Board President and Precinct 2 Director
What brought you into the environmental and groundwater resources management world?
My parents moved to Manchaca in 1975 and I grew up playing in and around Bear Creek. Today, I still live in my childhood home with my husband and two youngest daughters. The home has a residential water well so I understood early on where our water comes from.
As a civil engineer, like my father was before me, I recognize water is our most undervalued resource and yet fundamental for life on the planet. In my work, I deal with protecting our creeks from erosion and improving the quality of stormwater runoff to our creeks and recharge features. I also design water distribution systems to provide the clean water people depend on.
What would you like to see the District accomplish in the next 5 to 10 years?
The District puts science first in decision making and is supported by an extremely knowledgable staff. I’d like to see the District continue to be proactive in finding science based solutions to water shortages caused by droughts such as desalination of the brackish Edwards to the east.
I would also like to see stewardship programs focusing on reducing water pollution from chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides used by landscape professionals and roadway maintenance crews.
What do you see as the biggest challenge for the District?
Shifting the community mindset from “water consumer” to “water steward” is one of our biggest challenges. The pressures of persistent droughts exacerbated by climate change and the explosive growth in our district will strain our current water resource and our expectations of that resource. Balancing growth and maintaining a clean and accessible source of water for people, wildlife, and endangered species will become increasingly important. Staying on top of legislative changes that could upset this balance is paramount.
How do you and your family conserve water?
I was quick to teach my girls that water is limited. (My three year old was horrified to see a family of bunnies in her story book brushing their teeth while letting the faucet run!)
We have replaced fixtures in our home with low flow faucets and shower heads and installed dual flush toilets and we run only full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine.
We’ve also installed a “laundry to landscape” system. The laundry water is discharged through an underground pipe system out to the front landscape and distributed in mulch basins scattered throughout. We also try to keep as much rainwater on our property with small earth berms to slow the rate of stormwater runoff and allow the water to soak into the soil. We are planning to purchase a cistern, install a rain garden at the end of our driveway, and increase gray water use.
Our landscape is native plant species inspired by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center which are very drought tolerant. We have native grasses that we allow to go dormant in the summer so that we don’t water the lawn.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I like to preserve foods. It started when I was trying to figure out what to do with the excess from my husband’s vegetable garden. In addition to the basic veggie canning, I learned to make my own preserves, pickles, and sauerkraut. I also love to bake with recipes from my reprint of the 1950 Betty Crocker cookbook.