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Internal Water Summit Brings Together Faculty, Research Resources

Texas Tech is developing a Water, Energy, and Natural Resources Innovation and Research Cluster.

Written by Rachel Pierce

The multidiscipline initiative will focus research on improving water, energy, natural resources and agricultural sustainability.

The multidiscipline initiative will focus research on improving water, energy, natural resources and agricultural sustainability.

To answer the increasing complexity of water resources issues, Texas Tech is in the early stages of developing a Water, Energy, and Natural Resources Innovation and Research Cluster.

A water summit is set for 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Wednesday in the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center. The summit is the first step in creating a multidiscipline initiative with a focus on research at improving water, energy, natural resources and agricultural sustainability by providing science-based information and technology using a systems-based transdisciplinary approach.

“Water resource problems increase in complexity. The present state of having uncoordinated and mission-driven water resources agendas within and between agencies, within and between research components of universities, and within and between companies and industries in the private sector will have to change to surmount future water problems and address the many and complicated water supply and water demand solutions proposed in the 2012 State Water Plan,” said Tom Arsuffi, director of Texas Tech’s Llano River Field Station and member of the Texas Tech Water Leadership Council.

The water summit will feature two sessions of working group discussions. The morning sessions will focus on water and agriculture, water and energy, and water and municipalities. The afternoon session will address a wider range of topics, including aquatic ecosystems, surface and groundwater modeling, crop choice innovations, and municipal water conservation.

Dan Hardin, director of the water resource planning division of the Texas Water Development Board, and Mark Ellison, an adviser to the Emerging Technology Fund, will serve as the water summit’s two keynote speakers.

“Texas Tech University is uniquely poised to help solve the technological, scientific, economic, management and policy questions and issues associated with the State Water Plan through strategic, integrated university components working alongside the private sector and state agencies,” Arsuffi said.

Subsequent meetings of the Water, Energy, and Natural Resources Innovation and Research Cluster will include outside stakeholders and agencies and will match water, energy and natural resources strategic response teams with funding and grant opportunities.

This internal summit is hosted by the Texas Tech Water Leadership Council and the Office of the Vice President for Research. For more information, to RSVP and for the water researcher survey, please go to: http://www.depts.ttu.edu/vpr/RDT/watersummit/

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