Educational Insight on Important Water Issues
Articles, Reports and Other
January 12, 2022
Assessing Groundwater Withdrawal Sustainability in the Mexican Portion of the Transboundary Santa Cruz River Aquifer
The impact of climate uncertainties is already evident in the border communities of the United States and Mexico. This semi-arid to arid border region has faced increased vulnerability to water scarcity, propelled by droughts, warming atmosphere, population growth, ecosystem sensitivity, and institutional asymmetries between the two countries. In this study, we assessed the annual water withdrawal, which is essential for maintaining long-term sustainable conditions in the Santa Cruz River Aquifer in Mexico, which is part of the U.S.–Mexico Transboundary Santa Cruz Aquifer. For this assessment...
December 17, 2021
Arizona Water Factsheet: Maricopa County
The WRRC is pleased to share the first in a series of Arizona Water Factsheets. The Maricopa County Factsheet packages concise water information and builds on previous collaborative water education efforts with the Maricopa County Cooperative Extension. The Arizona Water Factsheets aim to answer common questions about water resources at the county level. Tailoring information for a local audience within the broader context of the state, these snapshot resources address basic water supply and demand, regionally relevant challenges, and sustainability issues for the future. Additional...
August 10, 2021
Science and Binational Cooperation: Bidirectionality in theTransboundary Aquifer Assessment Program in the Arizona-Sonora Border Region
Abstract:Sharing scientiﬁc data and information is often cited within academic literature as aninitial step of water cooperation, but the transfer of research ﬁndings into policy and practice is oftenslow and inconsistent. Certain attributes—including salience, credibility, and legitimacy of scientiﬁcinformation; iterative information production; and sociocultural factors—may inﬂuence how easilyscientiﬁc information can be used in management and policymaking. However, transnationalityusually complicates these sorts of interactions. Accordingly, we argue that the production of scien-tiﬁc...
May 01, 2021
A Review of Climate Change Impacts on the USA-Mexico Transboundary Santa Cruz River Basin
Abstract: In the parched Upper Santa Cruz River Basin (USCRB), a binational USA–Mexico basin, the water resources depend on rainfall-triggered infrequent flow events in ephemeral channels to recharge its storage-limited aquifers. In-situ data from the basin highlight a year-round warming trend since the 1980s and a concerning decline in average precipitation (streamflow) from 1955–2000 to 2001–2020 by 50% (87.6%) and 17% (63%) during the winter and summer, respectively. Binational sustainable management of the basins water resources requires a careful consideration of prospective climatic...
April 01, 2021
Choosing Large-scale Rain Harvesting for Potable Supply
As groundwater becomes harder to access in many areas of Arizona, risks and costs associated with groundwater wells have become an important economic consideration for property owners. Groundwater is considered a non-renewable water supply when aquifers do not recover enough from pumping to reliably produce water from the same level through time. Water may refill the aquifer very slowly, so slowly that the groundwater being pumped today may be thousands of years old. Once more water is pumped than is recharged, an aquifer is in overdraft, with multiple potential negative effects, including...
March 22, 2021
Looming Water Gap in the Colorado River Basin Leads Two Arizona Communities toward Integrated Land and Water Planning
Arguably, managing water separately from land was one of the great missteps of the 20th century. Turning our eyes to past practices, and recognizing the role watersheds play in the health of the environment and our communities, we see that land and water must be managed together as integrated social-natural systems. This issue of Water Resources IMPACT is a companion to the AWRA 2021 Virtual Summer Conference: Connecting Land & Water for Healthy Communities, convening in July 2021. As co-chair of the AWRA Integrated Water Resources Management Technical Committee, and in partnership with...
September 12, 2016
Desert Flows Assessment
In the past decade there has been increased interest in providing water to meet the needs of riparian and aquatic ecosystems in the western United States and policymakers are using their knowledge of environmental flow needs to advocate for both political and scientific changes. However, there are significant challenges associated with including environmental flows in water management and planning. First, water rights for environmental flows are not universal, and in many cases legal tools used to incorporate the environment into water management and planning only require new users to...
November 14, 2012
Arizona Environmental Water Needs Methodology Guidebook
Arizona Environmental Water Needs (AzEWN) Methodology Guidebook: Determining the best methods or quantifying environmental flow needs depends on what is to be studied as well as how the information will be used. This guidebook will provide a description of the methodologies used in Arizona to define the environment’s need for water. Depending on the geographic context, the time and effort available, and whether the goal is restoration or maintenance of an ecosystem, some methods will be more appropriate for a given application than others. The resulting flows prescribed by each method...
October 01, 2012
AZ Know Your Water
A consumer's guide to water sources in Arizona, quality regulations, and home water treatment options, funded through the TRIF Water Sustainability Program grants program. Click on link above to download pdf.
March 29, 2011
AzEWN Assessment and Methodology Guidebook Brochure
AzEWN Assessment and Methodology Guidebook Brochure: This document is a four-page color brochure highlighting the contents of the Arizona Environmental Water Needs Assessment Report and Methodology Guidebook. Protecting Arizona’s natural environment, water supply, and open spaces is a high priority for Arizona citizens. The Arizona Environmental Water Needs Assessment systematically assembled technical information about the environment’s water needs that can be used in water planning and policymaking statewide. AzEWNA documents and inventory data are intended to improve...
August 01, 2009
Arizona Well Owners' Guide to Water Supply
This booklet is intended for Arizona residents who depend on private wells for their water needs. Well owners who want to become familiar with Arizona's groundwater sources, water quality and water testing options, and well maintenance issues should read this booklet. Topics include: An overview of the state's water resources and how Arizona's major cities use these resources. A description of Arizona's geology and how location affects the quantity and quality of aquifer water resources in our state. Common contaminant found in Arizona's...
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...