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Water Institute of Texas symposium at UTSA explores long-term issues, solutions
(Oct. 4, 2013) -- The Water Institute of Texas (WIT) brought local, state and national experts to the UTSA Downtown Campus today for a daylong symposium to share insight into Texas' primary water issues: long-term water availability and water regulation. It is the first public event hosted by WIT since it was launched in 2012.
According to Tom Papagiannakis, WIT interim director and Robert F. McDermontt Professor and Chair of the UTSA Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, "We have brought in experts from across the country to discuss the state of the art in water science and how to apply these principles in everyday life. New technology can predict floods and give us an overview of how to control our water. Technology is very important in helping us determine how much water we have and how to better manage it. Technology can give us solutions."
UTSA environmental science doctoral student Sepehr Rezaeimalek said, "As a Ph.D. student, I am going to work on numerical simulations and seeing how some of these well-known people are doing their simulations. Their approach was quite impressive. Overall, in a nutshell, I found the presentations very helpful and useful."
Speakers at the symposium included Mauli Agrawal, interim UTSA vice president for research, and Kevin Wolff, Bexar County commissioner.
Soroosh Sorooshian, director of the Center for Hydrometeorology and Remote Sensing and Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine, provided the keynote presentation on long-term water availability. Other experts addressed the same topic including David Maidment, Hussein M. Alharthy Centennial Chair in Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin; Dan Hardin of the Texas Water Development Board; and Alan Dutton, WIT assistant director and chair of the UTSA Department of Geological Sciences.
Robert Gulley, executive director of the Habitat Conservation Program at the Edwards Aquifer Authority, provided a keynote presentation on the water regulatory environment. Additional experts speaking on this theme included Robert Puente, CEO of the San Antonio Water System; Suzanne Scott, general manager of the San Antonio River Authority; and Francine Romero, associate dean of the UTSA College of Public Policy.