Southwest Environmental History Symposium
"Water Crises in Texas and the Southwest"
May 21-24, 1997
Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas

Symposium Schedule

Plenary Session

Thursday, May 21, 8:00 p.m. Chapman Graduate Center, Auditorium

Charles White, Associate Vice President/Academic Affairs, Trinity University

Donald Pisani, President, American Society of Environmental Historians

Char Miller, Conference Chairperson, Department of History, Trinity University

Resource Reallocation and the Service Economy: How Tourism Will Alter the American West
Hal K. Rothman, University of Nevada-Las Vegas

Panel 1. Water and Land in the Hispanic Southwest

Friday, May 22, 8:30-10:00 a.m., Chapman Graduate Center, Auditorium

Convener: Char Miller

'Only Fit for Raising Stock': Spanish and Mexican Land and Water Rights in the Tamaulipan Cession
Jesus F. de la Teja, Southwest Texas State University

Acequias, Abandonment, and Ancestry: Establishing Water Rights in the Chama Basin of New Mexico
Sandra Mathews-Lamb, Nebraska Wesleyan University

Changed Forever? Water, the Gila River Pimas, and the Arrival of the Spanish
Shelly Dudley, Salt River Project

Comment: Audience

Panel 2. A Lone Star Thirst

Friday, May 22, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Chapman Graduate Center, Auditorium

Convener: Craig Colten

'It's in the Water: Rio Grande "Brew" and Water Quality in the Lower Rio Grande Valley
John Tiefenbacher, Southwest Texas State University

El Paso's Quest for New Mexico's Water, 1905-1998
Richard Earl, Southwest Texas State University

Perspectives on Texas Water Policy
Joe Moore, Southwest Texas State University

Comment: Audience

Panel 3. San Antonio's Water Worries

Friday, May 22, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Chapman Graduate Center, Auditorium

Convener: Char Miller

The 1921 Flood and the Making of Modern San Antonio
Char Miller, Trinity University

The 1950s Drought
Heywood Sanders, Trinity University

Conjuring Abundance: Selective Cognizance and Portrayals of the Edwards Aquifer
Laura Wimberley, Texas A&M University

Comment: Audience

"Welcome" - Fiesta Banquet

Friday, May 22, 5:30-7:15 p.m., Willaim Knox Holt Center lawn

Public Forum:  The Edwards Aquifer

Friday, May 22, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Chapman Graduate Center, Auditorium

Chris Brown, Conservation Manager, SAWS
Luana Brucker, GM, Medina Underground Water District
Susan Hughes, National Audubon Society
Fay Sinkin, former member, EUWD

Field Trips, Saturday, May 23

Trip #1. Edwards Aquifer (All Day)

Cinde Thomas-Jimenez, an environmental educator, and Grant Snyder, a hydrogeologist for the Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA), will lead a unique field trip to throughout the Hill Country and the San Antonio region.  The tour will visit various natural physical features of the Edwards Aquifer, ranging from recharge creeks and sinkholes to springs and the fresh/saline water interface, and some not so natural features--wells, irrigation systems, and a pump station. Experts will rendezvous with the group at various locations and enhance our understanding of the varying concerns of the various human interest groups in the aquifer region.

Trip #2. San Antonio River (Morning)

Fred Pfeiffer, General Manager of the San Antonio River Authority, and Maria Watson Pfeiffer, San Antonio historian, will lead this morning-long tour of the San Antonio River and the human effort to reshape and control the waterway since the city's founding in 1718.Beginning at the river's headwaters, the Pfeiffers will guide participants along its path, highlighting civil engineering work including early irrigation, water supply, and flood control structures, architectural enhancements, and recreational and commercial endeavors. They will discuss successful efforts to preserve this unique waterway, and will present the most recent innovation, a multi-purpose, 3-mile long underground tunnel that incorporates flood control, water quality, and conservation features.

Trip #3. San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (Afternoon)

Acequias and Labores: these are the focus of a tour that Mark Tezel, a ranger at Mission San Juan, will lead in the afternoon. Opening with a discussion of the Coahuiltecan culture and foodways, the tour will especially explore the irrigation ditches, dams, and agricultural landscape that the Spanish missionaries and their indigenous laborers constructed; of particular interest is the intersection of these lives and the lands that sustained them. Tezel will also brief the group on the exciting plans to reconstruct the network of waterways so that these fields can be farmed once more, as they were in the 18th century.

Panel 4. Grasslands Ranching and Farming

Sunday, May 24, 9:30-11:30 a.m., Chapman Graduate Center, Auditorium

Convener: James E. Sherow

Water, Sun, and Cattle: The Chisholm Trail as an Ephemeral Ecosystem
James E. Sherow, Kansas State University

John Wesley Powell Was Right: An Essay on Resizing the Ogallala High Plains
John Opie, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Irrigation and Agricultural Diversification on the High Plains of Kansas
Thomas Carl Schafer, Kansas State University

Irrigation and Community in Colorado's Grand Valley
Brad Raley, University of Oklahoma

Comment: Audience

Panel 5. Dam those Waters!

Sunday, May 24, 1:30-3:00 p.m., Chapman Graduate Center, Auditorium

Convener: Donald Jackson

Private Initiative - Public Works: Ed Fletcher, the Santa Fe Railway and the Design of the Cave Creek Flood Control Dam, 1921-22
Donald Jackson, Lafayette College

Dams on Western Rivers: A Window into the 20th-Century West
Mark Harvey, North Dakota State University

Building Dams and Damning People in the Texas-Mexico Border Region
Raul Sanchez, St. Mary's University School of Law

Comment: Audience

Panel 6. The Native American Struggle for Water

Sunday, May 24, 4:00-6:00 p.m., Chapman Graduate Center, Auditorium

Convener: Donald Pisani

Maggot Creek and other Tales: Kiowa Identity and Water, 1870-1920
Bonnie Lynn-Sherow, Kansas State University

Indian Water Settlements: The Politics of Negotiating Water Rights
Daniel McCool, University of Utah

First In Time: Indian Reserved Water Rights, General Adjudications, and The Public Historian
Alan Newell, Historical Research Associates

How to Integrate the Indian: Water and National Indian Policies, 1887-1930
Donald Pisani, University of Oklahoma

Comment: Audience

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