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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU water lecture looks at impact of climate change on state's water

Climate change and its implications for New Mexico's water resources and economic opportunities is the subject of discussion for the November Water Lecture Series.

Dr. Brian Hurd, associate professor at New Mexico State University, Department of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business, will be lecturing on a new study recently released which shows that an already arid New Mexico is "highly vulnerable" to climate change."

The study results lay out a scenario of increasing conflict over New Mexico water.

Hurd and another researcher, University of New Mexico Civil Engineering Professor Julie Coonrod, studied a wide range of climate models that predict warmer weather and a change in precipitation patterns in New Mexico. Those changes will lead to a decrease in water supply ranging from a few percent to one-third in the Rio Grande Basin, according to the study. Such water supply reductions will have a significant impact on the state's economy. The study used a middle scenario of greenhouse gas emissions growth over the 21st century and examined a wide range of potential changes in temperature and precipitation.

Hurd said direct and indirect economic losses are projected to range from $13 million to $115 million by 2030 in the state, and from $21 million to over $300 million by 2080. Hurd has studied climate change and its economic effects for more than a decade.

The water lecture is from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, on the NMSU main campus Wooton Hall, Room 105.

The lecture is part of NMSU's continuing outreach efforts to help educate and improve the lives of citizens of our community and our state.

For further information concerning the lecture series, please contact Leeann DeMouche, Water Resource Specialist, NMSU, at ldemouch@nmsu.edu or (505) 646-3973.