Mitchell L. Mathis Program for Environmental Water Economics

While the biophysical science and policy initiatives have been well developed, the socio-economic aspects of water in all uses – including the environment – lags far behind. Texas has experienced limited scholarly capacity in a holistic approach to water resource economics. Little capability exists to deepen understanding or appreciation of the economic benefits of environmental aspects of water such as spring flow in rivers and streams and freshwater inflow into the state’s vast system of bays and estuaries, not to mention the economic costs of increasing climatic extremes. Well-informed policymakers and citizens are needed to assure that future decisions affecting water use and watersheds are sound for both Texans and the Texas economy.

To address this shortcoming, create the ability to contribute sound economic input into decision-making, and nurture a new generation of water resource economics practitioners, the Harte Research Institute and The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University have partnered to establish the Michell L. Mathis Program for Environmental Water Economics. The program will develop a holistic water economics program that considers social and economic aspects of water in all its uses, including the environment.

The Mathis Program for Environmental Water Economics is named after the distinguished environment and resource economist Dr. Mitchell L. Mathis, who died in 2005. Dr. Mathis brought the important socio-economic aspects of water resource management to light with cutting edge environmental economics work. His work contributed important insights to the field of resource economics and the economic methodologies used to value natural resources and ecosystem services.