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Water, Energy & Natural Resources Innovation & Research Cluster launches

Water, Energy & Natural Resources Innovation & Research Cluster launches

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. As part of that effort, an internal water summit was held Wednesday (July 11) at the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center.

Texas Tech’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) was represented, in part, by members of its CASNR Water Center. The center was established to coordinate and foster research and outreach activities related to water resources within CASNR and to coordinate and cooperate with other units, both on campus and off campus, with related interests.

“The center functions in collaboration with the college’s academic departments – each having some specialized focus as related to water resources – to provide environmental, agricultural, hydrological, legal, societal, and economic impact assessments of water use and conservation practices,” said Jeff Johnson, the center’s associate director and an associate professor with Tech’s Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.

Wednesday’s internal water summit was 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.

Morning sessions focused on water and agriculture, water and energy, and water and municipalities. In the afternoon sessions, working groups discussed strategies to address the needs identified in the morning sessions.

“Water resource problems increase in complexity,” said Tom Arsuffi, director of Tech’s Llano River Field Station and member of the Texas Tech Water Leadership Council. 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, he said.

Written by Norman Martin

CONTACT: Jeff Johnson, Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2852 or jeff.johnson@ttu.edu

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