Booth, Ahrens & Werkenthin, P.C. - title image - click to return to home page

Carolyn Ahrens, Attorney

Background | Education | Publications | Presentations | Professional Affiliations | Bar Associations | Professional Honors

Personal & Professional Background

  • Born Karnes City, Texas, January 13, 1959
  • Admitted to Bar 1985, Texas
  • Carolyn Ahrens is of counsel to the firm

Education

  • Southwest Texas State University (B.S. in Education with Highest Honors, 1979 Masters of Education, 1981)
  • University of Texas (J.D. with Honors, 1985)
  • Recipient: Dean’s Awards for Academic Achievement in Water Law Seminar, Land Use Planning, and Federal and Texas Public Mineral Land Law
  • Member: Delta Theta Phi (Tribune, 1984-85); Environmental and Natural Resources Law Society

Publications/Articles:

  • Author:
    • “The Texas Legislature's 81st Regular Session: An Overview on Water Issues,” Western Water Law & Policy Reporter (August/September 2009);
    • “A Different Kind of Water War: Texas Addresses Invasive Aquatic Plant Species,” Western Water Law & Policy Reporter (July 2009);
    • “Texas Supreme Court Denies Review in Environmental Flow Appropriation Case,” WateReuse Association (June 2001)
    • “Still Smarting from 2008 Storms, Texas Explores Legislation to Address the Power to Supply Water,” Western Water Law & Policy Reporter (May 2009);
    • “Climate Change and Water in Texas,” Western Water Law & Policy Reporter (April 2009);
    • “Texas Comptroller Analyzes the State's ‘Liquid Assets’,” Western Water Law & Policy Reporter (March 2009);
    • “Texas Water Development Board Maps out the Future of Desalination on the ‘Third Coast’,” Western Water Law & Policy Reporter (February 2009);
    • “Texas Water Conservation Advisory Council Recommends Actions to Make Water Conservation Savings a Reality,” Western Water Law & Policy Reporter (January 2009);
    • “Texas Supreme Court Judges “Historic Use” of Groundwater by both Quantity and Purpose,” Western Water Law & Policy Reporter (December 2008);
    • “Texas Ends Legislative Session Holding Mixed Bag for Water Reuse,” WateReuse Association (June 2001)
    • “In the Interim: An Opportunity for Reuse in Texas,” WateReuse Association, (March 2002)
    • “The Kitten that Roared,” TWCA Confluence (February 2001)
    • “Water Reuse: Is There a Devil or a Property Right in the Details?,” Water Environment & Technology (January 2001)
    • “Looking Back–Looking Forward: The YLD Mission,” BARRISTER Vol. 21, No. 2 (60th Anniversary Edition, Summer 1994)
    • “Fairness and the Administrative Process,” 8 Austin Lawyers Journal (July and August 1987)
  • Contributing Author:
    • “Water and Wastewater Service Options for Economically Distressed Areas,” under grant from the Texas Water Development Board (December 29, 1999)
  • Co-author:
    • “Report on Terminability of Water Supply Service in Texas and Model Agreement for Fixed-term Wholesale Raw Water Supply,” under grant from the Texas Water Development Board (October 31, 1996)
  • Co-editor and Contributing Author:
    • “Step Up to the Bar: Surviving Law School,” Full Disclosure: Do You Really Want to Be a Lawyer? (1989; 2nd ed. 1992)
  • Editorial Board:
    • Western Water Law & Policy Reporter (2008-2009);

