• Engaging Southwestern Tribes in Sustainable Water Resources Topics and Management

      Chief, Karletta; Meadow, Alison; Whyte, Kyle; Univ Arizona, Dept Soil Water & Environm Sci; Univ Arizona, Ctr Climate Adapat & Sci Solut (MDPI AG, 2016-08-18)
      Indigenous peoples in North America have a long history of understanding their societies as having an intimate relationship with their physical environments. Their cultures, traditions, and identities are based on the ecosystems and sacred places that shape their world. Their respect for their ancestors and 'Mother Earth' speaks of unique value and knowledge systems different than the value and knowledge systems of the dominant United States settler society. The value and knowledge systems of each indigenous and non-indigenous community are different but collide when water resources are endangered. One of the challenges that face indigenous people regarding the management of water relates to their opposition to the commodification of water for availability to select individuals. External researchers seeking to work with indigenous peoples on water research or management must learn how to design research or water management projects that respect indigenous cultural contexts, histories of interactions with settler governments and researchers, and the current socio-economic and political situations in which indigenous peoples are embedded. They should pay particular attention to the process of collaborating on water resource topics and management with and among indigenous communities while integratingWestern and indigenous sciences in ways that are beneficial to both knowledge systems. The objectives of this paper are to (1) to provide an overview of the context of current indigenous water management issues, especially for the U.S. federally recognized tribes in the Southwestern United States; (2) to synthesize approaches to engage indigenous persons, communities, and governments on water resources topics and management; and (3) to compare the successes of engaging Southwestern tribes in five examples to highlight some significant activities for collaborating with tribes on water resources research and management. In discussing the engagement approaches of these five selected cases, we considered the four "simple rules" of tribal research, which are to ask about ethics, do more listening, follow tribal research protocols, and give back to the community. For the five select cases of collaboration involving Southwestern tribes, the success of external researchers with the tribes involved comprehensive engagement of diverse tribal audience from grassroots level to central tribal government, tribal oversight, on-going dialogue, transparency of data, and reporting back. There is a strong recognition of the importance of engaging tribal participants in water management discussions particularly with pressing impacts of drought, climate change, and mining and defining water rights.
    • Explore, Synthesize, and Repeat: Unraveling Complex Water Management Issues through the Stakeholder Engagement Wheel

      Mott Lacroix, Kelly; Megdal, Sharon; Univ Arizona, Coll Agr & Life Sci, Arizona Cooperat Extens, Water Resources Res Ctr (MDPI AG, 2016-03-28)
      Effective stakeholder engagement is fundamental to water management, yet there are as many approaches to consultation as there are efforts. This paper provides an evaluation of, and lessons learned from three water management engagement processes, and uses this assessment to offer a framework for stakeholder engagement. The Stakeholder Engagement Wheel framework is centered on a bridging organization that ensures that the process continues to move forward, and a steering committee that guides and changes activities according to stakeholder interests and concerns. Around the Stakeholder Engagement Wheel are four steps designed to examine iteratively the water management issue driving the engagement process and expand the sphere of interests involved. Many engagement processes have limited effectiveness because of: (1) paucity of time; (2) complexity of water resources management; (3) difficulty of engaging diverse stakeholders; and (4) lack of methods for engagement that are centered on empowerment, equity, trust, and learning. In this study, we have encountered all four of these issues and have addressed all but the first through a deliberate, iterative, and flexible approach. By cycling through activities and actions as proposed in the Stakeholder Engagement Wheel, we can build a community of practitioners with the nuanced and shared understanding needed for cohesive action and robust decisions in the face our considerable challenges.
    • Interannual and Decadal Variability in Tropical Pacific Sea Level

