Texas Tech University

Smith Named Program Director for New Texas Produced Water Consortium

George Watson

October 12, 2021

Rusty Smith

The consortium brings together experts in water and energy to study and develop new solutions for the use and management of produced water in Texas.

The Texas Produced Water Consortium (TxPWC), a coalition of experts from academia, industry and other organizations tasked with research and innovation of new methods for beneficial reuse of produced water in the state, has named Texas Tech University graduate Rusty Smith as its first program director.

With a background in public policy in the fields of natural resources, oil & gas and agriculture, Smith holds extensive experience in all aspects under the purview of the consortium, which was introduced to the Texas Legislature by state Sen. Charles Perry and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in June. Smith earned a bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University before earning his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Texas Tech.

Smith previously served as director for the Texas Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs, the senate committee with jurisdiction over all water issues facing the state, during the 85th Legislative Session. After the session ended, Smith was hired by the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association as their director of government and regulatory affairs, serving more than 3,000 member companies engaged in oil & gas production.

Smith most recently served as project manager for business recruitment and innovation for the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance (LEDA). He brings a unique blend of policy, industry, innovation and economic development experience to the TxPWC.

“After meeting with key stakeholders over the last few years, I developed a vision for future water supply where Texas can tap into a new water resource for beneficial use," said Perry, Chairman of the Texas Senate Committee on Water, Agriculture and Rural Affairs. “Senate Bill 601 creates the Texas Produced Water Consortium with a vision for industry to consult with academia and government agencies to address a major water issue facing Texas -- finding a more beneficial use for produced water beyond the current industry standards of reuse and injection. Rusty's background in policy and dedication to the future of water resources, along with his familiarity with the water code in our state, makes him an incredible asset. I'm excited to see how his leadership of the TxPWC will benefit generations of Texans to come.”

About the TxPWC

The Texas Produced Water Consortium was created in 2021 through Senate Bill 601 of the 87th Texas Legislative Session to bring together information resources to study the economics of, technology related to and environmental and public health considerations for beneficial uses of fluid oil and gas waste. For more information on the TxPWC and on becoming a member, visit the Texas Produced Water Consortium website or email txpwc@ttu.edu.