When the North Harris County Regional Water Authority (NHCRWA) was created by the Texas Legislature in 1999, they faced an epic challenge. NHCRWA was tasked to secure a future water supply, construct a new water delivery infrastructure, and generate the funding to accomplish it – all within a set timeframe. The enabling legislation also required the new agency to “promote water conservation.”
Back then, the residents within the NHCRWA’s boundaries knew very little about the changes on the horizon…in the source, delivery and price of their drinking water. A massive outreach effort – that included newsletters, brochures, Town Hall meetings, public forums and early editions of this website. Keenly aware that it wouldn’t work to fix just half the problem, along with the coordination and construction of a new infrastructure, the NHCRWA also addressed the “demand” side of the issue. Almost from day one, a strong “use water efficiently” message was included in all communications efforts.
For more than a decade, the NHCRWA sponsored water conservation education programs for area students through the Save Water Texas Coalition (SWTC) education programs. In March of 2020, the SWTC education program was almost entirely booked for the rest of the school year to deliver on-campus, in-person water conservation assembly programs. The Mobile Teaching Labs were scheduled to travel to local campuses, and were on track to have the best year yet.
Then, in one day it was over. The schools were closed. For the first time in a decade there weren’t cafeterias full of youngsters waiting to interact with our costumed historians to learn the history of water in the Lone Star State. SWTC packed up all the Texas antiques and props and put them in storage. Weeks stretched
into months and finally the SWTC in-person assembly programs came to an end.