Environment and Water: Decision-support Tools for Managing Ecosystem Services in Arizona
Humans benefit from a multitude of resources and services that are supplied by ecosystems.
ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability is undertaking research on the contribution of Arizona’s ecosystems to sustainable economic growth, job creation, and human wellbeing in Arizona.
Ecosystem services being studied include water quality and quantity, erosion control, fire regulation, recreation and tourism, grazing, and disease regulation. The discussion will highlight the new and innovative scientific methods being developed to assess ecosystem services and how potential changes in land use would affect the present and future delivery and value of these ecosystem services.
Please join us at DCDC to discuss this ground breaking research.
Professor, School of Life Sciences
Co-Director, ecoServices Group
Chief Research Strategist, Global Institute of Sustainability
Professor of Environmental Economics
Co-Director, ecoServices Group
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In Phoenix, Arizona and other metropolitan areas, water governance challenges include variable climate conditions, growing demands, and continued groundwater overdraft. Based on an actor-oriented examination of who does what with water and why, along with how people interact with hydro-ecological systems and man-made infrastructure, we present a sustainability appraisal of water governance for the Phoenix region.
Broadly applicable to other areas, our systems approach to sustainable water governance overcomes prevailing limitations to research and management by: employing a comprehensive and integrative perspective on water systems; highlighting the activities, intentions, and rules that govern various actors, along with the values and goals driving decisions; and, establishing a holistic set of principles for social–ecological system integrity and interconnectivity, resource efficiency and maintenance, livelihood sufficiency and opportunity, civility and democratic governance, intra- and inter-generational equity, and finally, precaution and adaptive capacity.
This study also contributes to reforming and innovating governance regimes by illuminating how these principles are being met, or not, in the study area. What is most needed in metropolitan Phoenix is enhanced attention to ecosystem functions and resource maintenance as well as social equity and public engagement in water governance.
Overall, key recommendations entail: addressing interconnections across hydrologic units and sub-systems (e.g., land and water), increasing decentralized initiatives for multiple purposes (e.g., ecological and societal benefits of green infrastructure), incorporating justice goals into decisions (e.g., fair allocations and involvement), and building capacity through collaborations and social learning with diverse interests (e.g., scientists, policymakers, and the broader public).
(a) School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Mail Code 5502 Tempe, AZ 85287-5502, USA
(b) School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University, Mail Code 5302 Tempe, AZ 85287-5302, USA
For the past year, Intel has been doing its part to help make the perfect match. That is, in matching wastewater makers with wastewater users for the WaterMatch project.
Intel’s director of global citizenship, Gary Niekerk, describes the project as functioning potentially like an online dating site. But instead of having an interested couple meet up and seeing where things go, wastewater makers like agriculture or power companies could hook up with wastewater users like industrial facilities or treatment plants.
But obviously, making this dream happen is going to be a lot more complicated than getting two budding lovers together for coffee.
And so far, progress has been slow. Although the site has received plenty of hits from all over the world, said Niekerk, there has yet to be any documented successful matches.
The biggest problem is that getting data on wastewater treatment plants is incredibly hard. There is no national database for treatment facilities so gathering this kind of information requires laborious searches and calls to each individual plant.
Nevertheless, the wastewater project has made strides since Intel got involved a year ago. Niekerk said he became interested in the project after meeting with Jan Dell, vice president at consultant and construction firm CH2M Hill, which developed the project. But Niekerk noticed when he entered Tempe, Ariz., the location where he lived, nothing came up. The map was practically empty.
So Intel decided to fund a grant for Arizona State University for students to do the grunt work of populating the map, starting with Arizona. There are now almost 200 of these sites listed on the map for Arizona.
Next, students at ASU are moving on to Mexico with funding from CH2M Hill. The project is also trying to draw other university students from around the world to help fill in more gaps.
And next month the project is bringing together leading water experts in the Colorado River basin to discuss the tool and how it might be improved.
