The Texas Groundwater Summit started in 2012 with 175 attendees at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Austin, and it has now become the premier groundwater event in the state. Each year since then, the Summit has grown to include more groundwater managers, consultants, attorneys, scientists, and water advocates than ever before. After the first year, the Summit was held at the Embassy Suites San Marcos Conference Center, and then with attendance exceeding 350, the Texas Groundwater Summit was moved to a larger venue in 2018 – the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort in San Antonio. After the COVID-19 pandemic forced us online for the 2020 conference, TAGD was thrilled to celebrate the Texas Groundwater Summit’s 10th birthday with our friends this year! See below for some highlights from an amazing decade.

The Beginning of the Texas Groundwater Summit…


The Summit is a great example of the Texas groundwater community, where managers, researchers, and users routinely come together for a shared goal – to support balanced and data-driven groundwater management in this state. I am proud to have played a small part in starting this event with the TAGD board of directors, who recognized the benefit of engaging all stakeholders and encouraging robust conversations around groundwater. As the only groundwater-specific conference in the state, the Summit is an important tool given the constantly evolving law and increased pressure on Texas aquifers. It has been fun to watch the event grow in size and prominence under Sarah Schlessinger and Leah Martinsson, and I still very much enjoy participating as an attendee!

Stacey Steinbach, 2011-2015 TAGD Executive Director


“We wanted to get the TAGD message and the GCD message out to everybody – other districts, utilities, consultants, and the public. The Summit started small but we knew it was something we wanted to continue. Now look at it!”

Janet Adams, Jeff Davis County UWCD, Founding Conference Planning Committee Member


TAGD leadership saw a need and desire to establish an avenue to spark and hone discussions about the groundwater world and how it evolves in Texas by those charged with its planning and management. The organization has made the conscious decision and devotion to presenting all facets of a topic to enhance the many viewpoints at the groundwater table. Each and every Summit has grown and evolved from the previous year as we continue to incorporate ideas and perspectives to an ever growing audience.

Zach Holland, Bluebonnet GCD, Founding Conference Planning Committee Member

In 10 Years of the Texas Groundwater Summit…

18 Legislators Participating:

Former Sen. Kip Averitt
Rep. Rhetta Bowers
Rep. John Cyrier
Sen. Sarah Eckhardt
Former Sen. Troy Fraser
Rep. Cody Harris
Former Rep. Jason Isaac
Former Rep. Jim Keffer
Rep. Tracy King
Rep. Lyle Larson
Rep. Eddie Lucio III
Former Rep. Doug Miller
Rep. Andrew Murr
Former Rep. Poncho Nevarez
Sen. Charles Perry
Former Sen. José Rodriguez
Rep. Drew Springer
Rep. Paul Workman

67 Panel Discussions, Including:

The Future is Now: Enforcing DFCs

Groundwater Ownership Perspectives

Finding Meaning in the Numbers: Groundwater Data

GAMs, the Next Generation

Lessons Learned: Accountbility and the Petition for Review Process

Produced Water as Water Supply

Legislative Lowdown: Brackish Groundwater Roundtable

Water Valuation & Water Markets

Groundwater Curtailments: Emergency Response & Long-Term Planning

Conservation & Stewardship in Texas Groundwater

Investing in Groundwater’s Future

Groundwater in the Media

100 Year Anniversary of the 1917 Conservation Amendment

Groundwater Transactions

Emerging Management Alternatives in Texas: Brackish Desalination & ASR

Optimizing the Edwards Aquifer

The Role of Modeled Available Groundwater in Local Regulation & State Planning

Over 150 Breakout Session Topics, Including:

The Joy of Dyeing

Calculating Recoverability in ASR Projects

Groundwater Data Analysis and Visualization – Understanding & Communicating the Status of Your Aquifers

The Nuts & Bolts of Chapter 36

A Path Forward for Sustainable Crop Production on the Texas High Plains

Aquatic Systems & the Endangered Species Act

Underground Disposal Wells and Water Quality Considerations for GCDs

Innovation Software for Permit, Inspections, and Production Reporting

The Why & How of Water Communications

Board Governance

Use of Coupled Surface Water/Groundwater Models in Managing Water Resources

FAQs on the Public Information Act & Open Meetings Act

GCD and County Tools for Addressing Growth

ArcGIS Mapping

Personnel & Employment Policies for GCDs

Using Your Data Efficiently & Effectively

382 people attended the 2021 Texas Groundwater Summit – the highest number ever! Longtime attendees were recognized with special buttons to wear if they have attended seven or more Summits, including 36 with “Perfect Attendance” who have attended every Texas Groundwater Summit. In true Texas Groundwater Summit fashion, attendees participated in meaningful dialogues about the challenges facing groundwater management throughout the state. From thought-provoking panel discussions to high-level technical sessions to inspiring keynote addresses, the 10th Annual Texas Groundwater Summit was the best year yet… until next year! Were you not able to make it? You can view all of the presentations here on the TAGD YouTube channel. Make sure you’re on our newsletter list so you’ll be the first to get information about next year’s event.

Thanks to all of our speakers, sponsors, and attendees for an unforgettable ten years!

[A special prize for those who read through to the end – click here to view the photo gallery from the photobooth at this year’s Summit! 🤣 ]