Meadows Center receives $2.5 million for climate change research

By Preethi Mangadu 

News & Culture Director

was awarded almost $2.5 million in federal appropriations to support the Climate Change Impact on Water Initiative. 

The initiative works to study climate change’s impact on all Texas water resources and to create an informative public tool to showcase how to preserve and protect water in the state. 

“The Climate Change initiative is focused on providing information and options to the people and planners of Texas to, one, understand climate change might affect their water resources and, two, offer up some potential ways to build climate change in other planning as well as respond to climate change impacts on water resources,” said, executive director and chief water policy officer of the Meadows Center, Robert Mace. 

Rep. Lloyd Doggett announced the new funding last week, after securing funding for the initiative in June 2022. 

“Climate change is already messing with Texas water. New federal funds I secured are advancing the next phase of developing actionable projections for how climate change is impacting our water, breaking ground on new scientific research to develop a response,” said Doggett, in a . “Providing scientific results—accessible to all—Dr. Mace and his team will equip local leaders to build climate change into water resource planning and determine the most effective ways to protect our water. Our Highland Lakes are one of the first places on which they are focusing.”

The funding will be used to evaluate how higher temperatures and climate change will affect Texas’s natural water resources, plan how Texas policymakers can consider climate change in water planning and provide research on what cities can do in response to a potential decrease in established water supplies. 

“This is important to the Texas community because climate change is going to threaten everything we love about Texas and Texas water,” Mace said. “The initial studies in different parts of the state suggest major impacts to our rivers, our reservoirs and several of our aquifers, including the Edwards Aquifer that feeds San Marcos Springs here on Texas State University.” 

In Texas, climate change will create several challenges against the state, especially with supplies to cities, food supplies from agriculture, industry and the environment, according to Mace. San Martians can try to use as little water as possible and support water utilities to individually help protect and preserve water resources.

“Given the growth that is occurring in the San Marcos area and the I-35 growth corridor, it is pretty remarkable, and I think we are going to run out of our local resources, and we’re going to have to be pulling in water from larger distances,” Mace said. “But for an individual, think about your relationship with water; think about how you use water; think about how you can use it more efficiently.” 

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