But he was quick to point out that over the last 20 years DU’s efforts in the partnership program have added about 60,000 acres of new land earmarked for conservation while LCRA’s decision to limit lake water effectively took away up to 50,000 acres of land that served conservation efforts.

“The Committee was very responsive to the news and is dedicated to looking at other long range solutions. But in a serious drought, measures must be taken to protect water rights, and not a lot can be done about that until the rains fall again,” he added.

He said there is a chance that federal grants or loans could help, pointing to a National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) program that has helped farmers protect the environment in the past.

“Whether those funds are still available or if the scope of this project would qualify, I can’t say. But we should open all the doors we can as we search for ways to better protect wildlife and the benefits that provides as we move forward,” he said. “There’s only so much water and the needs of people come first, and we understand that. But I think now LCRA realizes there is a lot at stake in terms of conservation and hopefully they will be able to assist in helping Texas conserve all of its natural resources when developing future policies.”