Regional leaders discuss water solutions

Regional leaders discuss water solutions
Posted on 10/18/2022
EPWater’s Interim Chief Operations Officer for Production and Treatment Gilbert Trejo highlighted innovative water supply projects already underway.

What do you think are the biggest water challenges and boldest water solutions for our community? El Paso Water convened 40+ community leaders to discuss these questions at a workshop hosted by non-profit 50L Home and Cummins Water Works. 

Created by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, 50L Home is an international non-profit that aims to partner with companies to find urban water solutions. Founded in 2021, Cummins Water Works engages with partners to identify and invest in sustainable, high-impact water projects around the world.

Because Cummins Inc. has more about 2,500 employees in the El Paso/Juarez area, Cummins Water Works has identified the region to invest in water solutions at the intersection of new technology and employee-community engagement.

“We brought together leaders from government, business, academia and the non-profit sector to engage in facilitated conversations around regional water stressors and potential solutions that could be impactful,” said Lisa Rosendorf, Chief Communications and Government Affairs Officer at EPWater.

Sustainability efforts in El Paso

WorkshopSetting the context, EPWater’s Interim Chief Operations Officer for Production and Treatment Gilbert Trejo highlighted innovative water supply projects already underway.  Projects include an expansion of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination Plant, a project to dramatically increase aquifer recharge and the construction of the Advanced Water Purification Facility, which would be the first of its kind in the nation.

“We’re doing a lot in terms of implementing sustainability strategies and investing in technologies that will help ensure water security well into the future,” Trejo said.

El Paso County Water Improvement District #1 shared initiatives underway to conserve river water delivered to farmers and highlighted new projects needed to make further progress. El Paso Electric highlighted the major water-use reductions planned with the Newman 6 power station. UTEP engineering Professor Ivonne Santiago highlighted the challenges of colonias outside of El Paso still lacking access to basic water and wastewater services.

Brainstorming solutions

Stakeholders were eager to roll up their sleeves and put ideas to paper.  

“It’s important to hear the lessons that the City of El Paso and El Paso Water have learned and implemented for decades and really think about how together we contribute to long-term water security," said Braulio Morera, Director of the 50L Home Coalition.

“El Paso has a great record of conservation, but we need to keep making progress,” Rosendorf said. “We have a target to reduce our per capita consumption from 134 to 115 gallons per person per day.”

Cummins will consider solutions presented at the workshop and determine which best fit their objectives for investment.  

“Cummins values making a difference in our communities,” said Viviana Rodriguez, Corporate Responsibility Leader for Cummins. “We’re not experts in water, but we think we’re a part of the solution.”

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