Educational Insight on Important Water Issues
Articles, Reports and Other
June 15, 2020
2020 WOTUS Rule
The United States has had a tumultuous relationship with one of its most precious resources — water. By the 1970s, aggressive development in the United States necessitated the implementation of regulatory measures to protect the environment. Since then, the debate has focused not on whether the environment should be protected, but how comprehensively that regulatory protection should extend. Nowhere has this debate been more evident than with the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS).
June 01, 2020
Impacts of Variable Climate and Effluent Flows on the Transboundary Santa Cruz Aquifer
ABSTRACT: Assessing groundwater resources in the arid and semiarid borderlands of the United States and Mexico represents a challenge for land and water managers, particularly in the Transboundary Santa Cruz Aquifer (TSCA). Population growth, residential construction, and industrial activities have increased groundwater demand in the TSCA, in addition to wastewater treatment and sanitation demands. These activities, coupled with climate variability, influence the hydrology of the TSCA and emphasize the need for groundwater assessment tools for decision-making purposes. This study assesses the...
October 15, 2019
Ambos Nogales Effluent
Perennial flows in the United States of America (US) portion of the Santa Cruz River downstream from the Nogales International Wastewater Treatment Plant (NIWTP) depend on its effluent discharges. The US portion is subject to high variability in flows, due to both wastewater overflow events resulting from heavy rainfall, and decreases in flow resulting from treatment and discharge of Mexican wastewater by Mexico. The diversion of wastewater generated from NIWTP has the potential to have social, institutional, hydrological, and ecological effects to the Ambos Nogales region (Nogales, Arizona...
July 17, 2019
1986 Water Harvesting Primer Still Relevant Today
Back in the 1980s, the University of Arizona operated a research facility near Oracle, AZ, investigating water harvesting and runoff farming. One of the products of their research was a Primer on Water Harvesting and Runoff Farming written by Gerald Matlock and Gordon Dutt. The authors were predicting the widespread adoption of water harvesting for agriculture as early as 1965, a prediction that has yet to be realized. The primer contains calculations of water yields under various conditions and the relation to yields of various crops. It also contains a guide to design and...
July 01, 2019
Tucson Leads the Way
In collaboration with city, county, and academic institutions can open new opportunities to secure new water resources. Green infrastructure is critical to reducing the demand on potable supplies, explain authors Susanna Eden at the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center and at the Pima County Regional Flood Control District. Water harvesting has been used in the Tucson, Arizona region since prehistoric times and is now in resurgence. Within the past 30 years, Tucson has become a leader in desert rainwater and stormwater capture to build resilience and address growing concerns...
January 24, 2019
Groundwater governance in the United States: A mosaic of approaches
Groundwater is an important water supply for meeting municipal, industrial, and agricultural water demands and for supporting riparian and other ecological systems in the United States (U.S.). Effective groundwater governance is therefore crucial to the wise use of this largely non-renewable resource (recharge rates are slower than extraction rates). While minimum, federally-established drinking-water quality and water-discharge regulations do exist, the framework of the laws and regulations governing groundwater use in this country is highly decentralized. Each state determines its own...
March 01, 2008
Well Owners' Guide to Ground Water Resources in Yavapai County
An individual in an industrialized urban society may use from one million to five million gallons of water during their lifetime. If the share of industrial, agricultural, and recreational usage is counted, the total amount of water may exceed ten million gallons per capita. Water resources are those sources of water that meet the need of the individual and society, and the value of that resource depends on demand and availability. Our arid climate, coupled with increasing demands on water supply and the over—allocation of surface water resources, forces much of Yavapai County to rely on...
December 01, 2007
Layperson's Guide to Arizona Water
As part of its commitment to serve the water education needs of Arizona citizens, the Water Resources Research Center teamed up with the Water Education Foundation to produce the Layperson’s Guide to Arizona Water. The publication meets a longstanding need: it offers in a single, reader-friendly source information Arizona citizens need to be well informed about state water issues. Few would doubt the need for a layperson’s guide or primer describing the ins and outs of Arizona water. Arizona is a rapidly growing state attracting people from many different areas who need to be...
June 30, 2007
Arizona Conserve Water Educators' Guide
Arizona Conserve Water is a publication dedicated to the premise that it is never too early to learn to conserve water. The K-12 educators' guide is a tool to help Arizona teachers develop among their students a knowledge and respect for water in their semi-arid home state. The guide is divided into four sections. Part I provides students with a brief overview of Arizona geography, water history, water management and conservation. Students become more actively involved with Part II, a collection of 15 lesson plans presenting creative, hands-on activities to teach students about water...
October 15, 2005
Rain Barrel Water Harvesting Guide
The southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico have generally dry climates and rapidly growing populations. Both Nogales, Arizona, and Nogales, Sonora, have limited water resources and must rely on the drought-prone Santa Cruz River for 50 percent or more of their water supply. A 6-page "how-to" guide on the basic principles of rain barrel water harvesting and information about installing your own system. This guide was prepared for the Nogales Rainwater Harvesting Open House.
November 30, 2004
Arizona Know Your Water
Our day-to-day existence depends on having access to fresh water. Arizonans use about 130 gallons of potable water per person per day. In addition, each day in the U.S. about 1400 gallons of fresh water are needed to grow one person’s food supply, produce electric power, and support industrial production. The environment, the water cycle, and human activities determine water quality. Consumers need to be aware of the water sources in Arizona, be familiar with the quality of the water they are using and be able to make informed decisions about their home water treatment options. Arizona...
July 15, 1996
Field Manual For Water Quality Sampling
This field manual is intended to serve as a field reference guide for the collection of water quality samples from surface water and ground water. More detailed information can be found in reference materials from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and other sources. Separate training should be provided prior to field water quality sampling. The overriding objective of this manual is to provide consistent field sampling protocols for the numerous agencies and individuals who require water quality information. However, it is not intended to replace any sampling plan. The Spanish-...