An expert on integrated water resources management, valuation, conservation, markets and policy analysis, Michelsen studies the effectiveness of agricultural and residential water conservation programs, water markets and prices, and the impacts of endangered species water acquisition programs. He also has expertise in air and water quality regulatory impacts and decision support systems for river basin resource management and water policy analysis in the United States, China and Chile.

“Texas is now in its third five-year cycle of water planning,” he said. “The water plans require strategies to be developed to meet projected demands. The strategies include actions such as new reservoir construction, importation, desalination and conservation. Strategies must be included in a region’s plan and approved by the Texas Water Development Board to be eligible for state funding programs. However, the costs of proposed and approved strategies are in the billions of dollars and there has been very little state funding forthcoming.”

The final talk of the afternoon — “Managing California’s Water: From Conflict to Reconciliation” — will be given by Ellen Hanak, a senior policy fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California and a specialist in natural resource management, including water policy, flood control, land use policy, and ecosystem management.  She is an expert also on climate change policy and public investment strategies.

“My talk will explore new approaches to managing water in an era of increasing scarcity and competing demands,” she said.  “How can available management tools, such as markets for water supply and quality and easements for flooding, improve performance and reduce costs? And what kinds of changes in water management institutions and regulations are needed to better reconcile diverse management objectives?”

Her talk will be followed by a general discussion and Q&A.

Refreshments will be served.