Doggett Unveils Funding for Water Resource Research
Texas State study will aid local conservation efforts
On Monday, June 20, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, unveiled funding for a new project by the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment (located at the old Aquarena Springs, now owned by Texas State University) to study the impact of climate change on Texas water and create a publicly available tool to help regional water planners factor in the climate crisis.
Doggett addressed reporters along with representatives from the Meadows Center before stepping onto a glass-bottom boat to tour the ecology of Spring Lake, fed by San Marcos Springs. Texas State professor Robert Mace, who leads the Meadows Center, explained the funding will go toward a Ph.D. candidate's research on how climate change will affect available water resources, "because right now, for the most part, that risk is not built in." The research will also identify viable conservation policies for groundwater districts, river authorities, and regional water planners, as well as "working with the state climatologist [John Nielsen-Gammon at Texas A&M] to identify the best way to get these global climate models to fly more locally in Texas."
Doggett hammered home the importance of local efforts to tackle the climate crisis, saying he's "not optimistic" about progress in the Texas Legislature: "We're in a state where there's still a lot of climate denial. But when people are talking about water rationing already, when we see the effect of heat already this year on our water supply, there are practical people out there at the city and county level who want to do something about it."