The U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the National Institutes for Water Resources is requesting proposals for the FY 2018 Water Resources Research National Competitive Grants Program (104g). Grants will support research on improving and enhancing the nation's water supply. Any investigator at an accredited institution of higher learning in the United States is eligible to apply. Proposals may be for projects of 1 to 3 years in duration and may request up to $250,000 in federal funds.
WRRC Releases 2014 Arroyo: What is the Value of Water in Arizona?
The UA Water Resources Research Center (WRRC) recently released its newly redesigned 2014 Arroyo on a vital topic in Arizona: What is the Value of Water? This year's Arroyo -- a free, 16-page annual publication devoted to a single water topic of timely interest in Arizona -- is a wide-ranging review of the surprisingly complex subject of water's value, beyond its price.
Beginning with a description of what is included in the price of consumers' water, the 2014 Arroyo also surveys the costs incurred by agricultural and industrial users. These can be very different depending on factors like location and the source of the water. Does this difference make the value of water different for different users, or does the idea of value include factors other than costs and price? Legal and institutional systems are major influences on the amount paid to obtain water, as shown by the policies of large water suppliers in establishing charges.
For some, value can be measured when water is bought and sold in a market -- the price the buyer and seller agree on represents the value. But this transaction often does not reflect effects on third parties, such as the effect on a rural community when a farmer sells water to a city, and usually neglects effects on the environment. These effects, both negative and positive, can be evaluated and considered in the value of water by using a number of economic techniques. Studies using these techniques have shown that water and related environments increase the price of real estate, generate economic activity and increase the well being of individuals, as measured by their expressed willingness to pay. Economic activity adds value to water by converting it into products and services -- a concept called virtual water, which is the water needed to provide a product or service. Virtual water allows the water bought and sold when products and services are traded in markets to be traced. Most of the water people use people is virtual.
Does all of this determine the value of water, or is there more? The 2014 Arroyo examines not only economic assessments, but also spiritual and cultural evaluations, using examples from the heritage and traditions of Native Southwestern Tribes and Hispanic communities of New Mexico. In the end, this year's Arroyo does not provide a definition of water's value, but instead calls on readers to appreciate its complexity. Every effort has been made to present the issues in determining the value of water as objectively as possible, leaving it up to the reader to answer the question, "What is the value of water?"
Each year, WRRC faculty and staff devote long hours to production of a detailed Annual Report, containing a wealth of information on our yearly accomplishments, finances, and multiple water programs across Arizona. We have now made available a 4-page synopsis of our 2016 Annual Report that can be downloaded here. This report contains metrics on all of our programs that address water issues with greater depth and broader perspective, towards a clear water future for Arizona.
Water is everyone’s business and the business of water affects everyone. On Wednesday, March 28, 2018, The Business of Water will be front and center at the University of Arizona (UA) Water Resources Research Center’s Annual Conference, which will be held at the University of Arizona Student Union in Tucson, Arizona.
Arizona Project WET (APW) collaborated with Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) to immerse 20 teachers from across Arizona in the first Underwater Robotics and Engineering Design Academy sponsored by Arizona Department of Water Resources.