Texas A&M University-Texarkana Hosted Public Symposium About the Future of Water in Texas

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txkTAMUT-waterSeptember 30, 2014 – The future of Texas water in the face of population growth is a controversial issue and one that Texas A&M University-Texarkana addressed in a symposium this afternoon in Eagle Hall at A&M-Texarkana campus.

The symposium, entitled The Future of Water in Texas, hosted five panelists who are experts on Texas water issues. The panelists discussed and debated a variety of issues regarding the state’s water resources.

Dr. Kenneth Banks addressed how population growth and urban development negatively impacts Lake Lewisville— a large reservoir that supplies much of the region’s water—unless growth is managed. Dallas-area Professional Geoscientist, Mr. James Brown, also discussed challenges caused by population growth, contending that the state must employ new technologies and management practices to ensure Texas does not become “water limited” in pursuing future growth and quality of life opportunities. Dr. Ken Kramer argued that surface water reservoir projects—such as the proposed Marvin Nichols reservoir—are not the most effective or efficient ways of meeting our water needs, and they carry tremendous social, economic, and environmental costs. Groundwater is the main concern of panelist Mr. Zachary Sugg, who maintains that the future arc of groundwater control and use will likely bend towards the demands of urban political economies.

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Panelist, Dr. Kati Stoddard, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science at A&M-Texarkana, talked about environmental health implications of pharmaceutical residues in the water and potential solutions to pharmaceutical environmental contamination.

A public question-and-answer session followed the panelists’ presentation of their talking points.

The symposium was the first event of A&M-Texarkana’s new thematic program and lecture series. The program’s theme for the 2014-2015 academic year is environmental issues. Other nationally-recognized speakers coming to A&M-Texarkana to present public lectures in Eagle Hall include:

  • Dr. Nick Norwood, Poet and Professor of English at Columbus State University, author of Ark-La-Tex-inspired poetry collection, Gravel and Hawk (October 6 at 6:30pm)
  • Brian Bond, Vice President of External Affairs for SWEPCO (October 7 at 12:00 p.m.) will give a talk on the EPA’s Clean Carbon Plan and how it will impact our energy future
  • Dr. Richard Primack, Boston University, author of Walden Warming: Climate Change Comes to Thoreau’s Woods (October 22, at 6:00 p.m.)
  • Will Allen, an urban farmer and author of the book The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities (November 12 at 7:00 p.m.)
  • Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch and author of Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America (February 24 at 7:00 p.m.)
  • Mark Hertsgaard, Journalist and author of Hot: Living through the Next Fifty Years on Earth (March 6 at 7:00 p.m.)
  • David Owen, staff writer for The New Yorker and author of The Conundrum: How Scientific Innovation, Increased Efficiency, and Good Intentions Can Make Our Energy and Climate Problems Worse (April 9 at 7:00 p.m.).

In addition, several of A&M-Texarkana’s faculty members are inviting the public to attend their lectures concerning environmental issues, and many have agreed to integrate the theme of environmental issues into their instruction. Students are creating academic posters concerning environmental issues and the university has established an essay contest for students writing on the theme. The goal is to create a community of learners by bringing students, faculty, and community together to discuss and debate a common theme. In this spirit, all of the program’s lectures and most of the events are open to the public. For more information, please contact Dr. Corrine Hinton at Corrine.hinton@tamut.edu (903 223-3124) or Dr. Michael Perri at Michael.perri@tamut.edu (903 223-3194).

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