Monthly Branch Program, April 2015

April 8 (Wednesday), 10:00 AM – “Where Has All the Water Gone?” – Thomas G. Mason, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center; Contact: Larie Amsler

WildflowerCenterMeetingThe April AAUW Austin branch meeting was held at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. The room was lively with 42 members and invited guests, three of whom became members of our branch!  Members were urged to attend the Equal Pay Lobby Day at the State Capitol on April 14th.  Following a brief business meeting with incoming Co-Presidents Marina Rivers and Milli Stecker,  and new Membership VP Elaine Penn, elected by acclamation, the appreciative audience was treated to a very informative presentation by the Texas Water Foundation’s board president, Tom Mason. Mason began his discussion of the water crisis in Texas by reminding the group that there will never be more or less water on this planet than there is at this moment in time. The population grows, but the water resources remain the same; and less than 1% of all the water on earth is fresh water that we can actually use.  He humorously commented that the water in our members’ glasses had likely been filtered through a dinosaur’s kidney at one time.  He discussed the serious drought situation across Texas, but left the audience with a feeling of hope that Texas is managing its resources very well, and that conservation is definitely working.  The state water plan includes other measures to provide for future water needs, including water re-use.

Our speaker,Tom Mason, who served as the General Counsel and later the General Manager of the Lower Colorado River Authority, has over thirty years experience in water, energy, and environmental law and is currently board president of the Texas Water Foundation. A Plan II Honors Program graduate of the University of Texas in 1975, he received his law degree from the UT Law School in 1980. He is past president of the Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of Greater Austin.

Some of our new members: