The US BCSD is inviting companies to participate in a scoping workshop to establish a Houston Texas Coast Water Synergy Platform. Such a platform would bring together regionally-based industries and other partners to address water-related challenges. This multi-sector collaboration would leverage the speed and efficiency of market-based institutions to seek out ways of converting water-related challenges into economic opportunities, and to develop a collective capacity for conserving watershed-based ecosystems that provide value to private and public-sector stakeholders. The planned workshop is to help validate the area interest, identify regional water challenges that lend themselves to collaborative solutions, and scope possible initial projects.
US BCSD launched a similar platform, the Louisiana Water Synergy Project (LWSP), in 2012; and for the past 7 years, has worked with 20+ diverse companies in the lower Mississippi River Basin to address a range of water supply, water quality, stormwater and coastal resiliency risks. For example, several members are working with several Louisiana state agencies to develop a framework and guidance towards the design of a Water Quality Trading framework to address water quality concerns. Others have explored new options for wetlands restoration through changes in water management. Projects and policy recommendations have emerged that are beneficial to member companies and their host communities and have been greeted with high interest by state and local agencies, academia, and NGOs. Visit https://usbcsd.org/water for more information on the LWSP.
The US BCSD's long-term goal of this work has always been replication of this highly successful model in other areas of the country. Although the members, projects, and themes will vary region-to-region; the concept, processes, and spirit of the Water Platform is transferable. The bringing together of industry members, in collaboration with other key stakeholders, in a cooperative and non-threatening forum to solve regional problems has great merit.
This general area is home to a significant industrial base, including a major portion of the US energy infrastructure, and include ports, terminals, and pipelines. As with Louisiana, coastal resilience problems introduce significant risk to this infrastructure. Hurricane Harvey demonstrated how easily a major storm can cripple this infrastructure. This concentration of key stakeholders coupled with regional-scale water challenges makes this area ideal for such a collaborative approach.
Several key companies and area groups have expressed interest in participating in the Houston Water Platform. These companies are willing to convene soon in a scoping workshop setting to help craft the scope, focus, and desired outcomes of the effort. As the region continues to recover from the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey, key stakeholders in the region are looking for opportunities to effectively and efficiently develop proactive resilience and disaster recovery solutions to be better prepared for the next storm.
Request an Invitation
December 11, 2019, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Baker Botts Houston Office
No cost for the workshop. Cost of continuing participation in 2020 and beyond will be shared.