      Peyser, Cheryl; Yin, Jianjun; Univ Arizona, Dept Geosci (MDPI AG, 2017-06-05)
      A notable feature in the first 20-year satellite altimetry records is an anomalously fast sea level rise (SLR) in the western Pacific impacting island nations in this region. This observed trend is due to a combination of internal variability and external forcing. The dominant mode of dynamic sea level (DSL) variability in the tropical Pacific presents as an east-west see-saw pattern. To assess model skill in simulating this variability mode, we compare 38 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) models with 23-year satellite data, 55-year reanalysis products, and 60-year sea level reconstruction. We find that models underestimate variance in the Pacific sea level see-saw, especially at decadal, and longer, time scales. The interannual underestimation is likely due to a relatively low variability in the tropical zonal wind stress. Decadal sea level variability may be influenced by additional factors, such as wind stress at higher latitudes, subtropical gyre position and strength, and eddy heat transport. The interannual variability of the Nino 3.4 index is better represented in CMIP5 models despite low tropical Pacific wind stress variability. However, as with sea level, variability in the Nino 3.4 index is underestimated on decadal time scales. Our results show that DSL should be considered, in addition to sea surface temperature (SST), when evaluating model performance in capturing Pacific variability, as it is directly related to heat content in the ocean column.
    • Modes and Approaches of Groundwater Governance: A Survey of Lessons Learned from Selected Cases across the Globe

      Varady, Robert; Zuniga-Teran, Adriana; Gerlak, Andrea; Megdal, Sharon; Univ Arizona, Udall Ctr Studies Publ Policy; Univ Arizona, Sch Geog & Dev; Univ Arizona, Coll Agr & Life Sci, Water Resources Res Ctr (MDPI AG, 2016-09-23)
      The crucial role of groundwater and the centrality of water governance in accommodating growing water demands sustainably are becoming well recognized. We review 10 case studies of groundwater governance-representing diverse global regions and local contexts-from the perspective of four well-established elements: (1) institutional setting; (2) availability and access to information and science; (3) robustness of civil society; and (4) economic and regulatory frameworks. For institutional setting, we find that governing is often a thankless task that paradoxically requires popularity; legislation does not always translate to implementation; conflict resolution is central to governance; and funding is critical for governance. In terms of information access, we see: a need for research for natural systems, social systems, and institutions; trust as an essential element in research; and that urbanized landscapes are critical components of groundwater governance. Looking at civil society robustness, we observe that equity is an essential element for governance; community-based governance requires intention; and leaders can play a powerful role in uniting stakeholders. As for frameworks, the cases suggest that economic incentives sometimes yield unintended results; "indirect" management should be used cautiously; and economic incentives' effectiveness depends on the system employed. Collectively, the lessons speak to the need for shared governance capacities on the part of governments at multiple levels and civil society actors.
    • Opening the Black Box: Using a Hydrological Model to Link Stakeholder Engagement with Groundwater Management

      Eden, Susanna; Megdal, Sharon; Shamir, Eylon; Chief, Karletta; Mott Lacroix, Kelly; Univ Arizona, Coll Agr & Life Sci, Water Resources Res Ctr; Univ Arizona, Dept Soil Water & Environm Sci (MDPI AG, 2016-05-23)
      Stakeholder participation is a foundation of good water governance. Good groundwater governance typically involves the co-production of knowledge about the groundwater system. Models provide a vehicle for producing this knowledge, as well as a boundary object around which scientists and stakeholders can convene the co-production process. Through co-production, stakeholders and scientific experts can engage in exchanges that create system knowledge not otherwise achievable. The process involves one-way transfer of information, active two-way conversations, and integration of multiple kinds of knowledge into shared understanding. In the Upper Santa Cruz River basin in Arizona, USA, the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center (WRRC) convened a project aimed at providing scientific underpinnings for groundwater planning and management. This project, entitled Groundwater, Climate, and Stakeholder Engagement, serves as a case study employing the first two stages of knowledge co-production using a hydrological model. Through an iterative process that included two-way communication, stakeholders provided critical input to hydrologic modeling analyses. Acting as a bridging organization, the WRRC facilitated a co-production process, involving location-specific and transferability workshops, which resulted in new knowledge and capacity for applying the model to novel problems.
    • Public Participation in Water Planning in the Ebro River Basin (Spain) and Tucson Basin (U.S., Arizona): Impact on Water Policy and Adaptive Capacity Building

      Ballester, Alba; Mott Lacroix, Kelly; Univ Arizona, Water Resources Res Ctr (MDPI AG, 2016-06-29)
      The benefits of public participation in water management are recognized by governments, scholars, and stakeholders. These benefits, however, do not result from all engagement endeavors. This leads to the question: What are the determinants for effective public participation? Given a list of criteria for achieving the transformational capacity of participation, we analyze the benefits (including the influence on public policies) gained through public participation and the determinant factors for obtaining these benefits in the Ebro River Basin in Spain and in the Tucson Basin in Arizona (U.S.). Furthermore, and considering that droughts and floods are major water management challenges in both case studies, we focus on the potential of participation to build adaptive capacity. Our analysis of these case studies concludes that influence on public policies is determined more by the context of the participatory process, i.e., legal framework, political leadership, and social awareness, whereas influence on adaptive capacity building depends more on the characteristics of the participatory process, particularly the existence of active on-site consultation and deliberation.
    • Re-Linking Governance of Energy with Livelihoods and Irrigation in Uttarakhand, India

