Consistent with the sustainability science approach that characterizes the foundation’s grantmaking, the Water program aims to increase the scientific understanding of water issues in Texas, which informs the design of effective policy approaches to ensure that water quantity and quality needs of both humans and the environment are met. 

Mitchell takes the position that issues associated with ensuring sufficient clean water for a growing population and economy, and environmental protection, is the most significant and urgent concern facing Texas. According to the 2012 State Water Plan, under certain conditions, Texas does not and will not have enough water to meet the needs of its people, its businesses, and its agricultural enterprises. 

To address the ongoing issues of water availability in Texas, the foundation supports efforts to undertake a comprehensive review of water law and policy to ensure that the correct questions are answered and Texas’s water future is made sustainable.

To address the dysfunctional water management in Texas, the Water program’s resources are deployed to

  1. define the “grand challenges” of water management and the scientific, policy, and legal investigations necessary to address intractable questions;
  2. expand and revitalize underutilized urban water conservation programs in select areas of the state;
  3. incent private landowners to protect their land as a means to conserve water resources;
  4. continue in-depth analysis and policy development related to the energy-water nexus.

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