On Monday, Congressman Lloyd Doggett announced a $2 million project to better protect Texas rivers, aquifers and lakes and figure out how to deal with dwindling water supplies.
Rep. Doggett, (D) Texas’ 35th District, said the state could face serious challenges. This has prompted the allocation of funds that will provide tools that many local governments do not have today to plan for and adapt to the climate crisis.
Investigative tour of the lake
Doggett toured Spring Lake in a glass-bottom boat to see the effects of climate change on Texas water. Visiting Texas State University provides a unique underwater view of how low water flows and droughts are changing the state.
Doggett points out that Texas could become much more like the Sonoran Desert as the heat continues to increase.
The Sonoran Desert occupies the southeastern tip of California and more than half of Arizona.
The water level at Spring Lake in San Marcos was about a foot lower due to the sweltering June weather. Doggett immediately noticed how few bubbles he saw. San Marcos Springs, which springs from the Edwards Aquifer to create Spring Lake, usually puts on a spectacle through the abundance of bubbles.
Robert Mace, executive director and head of water policy at the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, says when his team visited the lake, very few of these areas were bubbling. They saw almost like scum above where normally there would be a sand field and that’s due to the low flows.
Mace believes the $2 million projects will provide much-needed local and national climate information that will help Texas understand how to protect the state’s water.
Mace points out that with the funding, Texas will end up with climate information at the local level. Temperature, precipitation, evaporation and information that helps people understand how climate change could affect their water resources.
Read also: Mysterious phenomenon: how do trees “explode” during ice storms in Texas?
Mace is optimistic that people will be able to know how much less water there will be in the river due to climate change than if we had no climate change.
Local climate change research could help Texas alleviate drought conditions affecting Arizona, California and West Texas and threatening to cause similar damage in San Marcos and Austin. It can also reduce the Sonoran Desert expansion,
Mace explains that he can be more aggressive water conservation and water reuse. He added that perhaps other measures could be taken to help offset the adverse effects of climate change on water.
Doggett says local government knows conditions will continue to worsen and there is a need to protection plan invaluable water resources and beautiful regions like rising heat. Doggett further points out that there is potential, with technology, to develop good renewable energy resources. Some projects are underway in Texas, however, the manager thinks that is not enough.
Climate change research in San Marcos, Austin and Texas is already underway. Doggett is optimistic that test results could be available within a year.
Related article: Migrants crossing the US-Mexico border at risk of fatal dehydration due to high heat
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