuse and protect the Edwards Aquifer.

Following the documentary, the College of Public Policy will host a panel discussion that includes:

  • Robert R. Puente, SAWS general Manger, President and CEO
  • Roland Ruiz, Edwards Aquifer Authority general manager
  • Suzanne Scott, San Antonio River Authority general manager
  • J. Allen Carnes, mayor of Uvalde, Texas

The film's producer, Frank Christopher, an Academy Award nominee and six-time Emmy Award winner will moderate the panel.

Free parking for both UTSA events is available in lot D-3 beneath Interstate 35.

To RSVP for the Feb. 6 event, email the San Antonio Express-News at letters@express-news.net. To RSVP for the Feb. 10 event, contact Erin Jines, UTSA College of Public Policy at erin.jines@utsa.edu or 210-458-3213.

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About UTSA

The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is an emerging Tier One research institution specializing in health, energy, security, sustainability, and human and social development. With nearly 29,000 students, it is the largest university in the San Antonio metropolitan region. UTSA advances knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service.

The university embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property -- for Texas, the nation and the world.