Intel’s interest in this project stems from its own efforts to improve water sustainability in the company’s operations. Since 1998 Intel has invested $100 million in internal projects to make its water usage more sustainable in its manufacturing operations. The company has saved more than 40 billion gallons of water through its water reuse and efficiency measures.
“We have been thinking as a company about what we can do to increase water sustainability, especially in the places we operate,” said Niekerk.
In the company’s Arizona facilities, for example, it uses 2.6 million gallons of reclaimed water per day in its manufacturing process in things like scrubbers and cooling towers.
“This is a worldwide opportunity,” said Niekerk. “If you talk to water experts, increasing water reuse is an important way to increase water sustainability, because we’re not finding any new water.”
The Dynamics of Energy and Water for Central Arizona Agriculture
Water, energy, and policy are intimately linked in the West.
Irrigated agriculture is particularly sensitive to changes in the source and price of energy, with implications for water demand, land use and economic activity in Central Arizona.
In what ways is Central Arizona agriculture sensitive to changing energy policy?
How can irrigation districts and farmers cope with the dynamics of energy and water prices?
What might different energy scenarios mean for the viability of central Arizona agriculture?
Join us in a discussion on February 27, 2013.
Brian Betcher, General Manager, Maricopa Stanfield Irrigation and Drainage District
Ed Gerak, General Manager, Buckeye Water Conservation and Drainage District
Katosha Nakai, Manager, Tribal Relations and Policy Development, Business Planning and Governmental Programs, Central Arizona Project
Ron Rayner, Partner/Manager, A Tumbling T Ranches
Karen Smith, Fellow, Grand Canyon Institute
Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 3:00-4:30p.m. Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to:Sarah.Jones.firstname.lastname@example.org
Decision Center for a Desert City, 21 East 6th Street, Suite 126B, Tempe Map
A contingent of faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students from the Decision Center for a Desert City (DCDC) at Arizona State University will present their research at a special poster session at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Boston, MA on February 17. Dave White, DCDC’s Director and Principal Investigator and Margaret Nelson, DCDC Co-PI and education program coordinator, will accompany the group.
Students from DCDC Community of Graduate Scholars (CGS) have organized a special section for the AAAS general poster session focused on decision making under uncertainty (DMUU) since 2011. The ASU students coordinated with students and faculty from universities that host projects funded by the National Science Foundation under the NSF’s DMUU program, which, along with ASU, includes Columbia University, Carnegie Mellon University and University of Chicago. The DCDC students and their faculty mentors will present research that employs interdisciplinary social science methods to develop knowledge and tools for water sustainability and climate change adaptation in urban areas. Two undergraduate students funded under DCDC’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program will also attend.
According to Margaret Nelson, an anthropologist and Vice Dean of Barrett, The Honors College, “The students in the Community of Graduate Scholars represent multiple disciplines, including psychology, anthropology, public policy, sustainability, computer science and geography. Through the seminar, students become familiar with the issues, perspectives, and language of the researchers within DCDC, as well as with issues that emerge from interdisciplinary collaborations.”
“The CGS students have not only been instrumental in developing interdisciplinary collaborations at ASU, but have fostered cooperation between the DMUU centers,” says White, a Senior Sustainability Scientist at ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability. “Their efforts have helped develop a network of research efforts focused on improving environmental decision making.”