      Buechler, Stephanie; Sen, Debashish; Khandekar, Neha; Scott, Christopher; Univ Arizona, Sch Geog & Dev; Univ Arizona, Udall Ctr Studies Publ Policy (MDPI AG, 2016-10-08)
      Hydropower is often termed "green energy" and proffered as an alternative to polluting coal-generated electricity for burgeoning cities and energy-insecure rural areas. India is the third largest coal producer in the world; it is projected to be the largest coal consumer by 2050. In the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, India, over 450 hydroelectric power schemes are proposed or are under development. Hydropower projects ranging from micro hydro (run-of-the-river systems with generating capacity up to 100 kW) to large reservoirs (storage systems up to 2000 MW) such as the Tehri Dam are in various stages of planning, construction or implementation. Run-of-the-river hydropower projects are being developed in Uttarakhand in order to avoid some of the costs to local communities created by large dams. Stakeholders in this rapid hydropower expansion include multiple actors with often diverging sets of interests. The resulting governance challenges are centered on tradeoffs between local electricity and revenue from the sale of hydropower, on the one hand, and the impacts on small-scale irrigation systems, riparian-corridor ecosystem services, and other natural resource-based livelihoods, on the other. We focus on the Bhilangana river basin, where water dependent livelihoods differentiated by gender include farming, fishing, livestock rearing and fodder collection. We examine the contradictions inherent in hydropower governance based on the interests of local residents and other stakeholders including hydropower developers, urban and other regional electricity users, and state-level policymakers. We use a social justice approach applied to hydropower projects to examine some of the negative impacts, especially by location and gender, of these projects on local communities and then identify strategies that can safeguard or enhance livelihoods of women, youth, and men in areas with hydropower projects, while also maintaining critical ecosystem services. By assessing the Bhilangana basin case, we also offer hydropower-livelihoods-irrigation nexus lessons for headwater regions across the Himalayas and globally.
    • Study of the Spatiotemporal Characteristics of Meltwater Contribution to the Total Runoff in the Upper Changjiang River Basin

      Fang, Yuan-Hao; Zhang, Xingnan; Niu, Guo-Yue; Zeng, Wenzhi; Zhu, Jinfeng; Zhang, Tao; Univ Arizona, Dept Hydrol & Atmospher Sci (MDPI AG, 2017-02-25)
      Melt runoff (MR) contributes significantly to the total runoff in many river basins. Knowledge of the meltwater contribution (MCR, defined as the ratio of MR to the total runoff) to the total runoff benefits water resource management and flood control. A process-based land surface model, Noah-MP, was used to investigate the spatiotemporal characteristics of MR and MCR in the Upper Changjiang River (as known as Yangtze River) Basin (UCRB) located in southwestern China. The model was first calibrated and validated using snow cover fraction (SCF), runoff, and evapotranspiration (ET) data. The calibrated model was then used to perform two numerical experiments from 1981 to 2010: control experiment that considers MR and an alternative experiment that MR is removed. The difference between two experiments was used to quantify MR and MCR. The results show that in the entire UCRB, MCR was approximately 2.0% during the study period; however, MCR exhibited notable spatiotemporal variability. Four sub-regions over the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) showed significant annual MCR ranging from 3.9% to 6.0%, while two sub-regions in the low plain regions showed negligible annual MCR. The spatial distribution of MCR was generally consistent with the distribution of glaciers and elevation distribution. Mann-Kendall (M-K) tests of the long-term annual MCR indicated that the four sub-regions in QTP exhibited increasing trends ranging from 0.01%/year to 0.21%/year during the study period but only one displayed statistically significant trend. No trends were found for the peak time (PT) of MR and MCR, in contrast, advancing trend were observed for the center time (CT) of MR, ranging from 0.01 months/year to 0.02 months/year. These trends are related to the changes of air temperature and precipitation in the study area.