Water Grand Challenges
Water Grand Challenges
Launched in 2012, the Water Grand Challenges Initiative brings together an influential and diverse group of stakeholders representing legislative, landowner, business, environmental and philanthropic interests to grapple with urgent issues outside the normal envelope of water policy makers.
Today, the Water Grand Challenges Initiative continues to convene to find creative solutions for both short-term and long-term challenges that inhibit the sustainability of Texas’ water resources for the future. The stakeholder group has identified six long-term water grand challenges for Texas, which include:
- Providing adequate and sustainable water supplies for all Texans, allowing a thriving future for the state
- Ensuring scientifically-sound environmental flows are equally prioritized within an enforceable regulatory framework
- Sustainably managing our surface water and groundwater resources to meet current and future needs while avoiding unacceptable impacts
- Investing in water resources to efficiently meet human and environmental needs
- Cultivating awareness and stewardship of our vulnerable water resources
- Ensuring all Texas waters are clean, healthy, and life-sustaining
These challenges constitute an ambitious set of long-term goals that can be advanced through short-term actions. Making progress on the six long-term water challenge goals requires patience, strategy and a multi-faceted approach. To advance our goals, the stakeholder group is developing theories of change for each challenge and identifying long-term goals as well as quantifiable next steps to advance each challenge.
Funding Land Conservation for Water Protection
The Water Grand Challenges stakeholder group held several meetings and hosted a broader meeting with key constituents in January 2017 to discuss the upcoming legislative session. As a result, the stakeholder group developed a policy brief with the Texas Agricultural Land Trust about funding land conservation for water protection. This brief was used to engage key decision-makers during the 85th legislative session.
Texas Water Issue Briefs
In 2013, the Water Grand Challenge Initiative created the following Water Issue Brief papers to provide information regarding important water conservation, education, and policy issues in Texas. The purpose of these briefs are to provide digestible, unbiased information about complex water issues in Texas to new legislators, decision‐makers and stakeholders interested in water resource issues.
Education & Outreach Papers
- National Water Conservation Websites
- Defining Environmental Literacy
- Formal Water Education in Texas
- Institutional Actors for Water in Texas
- Fracking 101
- Drought Policy and Contingency Planning
- Non-point Source Pollution and Watershed Management
- Flood and Emergency Management
- Coastal Water Management in Texas
- Groundwater - Surface Water Interactions
- Groundwater Rights in Texas
Economics of Water
Texas Water Plan
- Policy and Education Driven Water Conservation
- Surface Water Rights in Texas
- Water Reuse Options in Texas
- Agricultural Irrigation Conservation
- Habitat Conservation to Watershed Protection
Theories of Change for the Water Grand Challenges of Texas
This document reports the results of the development of theories of change for the six identified Water Grand Challenges. Theory of Change is a planning process that defines a long-term goal and then maps backward to identify changes and activities that need to happen earlier to achieve that goal.
Theories of Change for the Water Grand Challenges of Texas: 2019 Final Report (PDF)