From drought to land degradation - CALS focuses on challenges facing an arid environment

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Most Arizonans know that our water supply is low. We face this challenge, along with climate extremes, political and policy relationships with other states and the federal government over water, as well as the need to balance our state's natural wonders with effective resource use.

A critical part of the University of Arizona's unique land-grant mission is to work on these issues and provide sustainable solutions for today and in the future.

Employing and training the next generation of scientists is not enough. We know that we have to share the knowledge and discoveries we're making, in real time, with everyone who plays a role in Arizona's water future – from state leaders and water professionals to land managers and even children learning about water in school.

UofA President Ann Weaver Hart has made water and the arid environment a key focus for this university. As the No. 1 U.S. university in environmental research, we are uniquely positioned to answer this call.

Here are a few examples of how we're already helping in efforts to effectively manage our water supply:

Through Cooperative Extension, we provide new insights, test new models and identify new tools to improve our life in an ever-more variable climate, with short-term and long-term impacts of drought, the prospect of declining water levels in the Colorado River and the growing competition for our limited water resources.

In the past two years, we trained more than 1,500 people in storm water and rainwater harvesting.

Through the UofA-managed Arizona Meteorological Network of weather stations in 30 Arizona locations, real-time weather information is used to optimize water management for crops, golf courses, parks and recreational areas, and home lawns.

Read more from this March 7 Arizona Capitol Times article at the link below.

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