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Bridging the Texas Water Gap: A Holistic Spatial Water-Energy-Food Nexus Approach With Localized Solutions

September 22, 2016
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

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Dr. Rabi H. Mohtar
Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering & Department of Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University



The 2017 Texas Water Development Board’s State Water Plan predicts that Texas will suffer a 41% water gap by the year 2070. The tight interconnections between water, energy, and food systems, requires that assessment of projected trends and impacts of possible interventions to bridge the water gap be holistic and aim to capture the interconnections of all three, tightly interlinked, resource systems. The first assessment highlights water-food competition in the Lubbock area, through fully treating waste water coming from the city, and encouraging dryland agriculture. The second case explores the potential and the feasibility of implementing Low Impact Developments (LIDs) for agriculture in the city of San Antonio. The third case focuses on water-energy interrelations in the Eagle Ford Shale region. It quantifies the impact of the number of oil and gas wells, and of climate and population change on water savings within the region. We conclude that the growing water gap is a state wide problem; but successfully addressing the problem requires holistic assessments that offer localized solutions. Such assessments will allow a scientific, data driven understanding of the trade-offs associated with each prescribed solution and thereby, will enable policy recommendations specific to each hotspot and its needs and priorities.


Rabi Mohtar, TEES Endowed Professor, Texas A&M University. Dr. Mohtar founded Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, was the inaugural Director of Purdue Global Engineering Programs, and cofounder of Purdue Division of Environmental and Ecological Engineering. Mohtar’s research addresses the development and application of the Water-Energy- Food Nexus framework linking science to policy. He leads a research group on non-traditional water use and the Texas A&M University Water – Energy – Food Nexus Initiative. Professor Mohtar served on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Councils on Water Security and on Climate Change. He is a past governor of the World Water Council and currently serves on the Council Advisory Board. Mohtar is the 2015 recipient of the Ven Te Chow Memorial Award of the International Water Resources association.


Dr. Francisco Olivera: folivera@civil.tamu.edu


September 22, 2016
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


O&M Building, Room 110