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‘Wicked’ questions about water crisis provoke thought at Texas State University

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SAN MARCOS, TX (KXAN) – Discussions about some hard to answer questions will take place at Texas State University next week. The school’s Meadows Center for Water in the Environment will be hosting a conference called “Climate Science: The Good, The Bad & The Wicked.”

One of the main topics: the impact climate change is having on Texas’ water supply.

“There’s a saying in the climate water world that if climate change is a shark, water is the teeth,” said Robert Mace Ph.D., Executive Director at the Meadows Center.

Dr. Mace said we can already feel this bite. This summer has been one of the the hottest and driest on record. “(It) worries me, you know, not only here, but out in the Hill Country and really across the state.”

The conference takes place on Saturday, September 7 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration ends on September 3 and costs $150. You can register on The Meadows Center site if you’d like to attend.

The Climate Crisis “wicked” problems

The conference will explore some challenging topics. “It’s big. It’s about complexity. It’s about wicked problems, that can’t really be solved,” said Mona Wells Ph.D., Climate Science Director with The Meadows Center.

“Wicked means it’s just multidimensional, it’s multidisciplinary, and involves politics and science and in changing people’s behaviors,” Dr. Mace said.

The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State is focused on understanding Texas’ water supply and the impact we have on it. (Credit: Eric Henrikson/KXAN)

Dr. Wells said that climate is tied into so many aspects of our lives. “The conversations that we’re seeking to promote and acknowledge that there’s the simple solutions are not so simple,” Dr. Wells said.

Speakers at the conference include Dr. Michael Mann, a famed climatologist, as well as Earth X founder Trammell S. Crow, medical anthropologist Rose Jones and Edwards Aquifer Authority board chair Enrique Valdivia.

“We are trying to talk about things I think most people do not generally know. And when I say most people, I’m including the public, but I’m also including some of the technical experts that might be there,” Dr. Wells said.

The Water Crisis and Climate Change

Dr. Mace will speak at the conference, discussing the water crisis. “My opinion; it all comes back to water.”

With extreme droughts becoming more common, Texas is expected to feel the impacts of the water crisis in some intense ways. This summer, many springs and creeks have dried up, including Jacob’s Well.

The Meadows Center sits along the shore of Spring Lake, which is seeing some of the lowest water levels since the 1950’s, according to Dr. Mace.

Biodiversity is one of the leading topics at The Meadows Center’s climate conference. Scientist believe we are currently in the 6th great mass extinction and that many species will be lost due to human intervention and climate change. (Credit: Eric Henrikson/KXAN)

“The best way to a Texan’s heart is through through water, in my opinion, maybe brisket, but water,” Dr. Mace said.

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