Research posters will be presented by the following students:
Rebecca Neel, CGS, Using upward trends to promote sustainable behaviors. [Poster]
Nicholas Murtha, REU, (Rebecca Neel 1st author), When scientists disagree: How we frame uncertainty influences public trust of science. [Poster]
Lauren Withycombe Keeler, CGS, Quenching our thirst: Future scenarios of water in Phoenix. [Poster]
V. Kelly Turner, CGS (Dave White 1st author), Uncertainty frames in water policy debates. [Poster]
Rashmi Krishnamurthy, CGS, Fostering perspective-taking in collaborative decision making through an interactive computer simulation. [Poster]
Jose Rosales Chavez, CGS, Cross-cultural perspectives on uncertainty in climate science: Preliminary results from DCDC and the Global Ethnohydrology Study. [Poster]
Julia C. Bausch, CGS, Farmers’ Resilience to Socio-Ecological Change in Central Arizona. [Poster]
Manikandan Vijayakumar, CGS, Sustainability, Collaboration and Uncertainty: A Scenario-‐based Evaluation of Water Issues for Desert Cities Using Computer Simulation. [Poster]
Jacelyn Rice, CGS, Actual vs. perceived amounts of de facto wastewater reuse in the Continental United States. [Poster]
John Quinn, REU, The future of water in the desert: Convergence and divergence between decision makers and students. [Poster]
The AAAS is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world by serving as an educator, leader, spokesperson and professional association.
The Decision Center for a Desert City (DCDC) at Arizona State University (ASU) was established in 2004 by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to advance scientific understanding of environmental decision making under conditions of uncertainty.
In the report, Views and Activities among Municipal Water Managers and Land Planners: Stressors and Strategies for Resource Management in Metropolitan Phoenix, AZ, DCDC Co-PI Kelli Larson presents 2010 survey results aimed at understanding water resource and land use planning activities across municipalities in the greater Phoenix region.
Since land use and land cover (e.g., vegetation) affect water demand, and since water use and conservation affect the condition and management of land use and land cover, a primary objective of this research is to explore the potential for integrated planning across sectors. With special attention to land-water connections under climate variability and urbanization, we focus on planning strategies within and across sectors.
Here, we present the results from two sets of survey questions. First, we explore how professional views about water resource stressors and management strategies converge and diverge among water resource managers (WRMs) and land use planners (LUPs) (i.e., to what extent do these two groups hold similar or different perspectives from one another). Second, we examine the degree to which water managers and land planners are engaging in integrated planning by asking them the degree to which they consider both issues in their decision making (i.e., water issues in land planning and land issues in water management) and the extent to which they are involved in planning activities in the other sector (i.e., WRMs in land planning and LUPs in water management).
Kelli Larson, Ph.D. is a DCDC Co-PI and an Associate Professor in the Schools of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and Sustainability at Arizona State University and a Senior Sustainability Scientist at the Global Institute of Sustainability. Dr. Larson’s areas of interest include human-environment interactions, water resource governance, and social aspects of sustainability.
DCDC researchers shared their research at several conferences and meetings in the first half of the 2012-2013 academic year. From topics ranging from The Social Ecology of Residential Land Management to An Application Programmer’s Interface (API) to WaterSim: WaterSim 5.0, DCDC’s interdisciplinary research projects form a broad effort to inform urban decision makers about the evolving challenges of coping with a changing climate.
Our researchers participated in the following poster symposia:
15th Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium and All Scientist Meeting, Scottsdale, AZ, January 11, 2013
American Geophysical Union Fall meeting, San Francisco, CA, December 3-7, 2012
PhD Design, Environment, and the Arts Student Research Poster Exhibit and Reception, Tempe, AZ, October 4, 2012
Long-Term Ecological Research All Scientist Meeting, Estes Park, Colorado, September 12, 2012
Larson, K.L., E. Cook, J. Brumand, S. Hall, and K. Feldbauer. 2013. The social ecology of residential land management: Complex effects, tradeoffs and legacies in the Sonoran Desert of Phoenix, AZ. Poster presented at the 11 January 2013, 15th Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium and All Scientist Meeting 2013, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ.
Larson, K.L. 2012. The social ecology of residential land management: Complex effects, tradeoffs and legacies in the Sonoran Desert of Phoenix, AZ. Presented September 12, 2012, at the Long-Term Ecological Research All Scientist Meeting, Estes Park, CO, September 10-13.
