Resources - Spring 2014 Newsletter


Spring 2014 Newsletter

An Arizona Guide to Water Quality and Uses

Janick F. Artiola, Gary Hix, Charles Gerba, and James J. Riley. University of Arizona. College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: Cooperative Extension. January 2014.

This short publication from the University of Arizona’s Cooperative Extension program provides an overview of water sources, their water quality, and possible uses across the state. The report focusses on nine water sources: Private and shared well water, public water utilities, surface water, recycled water, gray water, pool/spa and home treated water, black and industrial water (raw sewage), and water harvesting. In each section the authors provide an overview of water quality for the specific source, as well as guidelines and resources useful for users interested in learning more about it. The report also presents a “Water Quality and Uses Triangle”, which divides water quality into three major groups (pathogens, salinity, and specific contaminants) and places major water sources in relation to the three groups. This diagram is intended to aid home and well owners evaluate various sources of water, determine their likely water quality, and identify appropriate uses for them. The guide can be found at

Water Ethics: A Values Approach to Solving the Water Crisis

David Groenfeldt. Routledge Press, New York. 2013

This book introduces the idea that ethics are an intrinsic dimension of any water policy, program, or practice, and that understanding what ethics are being acted out in water policies is fundamental to an understanding of water resource management. Thus, in controversies or conflicts over water resource allocation and use, an examination of ethics can help clarify the positions of conflicting parties as preparation for constructive negotiations. The author shows the benefits of exposing tacit values and motivations and subjecting these to explicit public scrutiny where the values themselves can be debated. The aim of such a process is to create the proverbial ‘level playing field’, where values favoring environmental sustainability are considered in relation to values favoring short-term exploitation for economic stimulus.

The book shows how new technologies, such as drip irrigation, or governance structures, such as river basin organizations are neither “good” nor “bad” in their own right, but can serve a range of interests which are guided by ethics. A new ethic of coexistence and synergies with nature is possible, but ultimately depends not on science, law, or finances, but on the values we choose to adopt. The book includes a wide range of case studies from countries including Australia, India, Philippines, South Africa and the United States. These cover various contexts including water for agriculture, urban, domestic and industrial use, the rights of indigenous people, and river, watershed and ecosystem management.

National Stormwater Calculator and Climate Assessment Tool, Phase II

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA released phase II of the National Stormwater Calculator and Climate Assessment Tool package. As part of President Obama’s Climate Change Action Plan, the calculator is a desktop application that estimates the annual amount of stormwater runoff from a specific location. The calculator includes changes in seasonal precipitation levels, the effects of more frequent high-intensity storms, and changes in evaporation rates based on validated climate change scenarios by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The updated version includes future climate vulnerability scenarios. This adds future climate scenarios to last year’s phase I release, which included local soil conditions, slope, land cover, historical rainfall records. Users can enter any U.S. location and select different scenarios to learn how specific green infrastructure changes, including inexpensive changes such as rain barrels and rain gardens, can reduce stormwater runoff. More information on the National Stormwater Calculator can be found at