Texas Tech to Host Public Forum on Drought Impact in West Texas

Homeowners can learn what they can do to make adjustments for changing climate.

To discuss climate change and how smart choices now can help us adapt to future extremes in West Texas, members of the public are invited to attend Our Climate Challenge: Solutions on the South Plains.

The event starts at 7 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 3) at the International Cultural Center, 601 Indiana Ave.

Ron Roberts, chief meteorologist at KAMC-TV, will serve as moderator for the discussion. The event will provide information to residents in urban and suburban areas as to their impact on the environment and how conserving water and using more drought-tolerant landscaping can help homeowners save money and save a precious resource.

“I’ve learned a lot of people don’t know where our water comes from,” said Ken Rainwater, director of Texas Tech University’s Water Resource Center. “We know that our extreme weather is going to get more extreme. We’ll experience warmer winters, longer dry spells and a longer growing season. All of these will affect the quality and reliability of our water resources.

“I want people to know where our water comes from and understand that there are some costs in providing that water so that it’s safe for consumption. How much water we use affects how much we pay for it.”

The panel includes Katharine Hayhoe, associate professor and a director of the Climate Science Center, Pat Westbrook, assistant professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Karen Gibson, city councilwoman for District 5.

“We’re holding this event to start the conversation about our changing climate, its future effects on us and what we can do about it,” Hayhoe said. “Talking about the future isn’t a scare tactic to frighten us. It’s a chance to make some smart choices now so we can successfully cope with future change. Our weather affects all of us, from our economy to our water resources and our daily lives. We’re hoping to start the discussion now so we can adapt to changing climate extremes in a sensible and sustainable way.”

Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7P0Ol6orNM

Find Texas Tech news, experts and story ideas at www.media.ttu.edu and on Twitter @TexasTechMedia.

CONTACT: Katharine Hayhoe, director, Climate Science Center at Texas Tech, Texas Tech University, (806) 392-2305, or katharine.hayhoe@ttu.edu; Ken Rainwater, director, Water Resource Center, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-3490 or ken.rainwater@ttu.edu.