Educational Insight on Important Water Issues
Articles, Reports and Other
October 01, 2018
Decentralized Groundwater Governance and Water Nexus Implications in the United States
The interconnectivities of groundwater to food, energy, and the climate are addressed to various degrees at the state level. Groundwater governance in the United States is decentralized, resulting in considerable variations in state practices. This article, published in Jurimetrics and written by Sharon B. Megdal and Jacob Petersen-Perlman, reports on two state-level surveys and three regional case studies conducted to better understand groundwater governance strategies and practices. The article also relates the results of these research efforts to food, energy, and climate. The...
September 14, 2018
Findings and lessons learned from the assessment of the Mexico-United States transboundary San Pedro and Santa Cruz aquifers:
Groundwater, the "invisible water," is difficult to assess, manage and govern for many reasons, mostly due to the unknown quantities of the resource. Political boundaries dividing groundwater aquifers make assessment even more challenging. This article focuses on lessons learned from the hydrologic assessment of the Transboundary San Pedro and Santa Cruz aqufiers. The authors conducted the work in two phases: (1) laying the groundwork and (2) implementation. The "laying the groundwork" phase consisted of binational meetings with stakeholders and key actors (agencies and individuals), and the...
June 06, 2018
State-level Groundwater Governance and Management in the U.S.: Summary of Survey Results of Groundwater Quality Strategies and Practices
Groundwater governance and management practices vary considerably across the United States. To better understand groundwater governance strategies and practices connected to water quality in the United States, a team from the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center designed and launched a nationwide survey in 2016. The goal of the project was to identify on-the-ground practices of groundwater governance that may help to improve and enhance management of the nation’s water supplies, particularly within the realm of groundwater quality. A state water professional was recruited in...
June 05, 2018
Critical Issues Affecting Groundwater Quality Governance and Management in the United States
Groundwater is increasingly important for meeting water demand across the United States (U.S.). Forward thinking governance and effective management are necessary for its sustainable use. In the U.S., state governments are primarily responsible for groundwater governance (i.e., making laws, policies, and regulations) and management (i.e., implementation of laws, policies, and regulations). This decentralized system results in diverse strategies and practices. We surveyed a water quality professional from each state to better understand commonalities and differences across states. These...
May 14, 2018
Evaluating Gravity-Flow Irrigation with Lessons from Yuma, Arizona, USA
Many consider gravity-flow irrigation inefficient and deride its use. Yet, there are cases where gravity-flow irrigation can play an important role in highly productive and profitable agriculture. This perspective article reviews the literature on the profitability and efficiency of gravity systems. It then reviews the history of water management in Yuma, Arizona, which is one of the most productive agricultural areas in the United States. Through extensive changes in irrigation technologies, changes in production practices, and investments in irrigation infrastructure, Yuma agriculture...
May 01, 2018
Breaking Down the Walls
The Roman Empire was known for many remarkable engineering achievements, including roads that straddled continents and aqueducts capable of conveying life-sustaining water into ever-growing cities at the heart of the empire. Researchers tracing the history of Roman infl uence in Great Britain, however, long wondered how one critical, remote outpost in the northern part of the country could have maintained itself and persisted for decades without a source of water.
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-...