Water RAPIDS (Water Research and Planning Innovations for Dryland Systems) | Arizonawrrc.arizona.edu

Water RAPIDS

 

 

 

 

The goal of Water RAPIDS (Water Research and Planning Innovations for Dryland Systems) is to help communities balance a secure water future for residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural sectors with the water demands of the natural environment. Planning for people and natural resources together can lead to a more sustainable future by both strengthening local and regional economies, and supporting the natural resources that contribute to a high quality of life in the southwestern United States.

Recent Publications Current and Upcoming Events

New! Desert Flows Assessment: Environmental Water Needs of Riparian and Aquatic Species in the Desert Watersheds of the U.S. and Mexico provides a summary of findings from the Desert Flows Database and over 40 maps and tables with data on environmental flow needs and responses to changes in flow for riparian and aquatic species. Highlights include the most common risks and stressors for riparian and aquatic systems in the deserts of the U.S. and Mexico and detailed flow needs and flow response tables for Cottonwoods, Willows, Tamarisk, and Mesquite.

New!  Building Common Ground for Environmental Flows using Traditional Techniques and Novel Engagement Approaches was published by Environmental Management in January 2016 by Dr. Kelly Mott Lacroix (primary author). The research presented here, conducted in the U.S. state of Arizona, provides an empirical example of engagement to promote social learning as an approach to finding ways to provide water for the environment where legal rights for environmental flows are inadequate. 

New! Using Scenario Planning to Prepare for Uncertainty in Rural Watersheds is available from the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension.  This guide focuses on a process for developing scenarios to help communities and watershed groups explore what might happen in the years to come, make more informed decisions today, and build a watershed management process.

Roadmap for Considering Water for Arizona's Natural Areas is available for download.  The Roadmap contains information on the current scientific understanding of water for natural areas and existing legal considerations for providing water to natural areas, examples of where natural areas are already included in water management decisions, and an overview of available paths forward for including natural areas alongside human uses.

New! The Desert Flows Database is expanded and improved with a fresh interface that makes querying data even easier. Click here to read more and try out the new version: https://wrrc.arizona.edu/desertflowsdata

A 45-minute webinar on how to use the database is available via the Desert LCC YouTube channel.

To request more information please contact Kelly Mott Lacroix.

The Water RAPIDS team can provide a range of services, including:

  • Watershed management and planning that integrates natural resources, water resources, and community development
  • Stakeholder engagement process design and facilitation services for communities seeking feedback on water resources issues or in need of assistance to address water-related conflicts
  • Geographic information system (GIS) analysis of water and natural resource issues
  • Innovative approaches and tools for increasing household water conservation, while building awareness of the relationship between natural resources and water use

Current Water RAPIDS projects include:

Conserve to Enhance Logo

Conserve2Enhance (C2E): An innovative new approach to conserving water and restoring the environment in our communities.

  • Conserve2Enhance (C2E) has launched our new online Dashboard!  Visit us at www.conserve2enhance.org and make your water savings count!

Cienega Creek above Mattie   

Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) Environmental Flows DatabaseThe goal of this project is to develop a tool that will enable more resilient and effective management of riparian and aquatic systems throughout the deserts of the United States and Mexico. This project is being done in partnership with Northern Arizona University (NAU).


Gila River near Threeway (Clifton)        

Watershed Planning in the Upper Gila Watershed: The Upper Gila River is one of the last stretches of free-flowing river in the American West. Through stakeholder engagement, watershed assessment and scenario planning, the WRRC is working to assist local water planning efforts to ensure adequate supply for all water using sectors.


  

 

Raising Water Awareness in the Globe-Miami Community: The Globe-Miami area faces complex challenges in balancing their water supply and infrastructure with current and future demands. To meet these challenges WRRC and the Gila County Cooperative Extension office are collaborating on educational opportunities for residents, including an Arizona Water 101 workshop series and a Master Watershed Steward Educational Program Series.


Recent Water RAPIDS projects include:

Cienega Creek above Mattie   

Connecting the Environment to Arizona Water Planning (EnWaP): Building on the results of the Environmental Water Needs Assessment, the WRRC worked with communities throughout Arizona to incorporate environmental water needs into water management and planning.  Project products included:

  • Roadmap for Considering Water for Arizona's Natural Areas: The Roadmap contains information on the current scientific understanding of water for natural areas and existing legal considerations for providing water to natural areas, examples of where natural areas are already included in water management decisions, and an overview of available paths forward for including natural areas alongside human uses.

 

 


Seal of Clarkdale

      

Sustainable Clarkdale: The town of Clarkdale, Arizona is working to become a sustainable community.  The Water RAPIDS team assisted the town to develop a model water resource management program that will reduce per capita water consumption to sustainable levels in order to protect the Verde River.  The end goal of this project was to balance water consumption and supply by exploring benefits and consequences of management options, the policies and outreach required to initiate a public engagement process, and an information campaign to build support from citizens for the Sustainable Clarkdale initiative.

In 2014 the WRRC lead a Water Experts Meeting in February and a Small Town Water Management Forum in June.  In advance of the Water Experts Meeting a Water Primer for the Town of Clarkdale was prepared to introduce the invited experts to the geography and hydrologic conditions of Clarkdale, as well as the current water management challenges and potential solutions identified by the Town.