The Barstow Speaker Series

For eleven years, the Colorado River Alliance’s Barstow Speaker Series has hosted energetic and important conversations about water issues and the future of the Texas Colorado River. In a Barstow event, a recognized speaker or group of panelists shares information about a current issue, followed by a candid question-and-answer session with guests. Guests typically include water leaders, policymakers, academics, and representatives of the business, conservation, and philanthropic communities.

Upcoming Barstow Speaker Series event:


Recent Barstow Speaker Series events:

Water conversation with Lyle Larson

On Monday, October 1st, the Alliance for a lunchtime conversation that features State Representative Lyle Larson, Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee and Dr. Andrew Sansom, Executive Director of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University. Larson discussed pressing water issues that the Texas Legislature would be tackling during session, and what the impacts for communities along the Texas Colorado River would be.

As Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, Representative Lyle Larson has one of the most important water voices in Texas. Since his election to the House in 2010, Chairman Larson has crisscrossed the state, meeting with groundwater conservation districts, river authorities, public utilities, local communities, and more. As the 86th Legislative Session approaches, the Natural Resources Committee’s interim charges include flood resiliency, groundwater management, land protection, and other issues of critical importance to long-term vitality of the Texas Colorado River and the many communities that depend on it.

A big THANK YOU goes out to our program sponsors, Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta, CenterPoint Energy, and Environmental Stewardship, with additional support from HDR and The LINE Austin. The Barstow Foundation and The Trull Foundation are generous supporters of the Barstow Speaker Series events in 2018.

Zebra Mussels in the Texas Colorado River: Status, Threats, and Potential Solutions

On Friday, June 15th, the Colorado River Alliance welcomed expert speakers to discuss some very unwelcome new arrivals in the Colorado River — invasive zebra mussels. These highly destructive and prolific critters were first confirmed in our river last summer, and now they’re in Lake Travis, Lake Austin, and Lady Bird Lake.

The discussion will included what zebra mussels are and how they got here, the economic and environmental threats they pose, what boat owners and lakefront-property owners need to know, the latest updates on where they’ve been found, and how new tech tools may help us monitor zebra mussels and potentially even control their spread.

Speakers included Monica McGarrity, Aquatic Invasive Species Team Leader for Texas Parks & Wildlife; Stephen Davis, the LCRA biologist who leads monitoring efforts across the Colorado River basin; and John Higley, CEO and Principal Scientist at Environmental Quality Operations (EQO), a start-up that is developing new technologies to help us address the zebra mussel challenge.

Of Eels & Oysters: The Amazing Ecosystems of the Colorado River and Matagorda Bay

On Monday, March 5, 2018, the Colorado River Alliance dove into the ecosystems that make our Texas Colorado River unique. This luncheon discussion was held at the Austin Board of Realtors headquarters and streamed live. Speakers included Dr. Dean Hendrickson, Curator of the University of Texas Fish Collections, and Director of the Fishes of Texas Project, along with Leslie Hartman, Matagorda Bay Ecosystem Leader from Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Discussions touched on imperiled fish species, the life cycle of eels, the changing ecology of the river, and how flows from the Colorado River support coastal creatures and our state’s economy.

Click here for an archive of the luncheon’s presentation, via our Facebook Live video. (You don’t need a Facebook account to see it.)

To see some great photos of the event and the attendees, click here.

A big THANK YOU goes out to our partner for this event, the Austin Board of Realtors, along with program sponsors Dan & Paula Herd, The Barstow Foundation, The Trull Foundation, Terry McDaniel & Company, and Jim & Katie Kaighin. The event was also supported by the Shield Ranch Foundation and HDR.

Groundwater and the Colorado River

October 2017’s Barstow Speaker Series, “Groundwater and the Colorado River,” was one for the books. Carlos Rubinstein, Principal, RSAH2O and former Chair of the Texas Water Development Board, led a panel of experts on discussions centered around innovative research from Texas State University’s Meadows Center for Water and the Environment. The panelists were Greg Meszaros, Director of Austin Water, Representative Tracy King, Meredith Miller, Director of Sinkin Eco Centro, and Sarah Schlessinger, Executive Director of the Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts.

If you weren’t able to catch the discussion, you can find the Facebook Live video on our Facebook page here. (Note that you don’t have to have a Facebook account to watch the video.)

Thanks to our sponsors, Dan and Paula Herd, Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta LLP, the Shield Ranch Foundation and their El Ranchito program, Terry McDaniel & Company Investment Counsel, Vinson and Elkins LLP, Winstead PC, and the Barstow Foundation.

Texas Water Legislative Preview

On January 25th, 2017, State Representatives Jim Keffer and Paul Workman highlighted upcoming challenges and strategies in the future of water legislation in Texas. The Colorado River Alliance, in partnership with the Austin Board of Realtors, hosted this panel discussion based around the 85th session of the Texas legislature. The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment’s Dr. Andrew Sansom led the Representatives through topics including groundwater management, desalination, state and regional water planning, water rights throughout the basin, and more.

The event was also live-streamed so people across the entire Colorado River basin could tune in. Watch parties gathered in San Angelo, Bay City, and Bastrop to watch and interact with live questions.

Thanks to our sponsors who made this event possible: Terry McDaniel & Company, Investment Counsel, Texas Gas Service, CTA Architects Engineers, and the Barstow Foundation.

Weren’t able to make the event, but interested in hearing what they had to say? You can view the archived video below, thanks to the Austin Board of Realtors.