AdvisorGupta, Hoshin V.
Committee ChairGupta, Hoshin V.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractWith ever-increasing pressures on limited water supplies in arid regions, water managers are forced to make critical decisions about the management of water resources - sometimes under considerable uncertainty. Given the large number of stresses on existing water systems, proper management requires the consideration of all different factors that may contribute to water use and consumption. As water management becomes more focused on the issue of sustainability, processes traditionally thought of as non-water-related and irrelevant to water management are now becoming very pertinent. In particular, the consequences of changes in climate, population, land use, and various types of water usage (agricultural, environmental, domestic, and urban) are of considerable interest.With increasing uncertainty about the future, conventional methods of decision-analysis are increasingly unable to suitably quantify the future impacts of policy decisions, and they are also unable to provide a clear contrast between impacts of historical policy decisions and possible future management decisions. An analytical approach that is sensitive to qualitative effects of water-related decision-making will therefore be more useful towards improving management practices. Scenario development is one such tool that can be used to examine future implications of water management, and thereby shed light on the potential consequences of implementing different operational and institutional policies. The objective of this work is to propose a formal scenario development methodology applicable to water resources management issues. This framework is applied and evaluated on a regional scale for the U.S. southwest and on a local scale for the state of Arizona.The research presented here is comprised of several components; (i) a review of existing literature on scenarios, scenario studies, and scenario applications; (ii) a retrospective analysis of water management-related scenario applications that examines the implications of scenario-influenced strategies previously implemented in Arizona, (iii) the adoption of a formal scenario development approach for water resource issues within the arid and semi-arid regions of the U.S., utilizing an example application in the Upper San Pedro Basin in southern Arizona, and (iv) a comprehensive application of the scenario development process to the Verde River Watershed in northern Arizona through a simplified small-scale scenario case study approach.