Certified Training

The workgroup and Council as a whole determined that access to certified training and expertise is important to help water users apply the most efficient conservation measures. The workgroup also discussed in great detail the importance of having certified programs versus certifying facilities. If training is going to be provided to users in order to develop their water conservation planning knowledge and skills, it would also be important to certify such a training program to ensure that quality and consistent information is being taught.

Summary of Progress

Under Section 3 of House Bill 4 and Section 2.03 of Senate Bill 3, the 80th Texas Legislature directed the Council to study and evaluate the possibility of the Texas Water Development Board giving preference to funding of certified water conservation training facilities entities and programs. A workgroup of members of the Council and other interested participants was formed. Input to the study process included three open record telephone conference calls, discussions before the full Council, review of draft material, and an on-site visit to the Tech H2O-Water Resource Learning Center in El Paso, Texas by the Council’ Presiding Officer.

The workgroup determined the following are the Key Concepts and Requirements of the Legislation:

  • The Council believes that the primary intent of the legislation was directed to providing assistance to and the training of Retail Public Utilities so that they may meet the requirements for the development of water conservation plans required under Texas Water Code Section 13.146.
  • As stated in the legislation, intent is to allow the Texas Water Development Board to designate specific facilities, entities, and programs as being certified for water conservation training.
  • Another intent is for the Texas Water Development Board to be able to give preference to those certified facilities, entities, and programs if and when the Texas Water Development Board can provide financial assistance for water conservation training and education activities.
  • The Water Conservation Advisory Council must provide the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Legislature with the findings and recommendations of the Council.

Texas is a large and diverse State. Many not-for-profit organizations already offer some related training as part of their regular conferences and program activities across Texas. These programs are held at hotels, local utility training facilities, convention centers at a variety of locations across Texas. This format has proven to be both cost effective and it offers this training to the widest number of utilities as opposed to training at a set building or facility that may be located far from many utilities who wish to send personnel for training. Providing financial assistance to these training programs, as opposed to funding an individual building or facility should be the emphasis of any financial assistance.

Entities that have provided water conservation training in the past range from state agencies including the Texas Water Development Board and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to organizations such as the Texas Rural Water Association, Texas Water Utilities Association, and the Texas Section of the American Water Works Association. It is also conceivable that private entities could offer certified programs in order to perform such training for profit.

Based on this input, the Council agreed on the following:

  • The emphasis should be on certification of programs and provision of financial and technical assistance to programs of instruction and development of materials that provide the necessary information to assist utilities in developing effective conservation plans as required under Texas Water Code Section 13.146;
  • If authorized by the Texas Legislature, the Texas Water Development Board should give preference in funding to programs that have had their program content certified by the Texas Water Development Board; and
  • It is also recognized that this would require additional legislative authorization and funding for the Texas Water Development Board so that they can implement and administer a certification process.

The findings and recommendations of the report are based on a 15 month effort including three special conference calls open to the public, review of drafts, and full Council meeting deliberation of the findings.

Next Workgroup Meeting

To be determined. Upon request, the Texas Water Development Board will facilitate in providing onsite conference space for external participants interested in listening in on workgroup sessions.

Past Workgroup Meetings

DateAgendaMinutesRelated Documents
March 19, 2008 Agenda Minutes
  • N/A
January 17, 2008 Agenda Minutes
  • N/A
November 1, 2007 N/A Minutes
  • N/A

Workgroup Posted Comments

Date PostedPosted ByPostReferenced Attachments
July 23, 2008 Bill Hoffman WG 5 Leg Report Draft (7-23-08)
  • N/A
June 17, 2008 Bill Hoffman Draft Letter from WG 5 Report Draft (6-25-08)
  • N/A
March 20, 2008 Comer Tuck Comments Comer Tuck
November 15, 2007 Bill Hoffman Comments Bill Hoffman