Environmental Engineering


South Texas Water Center

Key features: A regional Water Center for South Texas that will:

  1. Focus on water issues facing by communities including cities, counties, and private landowners
  2. Focus on data- and technology- driven approaches
  3. Represent a highly joint effort of regional partners including academic institutions, government agencies, regional/local communities, private industries, and NGOs who share the same vision for solving water issues at a regional scale


  • A center of collaboration and engagement among its stakeholders focusing on water challenges in watersheds serving South Texas


  • The Water Center will identify innovative and practical strategies to address water challenges for the development of more resilient communities

1. Programs under Development:

Four research programs, one education/service program, one outreach/extension program, and one decision support center are currently being developed. The focuses of each of these programs, upcoming activities, and team leads and their contact information can be found below. If you are interested in joining any of these programs, please provide your name, contact information and the program you are interested in using this link.

A. Research Programs:

Research Program 1: Flood management program

a. Focuses:

  • Develop regional database (flood mapping) and visualization for flood planning
  • Modeling and forecasting floods and droughts
  • Develop flood and drought mitigation strategies

b. Upcoming activities:

  • Develop a regional flood management plan, focusing on three watersheds in the southern parts of Texas
  • First bi-monthly meeting will be held on Dec. 3, 2019, 2:00 - 4:00 pm

c. Team Leads: Tushar Sinha (tushar.sinha@tamuk.edu) and Osama Al-Hamdan (osama.al-hamdan@tamuk.edu)

Research Program 2: Sediment management program

a. Focuses:

  • Sediment Transport Modeling
  • Local Solutions and Innovative Approaches for Beneficial Use of Dredged Materials
  • Remote Sensing and LiDAR Data Applications in Sediment Management
  • Sediment Distribution After Natural Disasters
  • Impact of Construction on Sediment Transport

b.Upcoming activities:

  • First bimonthly meeting will be held on Feb. 12, 2020, 12:00 - 2:00 pm

c. Team leads: Amir Hessami (amir.hessami@tamuk.edu) and Edward Buskey (ed.buskey@utexas.edu)

Research Program 3: Water supplies program

a. Focuses:

  • Choke Canyon / Lake Corpus Christi Reservoir System
  • Regional Groundwater as a water source
  • Managing water supply and demand during droughts
  • Water supplies for regional agricultural use
  • Water distribution system
  • Water treatment processes and technologies

b. Upcoming activities:

  • First bimonthly meeting will be held on Feb. 12, 2020, 2:30 - 4:30 pm

c. Team leads: Jianhong Ren (jianhong.ren@tamuk,edu), Joseph Sai (joseph.sai@tamuk.edu)

Research Program 4: Water quality program

a. Focuses:

  • Occurrence of emerging contaminants
  • Nutrient removal and harvesting
  • Desalination
  • Occurrence and immobilization of uranium

b. Upcoming activities:

  • First bimonthly meeting will be held on Dec. 11, 2019, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

c. Team leads: J. César Bezares-Cruz (juan.bezares-cruz@tamuk.edu) and Matthew Alexander (matthew.alexander@tamuk.edu)

B. Education/service program:

Education/service program: EPIC-N program

a. Objectives:

  • Create a sustainable program to connect education with community services
  • Match the university resources with community needs
  • Provide valuable experiences to students and enhance the quality of education

b.EPIC-N model: https://youtu.be/_OS3ci-NI9w

c. Upcoming activities:

  • First bimonthly meeting will be held on Nov. 21, 2019, 1:00-3:00 pm

d. Team leads: David Ramirez (david.ramirez@tamuk.edu), Christine Robbins (christine.robbins@tamuk.edu), Hua Li (hua.li@tamuk.edu)


C. Outreach/Extension program:

Outreach/Extension program: Landowner coalition

a. Objectives:

  • Organized voice of farmers and ranchers for input into water issues
  • Dissemination of information from other programs within the Water Center

b. Water-related topics of probable interest to landowners:

  • Nutrient input from croplands to storm drainage, creeks and rivers, to minimize impact to bays / estuaries
  • Balancing freshwater supplies between municipal, agricultural, and industrial needs
  • Flood dams in strategic locations
  • Educating landowners on ecosystem management
  • Use of best management practices to reduce erosion

c. Upcoming activities:

  • First bimonthly meeting will be held on Jan. 14, 2020, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

d. Team leads: Benjamin Turner (benjamin.turner@tamuk.edu), Matthew Alexander (matthew.alexander@tamuk.edu)

D. Cyberinfrastructure:

Cyberinfrastructure: Decision support center

a. Objectives:

  • Use existing TAMU-K HPC infrastructure to support design and development of a dedicated Water Center data center
  • Utilize a combination of currently-installed software and typical datasets to further develop data center requirements

b. Focuses:

  • Regional database clearinghouse
  • Decision support and visualization
  • Data collection and processing

c. Upcoming activities:

  • First bimonthly meeting will be held on Dec. 5, 2019, 2:30 - 4:30 pm

d. Team Leads:Robert Diersing (robert.diersing@tamuk.edu), Nuri Yilmazer (nuri.yilmazer@tamuk.edu), Tushar Sinha (tushar.sinha@tamuk.edu), Adnan Rajib (adnan.rajib@tamuk.edu), Hua Li (hua.li@tamuk.edu), Scott King (scott.king@tamucc.edu), Selahattin Ozcelik (selahattin.ozcelik@tamuk.edu)

2. Center Development Meetings:

  1. Initial Center Stakeholder Meeting: held on July 9, 2019 with 40 attendees from federal/state/regional/local agencies. Please click here to see meeting information
  2. Internal faculty stakeholder meetings:
    • 2019 - June 6, August 29, Sept 4, Nov 7, Dec. 5
    • 2020 - Feb 6
  3. Center Initial Steering Committee:
    • Formed in August 2019
    • Include 18 members from TAMU-K, City of Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program, Coastal Bend Council of Governments, Kenedy County Groundwater Conservation District, Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve, Port of Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas Water Resources Institute, University of Texas at Austin, Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership, Nueces River Authority. See current member list here.
    • First meetings were held on Sept 18 and Sept 25, 2019

3. Water Center Monthly Webinar Series:

To facilitate information sharing, a monthly webinar series will be presented at noon of the first Wednesday of each month starting Dec. 4, 2019. If you are interested in presenting at this series, please provide your contact information, tentative title/topic, and date you would like to present using this link.

Water Center Webinars (Please click on the seminar title to watch recordings):

1) "Determining Sand Accumulation Rates in Restored Coastal Dunes at Isla Blanca Park, South Padre Island, Texas", presented by Ms. Alayibo Semenitari, M.S. student at TAMU-K

2) “Modeling Freshwater Inflows, Nutrient Dynamics and their Relationships to Algal Bloom in Nueces Bay”, a project funded by Coastal Management Program, Texas General Land Office, presented by Mr. S M Shaheeq Mahmood Rony, M.S. student at TAMU-K

3) “Bringing Big Data to Bear on Water Challenges”, presented by Dr. Adnan Rajib, Assistant Professor at TAMU-K

4. Information Sharing Among Center Stakeholders:

The following two websites will be used to facilitate the communication and information:
Link 1: view only, which will archive all information received from center stakeholders.
Link 2: can be edited by all center participants to upload and share any information deemed useful for the purposes of the water center.