Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) has long been utilized to help meet water management objectives. In 1978, the first symposium on artificial recharge was held in Phoenix, Arizona.
Summary of Ecosystem Services of Riparian Restoration: A Review of Rock Detention Structures in the Madrean Archipelago Ecoregion
- Flood regulation: in the cross-border urban environment of Nogales, Arizona, US, and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, models assessed flood vulnerability and portrayed impacts RDS would have in reducing peak flows, prioritizing some locations as being more beneficial than others.
- Habitat provisioning: multiple studies address the potential for RDS to maintain and improve riparian vegetation and water availability. A remote-sensing analysis was conducted to document impacts of RDS installed at Cienega San Bernardino, over 20+ years, to restore surface water for native fishes. Results portray live green vegetation present at most sites treated by gabion installation vs. control sites and the potential of RDS to increase vegetation as far as 5 km downstream and 1 km upstream. A field study was launched in 2014 to monitor locations with on-the-ground measurements, with preliminary findings portraying increases of perennial vegetation at RDS.
- Water regulation, purification, and provisioning: a paired-watershed approach was established at El Coronado Ranch to analyze the impacts of RDS on hydrologic function. Results portray a reduced peak flow response but increase of 28% more flow volume per area in the treated watershed. At the Babocomari Ranch, field experiments were coupled with surface and groundwater modeling to investigate using RDS to augment aquifer recharge with average infiltration behind the RDS increasing ~10%. Model results indicated a potential increase in lateral soil water incurred from RDS installation.
- Erosion regulation: at the Deep Dirt Farm Institute, runoff, sediment transport, and geomorphic modeling with repeat terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) surveys were used to map landscape change at RDS. Findings support erosion control and the potential to use models to predict hydraulics and approximate associated trends and patterns of aggradation and degradation resulting from gabions before they are installed.
- Carbon sequestration and storage: a pilot study evaluated stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen at and around RDS at El Coronado Ranch. Results indicate the potential of check dams to increase carbon sequestration, especially in burned watersheds.
- Social value: a study was developed to identify spatial guidelines for restoration efforts. Borderlands Restoration Network initiated a social survey to solicit perceived, nonmarket values related to restoration and conservation. A model was applied to map survey responses across the watershed that documented values focused on streams and the life-sustaining services, biological diversity, and aesthetics.
Ashley Hullinger, WRRC Research Analyst and 2020 Flinn-Brown Fellow, was named by BizTucson Magazine as one of Tucson’s Next Generation of Leaders.
The University of Arizona’s Water Resources Research Center is offering a paid summer internship for a student who wants to gain experience writing about environmental and water issues. The selected intern will contribute to research and writing for an issue of Arroyo, the annual WRRC publication that focuses on a critical Arizona water issue. Arroyo is recognized as a source of objective, accurate, and understandable information and reaches a wide audience that includes policy makers and water professionals as well as the interested public.
APW is celebrating Fix a Leak Week (March 15-19) all semester! In partnership with the Town of Gilbert, we’re using a Project WET lesson called Every Drop Counts to virtually bring meaningful learning to fourth-grade students. In this lesson, students measure a hypothetical leak and extrapolate that very small leak to observe how drops can quickly lead to gallons. If we measure an average individual leak of 2.4 teaspoons per minute, students can use math to figure out how much water that would yield in an hour (144 tsp), a day (3,456 tsp), and a year (1,261,440 tsp).
On Wednesday, March 17, the Arizona Institutes for Resilience, in partnership with the WRRC and the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, hosted the first episode of the Water Solutions for Our Warmer World webinar series.