On November 15, Water Finance Exchange (WFX) and RSAH2O hosted, Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Opportunities in Texas, a workshop in San Antonio with Texas public and private water sector leaders to discuss new funding and investments for water and wastewater infrastructure, technical assistance needs and support structures for communities, and sustainable solutions that meet communities’ economic, public health, and environmental needs.
Speakers included leaders from Texas agencies and non-profits such as the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Texas Water Foundation, Texas Water Trade, Texas 2036, and Texas Rural Water, as well as representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the North American Development Bank, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Texas State Senator José Menéndez and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg provided opening remarks to the workshop, which included keynote addresses from Chairwoman Brooke T. Paup of the TWDB, Senior Council Morgan Johnson of TCEQ, and Commissioner Maria-Elena Giner of the International Boundary and Water Commission. Robert R. Puente, President/CEO of the San Antonio Water System (SAWS), provided the keynote presentation on the water conservation and community support success of the SAWS.
The workshop brought together water sector leaders, communities seeking to address sustainable water management needs, and public officials. More than 70 leaders across the state attended the workshop, including representatives from more than 12 small, rural, and underserved communities.
TWDB Chairwoman Paup issued a call for greater collaboration amongst technical assistance providers to increase support to communities seeking funding for water infrastructure. This message was reiterated throughout the workshop as federal and state agencies work to address the multitude of challenges that communities face.
WFX’s workshop convenings build strong relationships with state agencies, water sector leaders, and communities, as well as establish a pipeline of communities in need. WFX believes the Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Opportunities in Texas workshop will continue to catalyze collaboration and action in Texas.
WFX and RSAH2O believe that water infrastructure is about more than pipes and pumps. Instead, it serves as a catalyst for regional economic growth and ensures public health. Sustainable, affordable water infrastructure is a gateway to economic development in communities throughout Texas.
WFX and RSAH2O are committed to serving small, rural, and underserved communities across Texas. WFX will deploy its Texas-focused revolving Pre-Development Fund, partnering with communities to achieve successfully financed projects while working with technical assistance providers to provide comprehensive support.
In the coming weeks, WFX will be publishing a post-meeting report that will include learnings and recommendations from the conference, as well as a call to action for a collaborative path forward.