Prof. Eckstein Appointed Chair of Water Congress Committee, Hosts Water Lecture Series

April 4, 2016

Texas A&M Law Professor Gabriel EcksteinProfessor Gabriel Eckstein
Texas A&M University School of Law Professor Gabriel Eckstein has been appointed to serve as Chair of the International Scientific Committee for the XVI World Water Congress to be held May 29 to June 2, 2017, in Cancun, Mexico. He has also been selected as a member of the International Steering Committee for the Congress.

The World Water Congress is a triennial event organized by the International Water Resources Association (IWRA) that draws water professionals from all disciplines – science and engineering, economics and policy, governance and law -- as well as stakeholders and government officials from around the world. This Congress will have a “Bridging Science and Policy” theme, highlighting the critical need to strengthen the linkages between scientific knowledge and decision-making at the policy and political levels, Eckstein said.

Water-related issues connected to agriculture and food, urban and rural development, ecosystems and habitats, energy, security and health will be addressed.

“Flooding, climate change, contamination, scarcity, water-borne diseases, inadequate infrastructure, lack of data; these are just some of the difficult water-related challenges facing people worldwide,” said Eckstein. “So, the purpose of the Congress is to bring together stakeholders, scientists, and policy makers from around the world to discuss the most important and most vexing water-related issues.”

He said the Congress doesn’t plan on stopping with discussions.

Eckstein-IWRA-Delegation-mtg-w-Conagua-staffProf. Gabriel Eckstein (2nd from right) with the IWRA delegation meeting with CONAGUA staff in Cancun in preparation for the XVI World Water Congress.
“We also want to generate ideas, strategies, and solutions that will help communities and nations overcome these serious challenges,” said Eckstein. “We will also link the Congress topically and through strategic partnerships to other significant water programs, organizations, and conferences from around the world. As such, the Congress will create great opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations and stakeholder participation with the goal of encouraging science-based policy developments that enhance our communities.”

In his role as Chair of the International Scientific Committee, Eckstein will oversee the content of the Congress, which entails managing the development of the Congress’ thematic framework and the selection process for presentations, special sessions and keynote speakers. He is likely the first lawyer to hold this position, historically held by preeminent water scientists.

As a member of the International Steering Committee for the Water Congress, Eckstein will help oversee the organization and management of the Congress.

Eckstein-Inspecting-Cancun-Conv-Ctr2Prof. Gabriel Eckstein (on left) leads the venue inspection of the convention center in Cancun where the XVI World Water Congress will be held.
Eckstein recently traveled to Mexico to meet with the governmental agency National Commission for Water of Mexico (CONAGUA) and the non-governmental professional association National Association of Water and Sanitation Utilities of Mexico (ANEAS), both co-hosts of the Congress, to explore proposed venues and prepare for the Congress.

Eckstein is excited for his appointment as Chair and anticipates a successful Congress.

“It’s really an incredible honor to have been entrusted with the responsibility of the Congress content and structure,” he said. “Our hosts and collaborators in Mexico, both CONAGUA and ANEAS, have been absolutely incredible, really working hard to ensure that this will be the best World Water Congress in the history of these events.”

Water Lecture Series

Water-Lecture-SeriesFor the third year, Eckstein helped host the Texas A&M "Water Lecture Series: Perspectives on Law and Policy," ​for students and members of the legal, policy, governmental, non-governmental and private sectors.

As part of the School of Law and Texas A&M University Water Management and Hydrological Sciences Program’s pursuit of a better water future, this joint series increases awareness of water challenges facing our state, explores similar challenges plaguing other communities and nations and considers various water management, allocation and conservation strategies from around the world.

Water-Lecture-Series-2016-CampanaWater Lecture Series keynote speaker ​Dr. Michael Campana presents "What Can Texas Learn From Integrated Water Resources Management?"
The keynote speaker for the third annual Water Lecture Series was Dr. Michael Campana, Professor of Hydrology and Water Resources Management at Oregon State University, and Technical Director of American Water Resources Association.

This year’s topic: According to the Global Water Partnership, Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is a process that promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources in order to maximize economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems and the environment. ​

View the PowerPoint of Campana’s presentation, “What Can Texas Learn From Integrated Water Resources Management?” Watch a video of Dr. Campana's presentation.

Campana’s presentation at Texas A&M School of Law in Fort Worth was followed by a presentation at the Memorial Student Center at Texas A&M University in College Station the following day.

TRWD-Watershed-DemoProf. Gabriel Eckstein and the Tarrant Regional Water District with an interactive demonstration of watershed management.
In addition to the lecture, Eckstein demonstrated how a river functions and illustrated the relationship between watershed management and the law utilizing the Tarrant Regional Water District Watershed Education Trailer in the Law School parking lot.

- Article by Jennifer Nassar, Communications Specialist, Texas A&M University School of Law