Topic: Happy New Year to all and thank each of you for your continued support of the Water Efficiency Network. To start our new year off, we have not just one, but two experts who will share their knowledge with us on January 25th. The Greater Houston Galveston region is at a crossroads where communities must think about going beyond recovery. The growing region has been impacted by numerous flood, hurricane and drought events over the last decade and science tells us that the future will likely bring more of the same. As a major coastal metropolitan area in the US, how can the Greater Houston Galveston region transcend the traditional response and recovery cycle after such events and become more resilient to future events? A variety of resilience and adaptation strategies exist that include both gray and green infrastructure. Adoption of these strategies will require a new way of thinking, regional coordination on a number of levels and development of new mechanisms to fund regional resilience efforts. Paula and Lisa will also provide an overview of the Coastal Change section of the Galveston Bay Report Card (www.galvbaygrade.org) and the many variables, including water use, that are involved in determining the success of our adaptation efforts. Both of our guests speakers will also share their respective agency's most recent water conservation efforts, and address how water conservation efforts throughout the region affect our bay and its tributaries.
Featured Speakers: Lisa Gonzalez, President and Chief Executive Officer, Houston Advanced Research Center; and Paula Paciorek, Water Resources Manager, Galveston Bay Foundation.
About the Speakers:
- Lisa Gonzalez is President and Chief Executive Officer of Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC). She is responsible for the strategic direction of HARC and its research programs which are designed to facilitate the sustainable management of air, energy and water resources. In addition to leading HARC, Ms. Gonzalez is active in research focusing on the analysis and dissemination of data concerning the health and productivity of Texas Gulf Coast bays, estuaries and watersheds. Her expertise includes analysis of coastal monitoring data sets and the development of indicators and outreach products describing coastal fish and wildlife populations, invasive species, coastal habitats, water quality, freshwater inflows, seafood safety and climate change. She regularly manages and contributes to research projects, including the Galveston Bay Report Card.
- Paula Paciorek joined Galveston Bay Foundation in 2015. Paula works through the Texas Living Waters Project to increase public awareness of the importance of freshwater inflows to the health of Galveston Bay. She works to build a cadre of Houston-Galveston area citizens, organizations, businesses, and local governments to support and employ water conservation efforts to help ensure sufficient freshwater flows reach the Bay. Paula has experience in water management and policy, program development, stakeholder engagement and outreach. She received a B.S. in Psychology and a M.S. in Applied Geography with concentration in water resources management from the University of Louisville in 2010 and 2014, respectively. Paula's expertise is in water resources management, policy, outreach and program development.