Ecosystem Ecology and Stewardship
Alteration of springs ecosystems has become a global environmental crisis, warranting local, national and global conservation attention. Springs are ecologically important habitats that support elevated biological and socio-cultural diversity, including more than 15 percent of endangered species in the United States, while providing $5 billion per year in bottled water sales revenue. However, springs are inadequately recognized and protected, and have been poorly mapped. They have been insufficiently studied as ecosystems, and few remain ecologically intact. In this talk, Larry Stevens will address recent advances in springs ecohydrology and ecology, and address some of the challenges and opportunities that accompany enhanced springs stewardship.
Little Colorado River: Failure of the Settlement and the Triumph of Social Media
Stanley Pollack, Assistant Attorney General, Navajo Nation
The rejection of the LCR settlement marks the first time that an Indian water rights settlement was rejected by a tribal council while the settlement was pending before Congress. This was especially surprising in view of the recent success of the Navajo New Mexico settlement and the very favorable terms resulting from the negotiation. The settlement was rejected largely out of the misplaced perception that it would benefit mining and power interests, a view that was fostered by a coalition of environmental groups who utilized social media to spread misconceptions about the settlement. What were the lessons learned from this experience?
Triumph or Tragedy? A Brief History of Water Management in Israel
During Israel's brief sixty year history, its idiosyncratic water policies have evolved, and can boast several impressive accomplishments: agriculture yields have increased 20-fold while fresh water utilization has actually dropped. Israel leads the world in recycling of sewage and produces desalinized water cheaper than any other country. But there are growing signs that question the sustainability of present strategies. This lecture will consider where Israel's water management has been, where it needs to go and what it means for dryland states like Arizona.
Each year the Water Sustainability Program awards fellowships to outstanding students at the University of Arizona involved in research relevant to water issues in the state. Department heads are invited to nominate candidates from their degree granting unit to compete for awards. These awards are to encourage and support students wishing to specialize in the field of water resources. The application deadline is usually late March. Talk to your advisor and department head if you are interested and check back on the website (wsp.arizona.edu) in the Spring semester. Contact Jackie Moxley (firstname.lastname@example.org or 520-621-5725) for more information. The fellowships are funded through the Technology and Research Initiative Fund (TRIF).
Sharon B. Megdal, Director of the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center (WRRC), spoke with host Georgia Davis on Monday night's edition of Arizona Illustrated Science about water harvesting and the future of water in Arizona and the Southwest region.
Join us on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 for the Water Resources Research Center's Annual Conference. The day-long conference will be held in Tucson, Ariz. at the University of Arizona Student Union Memorial Center, and will feature an outstanding lineup of speakers and panelists.
Speaker: Professor Amit Gross, Environmental Hydrochemist, Dept. of Environmental Hydrology & Microbiology, Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research (ZIWR), Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research (BIDR), Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Water scarcity has been the driving force for Israel’s search for ‘new water resources.” The use of marginal water has grown significantly over the past 20 years (more than 80 percent reuse of wastewater nationally). The main sources of marginal water in the Negev Desert in Israel are: Geothermal brackish water, recycled wastewater and graywater. Current use of these waters includes: Irrigation of a variety of agricultural crops, brackish-water aquaculture, landscape irrigation, recreation parks and tourism. Although marginal waters seem like a promising resource, their use has quite a few mid- and long-term negative effects. These include: Negative environmental effects on soils and plants, possible contamination of groundwater, and health risks. In addition, reuse treatments should be decentralized and kept low-cost to benefit sparsely populated areas, small remote villages and farms. Continuous research efforts are currently conducted to utilize marginal waters and sludge efficiently in a way that will maximize the outcome of its use with minimal negative environmental effects. Prof. Amit Gross will present an overview of several such studies with respect to the status of Israeli water resources.
Speaker: Charles Flynn, Executive Director, Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area
The Colorado River has always been a subject of contention and controversy. As water becomes even more scarce in the 21st century, the challenge to reach consensus among all the users and stakeholders will become even greater.
Jamie McEvoy is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Geography and Development at the University of Arizona. Her presentation draws on nine months of field dissertation research in Los Cabos and La Paz, Baja California Sur (BCS), Mexico. Using empirical evidence from household surveys, semi-structured interviews, and planning documents, McEvoy examines how the introduction of desalinated water into the municipal water supply portfolio has affected water security in the coastal tourist city of Cabo San Lucas, BCS. Additionally, she discusses proposals for a similar desalination plant in the capital city of La Paz and considers alternative water management options that are available for this region.
More than 300 people attended the WRRC's 2013 Annual Conference, "Water Security: From the Gound Up" on March 5. “Arizona Week” host Michael Chihak covered the conference and spoke with WRRC Director Sharon B. Megdal and speakers Elma Montana, Carly Jerla and Jim Leenhouts.
Dr. Sharon Megdal is Director of the UA Water Resources Research Center (WRRC), C. W. and Modene Neely Endowed Professor and Distinguished Outreach Professor at the University of Arizona. WRRC is a unit that concentrates on state and regional water resources management and policy, including environmental water requirements, aquifer recharge and assessment and planning to meet future water needs in the region.
The University of Arizona hosted its 9th annual Innovation Day at the UA on March 6. The event celebrated the UA's success in technology development and innovation by highlighting the research achievements of students and faculty and staff members.
On January 24, 2012, the Water Resources Research Center held its annual conference, Urbanization, Uncertainty and Water: Planning for Arizona's Second Hundred Years, in the University of Arizona Student Union Memorial Center Ballroom, Tucson. Arizona's urban areas are growing and some predict that a metropolitan region eventually will extend from Prescott, through the Phoenix area cities, Pinal County and the Tucson area, to south-central Cochise County. The conference addressed many of the vital questions about water in Arizona's future that this prospect raises. Organized in collaboration with the ASU Morrison Institute for Public Policy, the conference complemented their report Watering the Sun Corridor. Other reports considered during the conferences were the final report of the Water Resources Development Commission and the Grand Canyon Institute's Arizona at the Crossroads: Water Scarcity or Water Sustainability? The one-day conference was preceded by an optional workshop sponsored by the Sonoran Institute and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy where the Sun Corridor report was reviewed and discussed. http://ag.arizona.edu/azwater/programs/conf2012/
This video introduces the awesome science TNC Scientists are doing in Arizona and explores Arizona's important natural resources, including wildlife and water. It is intended for students and teachers in the Water Investigations Program to watch as part of Unit 3, Lesson 7. Students and teachers should send any questions they have about the video to their Community Coordinator.
Tom discussed ongoing ADWR initiatives, including the Water Resources Development Commission and development of the Fourth Management Plans for the Active Management Areas. He also touched on the status of implementing the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Water Sustainability and the ongoing Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study. Tom was available to answer questions after his talk.