Luncheons for February, 2012

The Politics & Future of Water in Texas

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Connoisseurs of Texas government disasters appear likely to have another fine viewing opportunity — the state water shortage. A January 29th Austin American-Statesman article reported:

*Projections show Texas needs $53 billion in improvements to prepare for predictable record droughts.

*The LCRA says water is “underpriced.”

*Even Republican State Senator John Corona says the State’s failure to fund Texas water needs has been a “dereliction of duty.”

*Water shortages threaten the state’s power grid — most current energy production uses water to cool power plants.

So … Texas soon may be broke, dry and dark. After Perry’s campaign, the rest of the nation may think that’s a well-deserved future. But the political, financial and lifestyle implications for us Texans are massive. It’s a lobbyist’s dream, of course — a scarce natural resource, huge financial interests at stake, competing industries and geographic regions. Who will win and who will lose? When will voters notice? Which candidates will run on water issues and how? Is secession still an option?

We have three of the foremost water experts in Texas to help us understand what all of this means for our State and our politics:


Tom Mason – former General Manager of LCRA; now a private attorney with Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody.

Andrew Sansom – Executive Director of the River Systems Institute and Research Professor of Geography at Texas State University-San Marcos.

Laura Huffman – Texas State Director, The Nature Conservancy.

Super-Spectacular Door Prizes:

1. Rick Perry, Why Spending $800,000 on The Governor’s Security Detail For An Incompetent, Bumbling Presidential Bid Was A Great Idea

2. Obama campaign stuff – 2012 editions

3. Red Wassenich, Something Before Nothing

New Reservation Policy Alert: Please note our new policy on canceling reservations.  As a result of recent last-minute cancellations and no-shows, we will have to start charging for persons who make a reservation but do not attend.  The Forum still has to pay for those lunches, and at times we’ve had to absorb over $150 in costs for non-attendees who made reservations.  We now offer the option to pay online in advance for your lunch.  If you cancel at least 24 hours before the meeting, there will be no charge.  We apologize for any inconvenience and we appreciate your cooperation.

Cost: Lunch is $15.00 for members, $20.00 for non-members

Parking: 816 Congress Avenue/IBC Bank parking garage. Enter the parking garage on 9th Street, between Colorado and Congress. Bring your ticket to the receptionist on the 7th floor and you will be given a coupon to use to exit the garage at no charge.

Reservation required: To reserve your seat, email or or call Chuck Herring or Judy Erben at 320-0665. Please tell us if you intend to bring a non-member guest and if you have any special dietary concerns. PLEASE MAKE RESERVATIONS BY 5:00 P.M. ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27. Seating to this event will be limited.

About the Forum: The Forum meets monthly for lunch to hear Democratic speakers. Membership is $120/yr. Non-members may attend, but members have priority and receive discount prices for lunches.