Middel, A., K. Häb, A.J. Brazel, C. Martin, and S. Guhathakurta. 2013. Impact of urban form and design on mid-afternoon microclimate in Phoenix neighborhoods . Poster presented at the 11 January 2013, 15th Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium and All Scientist Meeting 2013, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. [Poster]
Middel, A., K. Häb, J.P. Erickson, A.J. Brazel, C. Martin, and S. Guhathakurta. 2012. Impact of microclimate on residential energy consumption in different Phoenix Arizona neighborhood types. Poster presented on October 4, 2012 at the PhD Design, Environment, and the Arts Student Research Poster Exhibit and Reception, Tempe, AZ.
Moreno, H., E. Vivoni, and D. Gochis. 2012. Exploring the limits of flood forecasting in mountain basins by using QPE and QPF Products in a physically-based, distributed hydrologic model during summer convection. Poster presented December 6, 2012 at the American Geophysical Union Fall meeting, December 3-7, 2012, San Francisco, CA. [Poster]
Quay, R., D. Sampson, D. White, C. Kirkwood, and P. Gober. 2013. Using advanced scenario analysis as an anticipatory tool: Exploring the uncertainty of urban water demand and supply within Central Arizona. Poster presented at the 11 January 2013, 15th Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium and All Scientist Meeting 2013, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. [Poster]
Rice, J., and P. Westerhoff. 2013. Indirect potable reuse in the Phoenix metropolitan area: How much wastewater is in Central Arizona-Phoenix source waters? Poster presented at the 11 January 2013, 15th Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium and All Scientist Meeting 2013, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. [Poster]
Rosales Chavez, J., A. Wutich, A. Brewis, A.M. York, and R. Stotts. 2013. Rules, norms, and injustice: A cross-cultural study of perceptions of justice in water institutions. Poster presented at the 11 January 2013, 15th Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium and All Scientist Meeting 2013, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. [Poster]
Sampson, D.A., and R. Quay. 2013. Potential Central Arizona Project water shortages as influenced by climate and Upper Basin delivery schedules. Poster presented at the 11 January 2013, 15th Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium and All Scientist Meeting 2013, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. [Poster]
Sampson, D.A., and R. Quay. 2012. An Application Programmer’s Interface (API) to WaterSim: WaterSim 5.0. Poster presented December 5, 2012 at the American Geophysical Union Fall meeting, December 3-7, 2012, San Francisco, CA. [Poster]
New Scientist Magazine was launched in 1956 “for all those men and women who are interested in scientific discovery, and in its industrial, commercial and social consequences”.
In an interactive graphic display, Your Warming World, New Scientist Magazine presented results from a global analysis of surface temperatures from 1880 to the present called GISTEMP, produced by a team at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City.
The graphs and maps all show changes relative to average temperatures for the three decades from 1951 to 1980, the earliest period for which there was sufficiently good coverage for comparison. This gives a consistent view of climate change across the globe. To put these numbers in context, the NASA team estimates that the global average temperature for the 1951-1980 baseline period was about 14 °C.
The analysis uses land-based temperature measurements from some 6000 monitoring stations in the Global Historical Climatology Network, plus records from Antarctic stations recorded by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research. Temperatures at the ocean surface come from a measurements made by ships from 1880 to 1981, plus satellite measurements from 1982 onwards.
Surface temperature measurements are not evenly distributed across the globe. So the NASA team interpolates from the available data to calculate average temperatures for cells in a global grid, with each cell measuring 2 degrees latitude by 2 degrees longitude. The analysis extrapolates up to 1200 kilometres from any one station, which allows for more complete coverage in the Arctic – where monitoring stations are sparsely distributed, but where the warming trend is especially strong.
The NASA team also corrects the data to remove local heating caused by dense human settlements – a phenomenon known as the urban heat island effect. Temperature stations in urban areas are identified by referring to satellite images of the light they give off at night, and their records are adjusted to reflect the average trend of nearby rural stations.