As it makes the 1,560-mile journey from its origins in a Himalayan ice cave, southeastward across India and Bangladesh to the Bay of Bengal, one of the world’s largest rivers flows through one of the most fertile and densely populated regions in the world.
In India, L'Oreal Stepney describes state's water successes.
Known as “Mother Ganga,” the Ganges River is a life support for the millions of people in India who depend on its waters. The river’s water quality, however, is at risk due to population growth, industrialization, and urbanization.
In April, the World Bank and India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests co-sponsored “Global Experiences in River Clean-Up and Basin Management: Relevance of the Ganga,” a workshop that brought experts from around the globe to New Delhi to share ideas and best practices with the country’s new National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA), the organization formed to spearhead Ganges River conservation efforts.
L’Oreal Stepney, deputy director of the TCEQ’s Office of Water, was one of those experts sponsored by the World Bank to speak at the workshop, as was a representative of the San Antonio River Authority.
“The World Bank learned about the success of TCEQ programs at a meeting with TCEQ Commissioner Carlos Rubinstein,” says Stepney.
Texas Clean Rivers Program Successes Highlighted
Stepney’s presentation included successes of the TCEQ’s Texas Clean Rivers Program, different techniques used by the agency to improve water quality across the state, how technology is used to communicate and share information with stakeholders, and how the agency assures integrity and accountability in the regulatory process.
“They were especially interested in how we develop partnerships and engage stakeholders in our decision-making process,” Stepney says. “I was able to share some of the techniques we’ve used in Texas in partnering with different stakeholder groups. I also talked about how we work with the International Boundary and Water Commission specifically on international border matters.”
“It is such an honor for the TCEQ’s water quality maintenance and clean-up efforts to be recognized on the world stage. We are pleased to share what we have learned to help India protect the health and well-being of her people.”
– Commissioner Carlos Rubinstein
With around 150 community leaders, government officials, biologists, and academics in attendance, Stepney says the workshop was an opportunity to share lessons learned and potentially gain new strategies for managing water resources.
“I enjoyed talking one-on-one with some of the participants,” she says. “I learned that even though we’re a world away from each other, we talk the same language when it comes to water quality.”
Texas Program Respected Internationally
Stepney also learned how well respected the Texas program is internationally.
“We have great respect for the extent to which the State of Texas manages its rivers through a mix of incentives, regulation, outreach, and investment,” says Genevieve Connors of the World Bank. “Other countries can stand to learn a lot from this knowledge, which has been built up over decades of river-cleaning work.”
“It is such an honor for the TCEQ’s water quality maintenance and clean-up efforts to be recognized on the world stage,” says Rubinstein. “We are pleased to share what we have learned to help India protect the health and well-being of her people.”
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