TUCSON, Ariz. (May 6, 2014) - The Desert Water Harvesting Initiative (DWHI), a program of the Water Resources Research Center at the University of Arizona, has released its new Water Harvesting Assessment Toolbox.
This decision-support guide aims to help communities in the arid and semi-arid Southwest evaluate water harvesting as a strategy for meeting water resource challenges and providing multiple additional benefits, such as mitigating urban heat island effects, reducing energy costs and meeting stormwater quality regulations.
As climate change increasingly impacts supply and demand balances, water harvesting can become an important component of a community's response. Because water harvesting intersects with many community concerns and jurisdictions, the Toolbox is designed to be used in a group setting by multiple representatives who have diverse perspectives and interests. Detailed instructions are provided in the Toolbox to enable a facilitator to lead the group through the water harvesting assessment process. Facilitated group discussions will help users create a community-specific roadmap for undertaking water harvesting in their area. A presentation template is included in the Toolbox to guide users in sharing their roadmap with decision-makers and the public.
The Water Harvesting Assessment Toolbox was produced by a team supported by funding through the Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative, in conjunction with the Bureau of Reclamation's WaterSMART grant program. This Toolbox is a prototype, and any and all feedback on ease of use, effectiveness, and suggested improvements is welcomed.
The facilitator instructions and all other components of the Toolbox can be found at wrrc.arizona.edu/DWHI (click the green "Toolbox" button). Visitors can browse additional water harvesting resources by clicking through the tabs at the top of the page.