Educational Insight on Important Water Issues
Articles, Reports and Other
April 01, 2021
Choosing Large-scale Rain Harvesting for Potable Supply
As groundwater becomes harder to access in many areas of Arizona, risks and costs associated with groundwater wells have become an important economic consideration for property owners. Groundwater is considered a non-renewable water supply when aquifers do not recover enough from pumping to reliably produce water from the same level through time. Water may refill the aquifer very slowly, so slowly that the groundwater being pumped today may be thousands of years old. Once more water is pumped than is recharged, an aquifer is in overdraft, with multiple potential negative effects, including...
March 22, 2021
Looming Water Gap in the Colorado River Basin Leads Two Arizona Communities toward Integrated Land and Water Planning
Arguably, managing water separately from land was one of the great missteps of the 20th century. Turning our eyes to past practices, and recognizing the role watersheds play in the health of the environment and our communities, we see that land and water must be managed together as integrated social-natural systems. This issue of Water Resources IMPACT is a companion to the AWRA 2021 Virtual Summer Conference: Connecting Land & Water for Healthy Communities, convening in July 2021. As co-chair of the AWRA Integrated Water Resources Management Technical Committee, and in partnership with...
March 01, 2021
Preparing Rainwater for Potable Use
Rainwater harvesting can provide a realistic source of water for homeowners living in remote areas or those who for one reason or another prefer not to use their groundwater inside the house. Local groundwater may have problems common in many parts of Arizona: high mineral content, naturally occurring elements such as arsenic and fluoride, and contaminants from various sources, such as overflowing septic tanks, and agricultural, industrial or mining activities. Homeowners may have low-yield or seasonally dry wells and wish to avoid trucking in water. They may be unwilling or unable to drill...
Peer Reviewed Articles
February 18, 2021
The U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program as a Model for Transborder Groundwater Collaboration
The assessment of transboundary aquifers is essential for the development of groundwater management strategies and the sustainable use of groundwater resources. The Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program (TAAP) is a joint effort by the United States and Mexico to evaluate shared aquifers. This study examines the TAAP Cooperative Framework as a guide for further transboundary groundwater collaboration. We compared lessons learned from six transboundary aquifers that currently have mechanisms for groundwater collaboration to identify common elements of collaboration. Though the TAAP...
August 17, 2020
Water Matters is the newsletter from Tucson Water included with the monthly Utility Services Statements to customers. The first item is 10 Ways to Harvest Rain. Read the bulletin
August 01, 2020
Rain Water Harvesting Saves Water and Supports Healthy Trees
Water conservation is an important issue in the Southwest. Many urban landscapes use native or desert-adapted plants to reduce the amount of irrigation needed. Harvesting rainwater is another strategy to supplement irrigation and reduce potable water use. Rainwater harvesting has become more popular in recent years for both commercial and private properties to conserve water. Other benefits include reducing stormwater runoff, flooding, and soil erosion, and getting free, good quality water for irrigating plants.
May 31, 2017
Desert Flows Methodology Guidebook
Successful implementation of environmental flow projects depends on land and water managers having clear objectives and access to reliable data. This guidebook provides information on a variety of methods that can be utilized under different fiscal or temporal constraints to determine and implement appropriate environmental flow targets. Based on evidence from cases focused in the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico, steps are suggested to help ensure maintenance of flows under uncertain future natural and socio-economic conditions. The importance of education and engagement to...
September 12, 2016
Desert Flows Assessment
In the past decade there has been increased interest in providing water to meet the needs of riparian and aquatic ecosystems in the western United States and policymakers are using their knowledge of environmental flow needs to advocate for both political and scientific changes. However, there are significant challenges associated with including environmental flows in water management and planning. First, water rights for environmental flows are not universal, and in many cases legal tools used to incorporate the environment into water management and planning only require new users to...
November 14, 2012
Arizona Environmental Water Needs Methodology Guidebook
Arizona Environmental Water Needs (AzEWN) Methodology Guidebook: Determining the best methods or quantifying environmental flow needs depends on what is to be studied as well as how the information will be used. This guidebook will provide a description of the methodologies used in Arizona to define the environment’s need for water. Depending on the geographic context, the time and effort available, and whether the goal is restoration or maintenance of an ecosystem, some methods will be more appropriate for a given application than others. The resulting flows prescribed by each method...
October 01, 2012
AZ Know Your Water
A consumer's guide to water sources in Arizona, quality regulations, and home water treatment options, funded through the TRIF Water Sustainability Program grants program has been reprinted due to popular demand and is now available. This convenient spiral bound volume covers water use and water sources in Arizona, minerals and contaminants in water, water quality regulations and standards, and home water treatment options. Each option is fully described, including operation and maintenance tips. Copies of the booklet are available at the University of Arizona, Water Resources Research...
March 29, 2011
AzEWN Assessment and Methodology Guidebook Brochure
AzEWN Assessment and Methodology Guidebook Brochure: This document is a four-page color brochure highlighting the contents of the Arizona Environmental Water Needs Assessment Report and Methodology Guidebook. Protecting Arizona’s natural environment, water supply, and open spaces is a high priority for Arizona citizens. The Arizona Environmental Water Needs Assessment systematically assembled technical information about the environment’s water needs that can be used in water planning and policymaking statewide. AzEWNA documents and inventory data are intended to improve...
August 01, 2009
Arizona Well Owners' Guide to Water Supply
This booklet is intended for Arizona residents who depend on private wells for their water needs. Well owners who want to become familiar with Arizona's groundwater sources, water quality and water testing options, and well maintenance issues should read this booklet. Topics include: An overview of the state's water resources and how Arizona's major cities use these resources. A description of Arizona's geology and how location affects the quantity and quality of aquifer water resources in our state. Common contaminant found in Arizona's...