To initiate water education and science programs at Texas A&M-San Antonio (A&M-SA), the creation of the Institute for Water Resources Science and Technology (WATER) was approved in mid-November 2015 by the Texas A&M System Board of Regents. This important initiative supports a vision to create an on-ramp for water education and science at A&M-SA to benefit students, promote research, and help power San Antonio’s blue economy. The IWRST is intended to create research and educational pathways and partnerships that will help solve San Antonio and regional science, technology, outreach, and workforce challenges around water resources in the 21st century and beyond. As the program develops, the IWRST now functions primarily as a research-oriented component of the Water Resources Science and Technology Program. On the educational front, the Program now offers a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree

Education

For water workforce-readiness

The IWRST supports the WATER degree programs (undergraduate and graduate programs) through identifying and providing training opportunities to prepare graduates to enter basic water industry positions. All degree programs will provide internship opportunities with local partners offering students the prospect of experiential learning, research and gaining valuable practical skills. Training opportunities and certification/licensure programs for students and water industry workforce support will be provided through collaborations at the H.B. Zachry Training Center and on campus through the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), through the partnership with the Alamo Colleges and Northwest Vista College, and through other local partners.

Research

Locally needed stakeholder supported research through community and A&M system partnerships

Based on water community input, initial areas of research include locally relevant solutions for beneficial reuse, and recycling of wastewater, water capture and distribution across the urban and rural landscape, water use and reuse of oilfield and saline waters, and green infrastructure and related low impact development in urban and associated systems.

 

Service and Outreach

Providing science and information where needed

“Service and outreach” covers a wide range of water science related engagement and support activities, such as presentations and papers, cooperative demonstrations of conservation and research, research support for community water planning, and general water-related information needs that emerge through A&M-SA engagement with the community. Examples include local watershed planning groups’ needs for science and analysis, and nonprofit community water resource management questions.