In the Southwestern United States, climate change poses challenges to reliable water access due to droughts, wildfires, and urban development. Arizonan farmers are faced with unpredictable precipitation, muddled legal water rights, and outdated equipment to irrigate their land. Located in Northern Arizona, Verde Valley residents and stakeholders are challenging the way the Verde River water is managed through collaboration, partnerships, and technical changes to water infrastructure. Through interviews conducted with various stakeholders involved in the Verde River ditch irrigation system, ranging from water users to nonprofit organizations, this paper identifies sociotechnical tinkering as an important aspect of maintaining agricultural operations along the river amid political tensions, social relations, and climate change. Through interviews and analysis, this paper further contributes to the relatively new discourse on the concept of sociotechnical tinkering by proving its existence and its subsequent effectiveness in the Verde Valley. Using statements made by respondents, the paper argues that sociotechnical tinkering helps manage resources through political and social relations.
- Sociotechnical Tinkering in Water Infrastructure: Meeting Demands Amid Varying Political Dimensions and Climate Change