BSEACD Awards Kent S. Butler Memorial Groundwater Stewardship Scholarships

For Immediate Release: Monday, June 13, 2022
For more information, contact: David Marino, Communications & Outreach Manager at (512) 282-8441 or

The Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (District) is pleased to announce the winners of the Kent S. Butler Memorial Groundwater Stewardship Scholarship Essay Contest! The applicants were required to submit an essay related to groundwater issues, including but not limited to: non-point source pollution, pollution prevention, water conservation, hydrogeology, etc.

The annual essay contest is open to high school juniors, seniors, and immediate graduates. Students must reside in one of the eight school districts overlapping the District boundary: Austin, Del Valle, Dripping Springs, Eanes, Hays Consolidated, Lockhart, San Marcos Consolidated, and Wimberley.

Here are the 2022 Kent S. Butler Memorial Groundwater Stewardship Scholarship Winners:

$2,500 Scholarship
Aseel Rawashdeh – Anderson High School (Austin ISD) – Graduates June 2022
Essay: A Discussion on the Global Groundwater Crisis: Potential Approaches to Groundwater Sustainability

$1,500 Scholarship
Samantha Cooke – Ann Richards School For Young Women Leaders (Austin ISD) – Graduates May 2022
Essay: Packin’ Parched

$1,000 Scholarship
Weston Kirk – Dripping Springs High School (Dripping Springs ISD) – Graduates May 2022
Essay: Examining the Impact of Land Development and Urban Sprawl on the Edwards Aquifer, and Exploring Prospective Solutions

“I am so impressed with our Kent Butler Scholarship winners,” said Board President Blayne Stansberry. “The winning essays were well-written and researched. Each applicant showed a passion for groundwater sustainability, conservation, and overall concern for protecting our most valuable resource. I congratulate the winners and believe they have a bright future ahead as they prepare to enter college.”

On behalf of the District, we want to thank the City of Austin/Austin Water for donating their 2022 conservation credit to the scholarship fund. Without generous donations, the scholarship program would not be a success. A total of $5,000 in scholarships were awarded.

About the Kent S. Butler Memorial Groundwater Stewardship Scholarship

The District’s college scholarship is dedicated as a memorial scholarship honoring one of Austin’s most influential environmental planners, Kent Butler. Dr. Butler specialized in bringing science and policy together. He encouraged open conversation, collaboration, and participation from all perspectives. The Kent S. Butler Groundwater Stewardship Scholarship Essay Contest increases the awareness of groundwater issues by rewarding high school students for high quality research and writing. The $2,500 scholarship can be applied toward tuition for any college, community college, or training institution. A panel of independent judges reviews all essays and score them based on content, accuracy of information, originality, grammar, quality of research, and style. The judges represent a cross-section of skills and expertise.

BSEACD is a groundwater conservation district charged by the Texas Legislature to preserve, conserve, and protect the aquifers and groundwater resources within its jurisdiction, which includes parts of three Central Texas counties. It is governed by a Board of five elected directors and staffed with hydrogeologists, groundwater regulatory compliance specialists, environmental educators, geospatial systems specialists, and administrative support personnel.