TecH2O, A Water Resource Learning Center Sharing Information and Encouraging Innovation
The 30,450 square foot TecH2O Center is adjacent to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination Plant. The Center’s focus is on the many facets of water management with sixteen interactive exhibit areas. These exhibits were designed with the goal of informing and involving the public – those most affected by water management.
But TecH2O is more than exhibits. It is a component of El Paso’s water resources program. The Center will serve educators, students, policy makers and the public by providing meeting places and resources to promote the understanding and study of water and water issues. It will include a 250-seat auditorium, a training center, interactive exhibits, and display and demonstration projects. These facilities make TecH2O ideal for regional, national and international symposiums and conferences.
Here stakeholders will gain an understanding of total water management in the desert. Exhibits on conservation, reclamation and alternative water resources will encourage study and the development of new ideas.
TecH2O Center exhibits:
- The Chihuahuan Desert, Wildlife and Flora
- The Uniqueness of the Chihuahuan Desert
- Regional Map Center
- Water Management Overview
- Ground Water
- The Water House
- The Culture of Water
- Surface Water
- Reclaimed Water
- Demand Management
The City of El Paso is at the center of a region that shares both surface and groundwater sources. El Paso, Ciudad Juárez and Las Cruces, N.M. are home to nearly two million people. Because it is impossible to deal with water management in one city without involving the others, TecH2O will provide education and resources to the water users and providers of the entire region.
Total water management is the recognition that water is a limited resource. Understanding this , El Paso Water Utilities began formal water conservation education in the late – 1980s. As a result, El Pasoans lead the state in an understanding of water issues. In a region where the annual rainfall is only 8 inches, this understanding is crucial. Consumers who understand where their water comes from and how it gets to the tap are more cautious in their use. TecH2O will further this goal.
The EPWU staff is also working closely with the school districts of the region to develop curriculum based on the science lessons of TecH2O exhibits. El Paso Water Utilities has also joined in a partnership with the University of Texas at El Paso, New Mexico State University, Texas A&M, Ft. Bliss, the City of Alamogordo and others in the joint use of the facilities for research, training and technology transfer. This partnership is known as CHIWAWA (Consortium for High Tech Investigations of Water and Wastewater). This facility will help facilitate this endeavor. EPWU will also work with other local, state and federal agencies in the use of the Center.