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Sustainable Urban Water Security: A Case Comparison of El Paso and San Antonio, Texas

Authors: Sydney Beckner*, Texas A&M University
Topics: Water Resources and Hydrology, Human-Environment Geography, Qualitative Methods
Keywords: urban water security, desalination, water reuse, Texas
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/9/2020
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual Track 3
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Urban cities are facing many challenges related to water supply, both in terms of quantity and quality. Desalination and water reuse technologies have emerged as a way to develop “new” supplies of water as well as clean and reuse existing supplies. In Texas, El Paso and San Antonio, have each incorporated brackish groundwater desalination and non-potable reuse into their water supply portfolios and El Paso is actively in the process of developing a pipe-to-pipe direct potable reuse system. Yet, it is unclear how the stakeholders in these cities perceive the sustainability and security of these technologies. To elicit stakeholder perspectives, this research used the Q-Method, a mixed-method approach allowing for the quantification of individual’s viewpoints. Participants sort subjective statements on the perceived sustainability and security provided by desalination and water reuse technologies to identify groups of similar or different perspectives. The findings of this study could create an open and inter-sectoral dialogue allowing an interdisciplinary set of stakeholders the ability to coordinate and collaborate regarding the best practices of managing, maintaining, and fostering a sustainable urban water portfolio.

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