Incorporating Climate Change Science into the Endangered Species Act Recovery Implementation Program for the Texas Edwards Aquifer. The Collaborative Approach of Recovery Implementation Programs. Todd Votteler, Ph.D. Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (800) 413-4130 www.gbra.org. Outline.
The Collaborative Approach of Recovery Implementation Programs
Todd Votteler, Ph.D.
Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority
San Antonio Bay Species Act Recovery Implementation Program for
The Guadalupe River is the Primary Source
of Freshwater Inflows to San Antonio Bay…
Loaiciga et al (1996) identified Edwards as one of the most vulnerable regional watersheds to climate change
Region is dependent on aquifer
Strong climate & hydrology link
Climate record shows large variability
Groundwater pumping increasing
Aquifer supports habitats & species facing extinction
Water institutions mired in uncertainty
“If these models are correct, the levels of aridity of the recent multiyear drought or the Dust Bowl and the 1950s droughts will become the new climatology of the American Southwest within a time frame of years to decades (Seager et al, 2007).”Climate Change & the Edwards
The answer depends on the term of the Incidental Take Permit resulting from the RIP.
If the term of the Incidental Take Permit is less than 15 years, then climate change might not be considered.
However, if the term is less than 25 years is the process worth the effort?
This question faces those developing HCPs across the country.Will Climate Change be Incorporated into the Edwards RIP?
Texas lawmakers and water managers are skeptical about climate change.
Is there another way to incorporate climate variability into the RIP without focusing on climate change?
Possibly, by focusing on historical variability.
Water managers rely upon historical drought and flood information.Will Climate Change be Incorporated into the Edwards RIP?
“The 1950s drought was very bad, even when viewed in a long-term context. The reconstructions also indicate that there may have been periods when drought was more protracted and the impact might have been considerably worse. It would appear unwise for civil authorities to assume that the 1950s drought represents the worst case scenario to be used for planning purposes in water resources management in the South Central and Edwards Plateau climate divisions of Texas.”