Presentations

  • "Speaker: “The Special Laws of Permitting Groundwater Use in Texas,” Environmental Superconference 2011, State Bar of Texas, August 4-5, 2011;
  • "Speaker: “Texas Groundwater Regulation,” TheĀ Auditing Roundtable, South Central Regional Meeting, August 3, 2011;
  • "Speaker: “Groundwater Reduction Plans: A Case Study from Within the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District Regarding Compliance and Alternative Water Supplies,” The Changing Face of Water Rights 2011, State Bar of Texas, February 24-25, 2011;
  • "Speaker: “Legislative Update,”Texas Water 05, April 6, 2005;
  • "Speaker: “Water Resources - Croc Hunter Challenge,”State Bar of Texas 14th Annual Environmental Superconference, August 5-6, 2004;
  • "Point “Legislative Update,” Texas Water 05, April 6, 2005
  • “Point of Conflict: Texas Water Law,” Urban Water Council Regional Meeting, March 21, 2004
  • “Water Reuse: Point of Conflict,” Water Sources 2004, January 11-14, 2004
  • “Legislative Outlook: Focus on Texas Water Reuse,” WateReuse Symposium XVIII, September 9, 2003
  • “Water Rights Issues for the Next Legislative Session”, Bi-annual Briefing for Legislators and Staff, Texas Section American Water Works Association, August 2, 2002
  • “Update on Interim Committee Activities,” Spring Seminar, Texas Municipal Utilities Association, April 26th, 2002
  • Panel Presentation, “Water Plan 2002: Driving New Policy,” Texas Section American Water Works Association, November 2, 2001
  • “77th Legislative Session Wrap-up: Water Legislation,” San Antonio Section Texas American Water Works Association and Water Environment Association of Texas, September 20, 2001
  • “Water Reuse in Texas,” Gordon Cologne Annual Breakfast, WateReuse Association Symposium XVI, September 8-11, 2001
  • “Legislative Update,” Groundwater Districts 101: Preserving Groundwater through Local Management, Texas Groundwater Legal Defense and Education Fund, August 27-28, 2001
  • “Texas Water Rights,” Fundamentals of Water Law in Texas: Protecting Water Rights, Use and Quality, National Business Institute, July 10, 2001
  • “Water Reuse in Texas, A Water Rights Perspective,” Texas Water 2001, Texas Section American Water Works Association and Water Environment Association of Texas, April 5, 2001
  • “Is it Water, Water Everywhere or Not Enough to Drink?,” North Texas Section Water Environment Association of Texas and Texas Section American Water Works Association Water Conservation and Reuse Division, February 22, 2001
  • “Texas Surface Water Rights,” Water Rights 101, Texas Water Conservation Association, Fall Meeting 2000
  • “Water Reuse in Texas: An Enigma in Senate Bill 1,” State Bar of Texas 12th Annual Texas Environmental Superconference, August 3-4, 2000
  • “Water Rights Issues for the Next Legislative Session”, Bi-annual Briefing for Legislators and Staff, Texas Section AWWA, Austin, Texas, 1999
  • “Status Report on Water Rights for Reuse,” Texas Section American Water Works Association Alternative Water Strategies Conference, September 17, 1999
  • “Legislative Update-Summary of Senate Bill 1,” Texas Water Law 7th Annual Conference, CLE International, November 13-14, 1997
  • “Senate Bill 1 and Legislative Update,” 2nd Annual Environmental Seminar, Northeast Texas Section Water Environment Association of Texas, June 26, 1997
  • “Texas Water Reuse and Legislative Update,” Texas Public Works Association Annual Conference & Exhibition, June 12, 1997
  • “Texas Legislative Update,” Freese & Nichols, Inc. Fort Worth Conference, June 3, 1997
  • “Will Water Be There for Reuse,” Texas Water ‘97, Water Environment Association of Texas and Texas Section American Water Works Association Annual Meeting, April 8, 1997
  • Program Organizer and Moderator: “Practitioners Update on Federal and State Environmental Regulation,” American Bar Association Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Section, American Bar Association Section of Natural Resources, Environmental and Energy Law, State Bar of Texas Environmental Law Section, and Austin Bar Association, Administrative Law Section, January 31, 1997
  • “Indirect Reuse–A Panel Discussion,” Texas Water Law 6th Annual Conference, CLE International, December 12, 1996
  • “Respecting Rights of Indirect Reuse in Texas,” Regulatory Conference on Environmental Issues for Local Governments, Texas Environmental Equity Alliance, December 5, 1996
  • “Retaining and Working with Special Counsel,” Water Environment Association of Texas Total Project Management Seminar, June 2, 1993
  • “The National Environmental Policy Act,” Executive Enterprises, Inc., November 1994 (Austin), January 1994 (Dallas), November 1993 (Austin) and March 1993 (San Antonio)
  • Program Chair and Moderator: “Managing Environmental Compliance: A Strategic Approach;” Professional Development Series: Water Environment Association of Texas, June 15, 1994
  • “Retaining and Working with Special Counsel,” “Total Project Management,” Water Environment Association of Texas, Professional Development Series: “Ultimate Project Management Notebook,” June 2, 1993
  • Program Organizer and Moderator: Administrative Law Seminar, June 1987, and June 1988, Administrative Law Section, Austin Bar Association

