This issue of Municipal Water Leader magazine focuses on Texas and its unique leadership and dedication to solving water challenges. Texas is a place where politics and exceptional Southern manners are ingrained in the culture. Yet, there is a oneness of thought that generally prevails in water resources management. This is not to say Texas has less division on the use of water than other states; it may have more. However, Texas does a great job of producing leaders who are problem solvers. Fighting, especially over water, is an easy thing to do; putting together a water agreement where everybody wins is difficult. Leaders who can transcend fighting and find long-term solutions tend to be exceptionally good with people and have bigger-than-life personalities. Kevin Ward, general manager of Trinity River Authority, is a great example of such a water leader in Texas. High energy, exceptionally knowledgeable, and unstoppable are all hallmarks of Kevin’s personality. In his interview, his dedication and persistence to overcoming challenges is clear. Dean Robbins, general manager of the Texas Water Conservation Association (TWCA) knows everyone involved in water in Texas. He is exceptionally skilled in his ability to bring folks together. Although Dean did not mention it in his interview, his 70-plusmember TWCA board meetings last only one hour. Such efficiency is only possible with tremendous behind-thescenes leadership. Bech Bruun, chairman of the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), is a highly intelligent individual with a big job. Bech discusses the TWDB; the 2017 Texas State Water Plan; and the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas, or SWIFT, a low-interest loan program for addressing the state’s water needs based on a 50-year planning horizon. Bech does a great job of explaining how the TWDB is investing in water projects now to meet an estimated need of $63 billion in capital investment by 2070.
We hope you enjoy reading about these three Texas water leaders in addition to the other articles in this issue of the Municipal Water Leader magazine and find something that is helpful to you and your water district or agency.
Kris Polly is editor-in-chief of Municipal Water Leader and Irrigation Leader magazines. He is also president of Water Strategies LLC, a government relations, marketing, and publishing company he began in February 2009 for the purpose of representing and guiding water, power, and agricultural entities in their dealings with Congress, the Bureau of Reclamation, and other federal government agencies. He may be contacted at Kris.Polly@wateretrategies.com