Professional Affiliations

  • Texas Water Conservation Association Board of Directors, since 2002:
    • Policy Committee, since 2004
    • Water Reuse Committee, since 2006
    • Federal Affairs Committee, since 2006
    • Water Laws Committee Chair 2000-2001, 2001-2002, 2002-2003
    • Co-chair, “Texas Water Legislation: The Legal Issues,” TWCA/TRWA, January 23-24, 2003
    • Organizer, “Value of Water 101”, Fall Meeting 2002
    • Co-chair, “Water for Texas Future: The Legal Issues,” TWCA/TRWA, January 24-25, 2002
    • Organizer, “Water Quality 101”, Fall Meeting, 2001
    • Co-chair, “Water Allocation in Texas: The Legal Issues,” TWCA/TRWA, January 25-26, 2001
    • Organizer, “Water Rights 101”, Fall Meeting, 2000
    • Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Funding & Water Marketing 1997-1998
  • WateReuse Association Board of Directors, since 2004:
    • Chair, National Legislative Committee since 2007
    • Chair, Nominating Committee, since 2005
    • Member, National and Legislative Committee and National Regulatory Committee since 2003
    • Member, Planning Committee for Symposium XVIII, September 2003
  • Texas Section WateReuse Association, Board of Directors, since 2005:
    • American Water Works Association Trustee, Water Resources Division 2007-2010
    • Chair 2004-2007, Water Regulation and Allocation Committee; Member, Legal Affairs Committee 2000-2002
    • Liaison to Rates and Charges Subcommittee 2000-2002
    • Texas Section Conservation & Reuse Committee since 1997
    • Member, Planning Committee for Water Sources, 2004)
  • Water Environment Federation Board of Trustees 2004-2005, 2005-2006:
    • Director 2000-2003; Government Affairs Committee since 2000
    • Vice-Chair, GAC Legislative Subcommittee 2002-2004
    • Constitution and By-laws Committee 2001-2004
    • Nominating Committee, 2002-2003
  • Water Environment Association of Texas Member, Government Affairs Committee since 2005; Member, Executive Board 1995-2005:
    • Member, Management Review Committee 1995-2000, 2002-2003
    • Member-at-large 1999-2000
    • Secretary 1995-1999
    • Chair, Long-range Planning Committee 1996-1997
    • Annual Meeting Program Committee 1993-2003
    • Water Reuse Committee 1999-2003
    • Member, Long-range Planning Committee 1997-2000
    • Member, Water Reuse Resolution Task Force 1997
  • Texas Water ‘96: WEAT and AWWA Texas Joint Annual Meeting Committee 1994-1996
  • Water Environment Association of Texas Central Texas Chapter President 1994-1995
  • President-Elect 1993-1994; Vice-President and Programs Chair 1992-1993
  • Texas Municipal Utilities Association (Member)

Bar Associations

  • International Young Lawyers Association (Presidential Delegate 2000-03:
    • National Vice-President for the United States 1998-2000
    • Liaison to ABA 1996-1998
    • Executive Committee 1996-2003
    • Chair, Membership Chair 1997-1999
    • Seminar / Meeting Organizer for Bureau Elargi: Strategic Planning for Membership, Elmau Germany, Antitrust Seminar: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, Special Projects: Long-range Plan for Membership Recruiting; American Bar Association (Member, 1986-2004; Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice: Co-chair, Membership Committee 1997-1998; Gavel Awards Committee: 2001-2003; Gavel Awards Screening Committee 1994-2001, 2003-2007; Vice-chair, Natural Resources and Environmental Law Committee 1996-1997; Publications Committee 1995-1996; Young Lawyers Division Liaison 1995-1997
  • American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, Cabinet 1991-1995; Executive Council Coordinator 1994-1995; Executive Council 1990-1995:
    • Chairman, Barrister Magazine Editorial Board 1991-1994
    • District Representative for Texas 1991-1993
    • Vice-Chair, National Conferences Team 1990-1991
  • State Bar of Texas, Member: Administrative and Public Law Section and Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section); Texas Young Lawyers Association (District Representative to the American Bar Association 1991-1993
    • Director 1989-1991
    • Co-Chair, Local Affiliates Committee 1990-1992
    • Vice-Chair, Legislative Committee 1990-1991)
  • Austin Bar Association (Board of Directors 1989-1990)
  • Austin Bar Association Administrative Law Section (Board of Directors 1987-1993; President 1989-1990; Programs Committee Chair 1985-1989)
  • Austin Bar Association, formerly Travis County Bar Association (Member, Administrative Law Section; Member, Environmental Section); Austin Young Lawyers Association (Board of Directors 1987-1993; Secretary 1988-1989)

Professional Honors

  • President's Award, presented by the Texas Water Conservation Association, March 4, 2010, for “outstanding dedication, contributions, and service to the Association and the water resources of Texas
  • Arthur Sidney Bedell Award, presented by the Water Environment Federation, April 11, 2007, “acknowledging extraordinary personal service to the Water Environment Association of Texas
  • President’s Service Award, presented by Water Environment Association of Texas, April 4, 2002
  • Watermark Award, presented by the Texas Section of the American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Association of Texas, April 5, 2001, for “Raising the Public’s lLvel of Understanding of Texas’ Water Issues”
  • President’s Award, presented by the Texas Water Conservation Association, March 8, 2001, for “outstanding dedication, contributions, and service to the Association and the water resources of Texas"
  • Texas Bar Foundation (Life Fellow)
  • Fellows of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (Member)
  • Joseph Pritchard Inn (Member)
  • Founding Fellow of the Travis County Bar Foundation (Life Fellow)

515 Congress Avenue, Suite 1515 | Austin, TX 78701-3503 | t 512.472.3263 | f 512.473.2609