Matching Items (7)

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Regional variability in drought as a function of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation

Description

The influence of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) produces pronounced regional variability in drought over the Caribbean, Central America and equatorial South America area. Through spatial statistical analyses, we identified

The influence of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) produces pronounced regional variability in drought over the Caribbean, Central America and equatorial South America area. Through spatial statistical analyses, we identified a marked dichotomy between drought values of the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) in northern Mexico and equatorial South America as a function of the AMO. The relationship is such that significant negative correlations between the drought index and phase of the AMO are identified for northern Mexico and on the Atlantic side of Central America. This indicates that drought (negative values of the SPEI) episodes are linked to the positive phase of the AMO. Alternately, there are high positive correlations between the AMO and on the Pacific side of Central America, the Caribbean and mainly in the northern South American area closest to the equator. Although many potential causes have been proposed in explanation of precipitation variability over the region, this geographic dichotomy suggests that movement of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) may play a significance role. The heightened vulnerability of the developing nations in this region to drought episodes makes forecasting droughts of great importance. These nations are greatly dependent on water intensive industries to maintain economic development. Thus, the findings of this research can assist in informing drought preparedness strategies to mitigate significant losses due to drought.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Sustainability Competencies in Middle-School Curriculum: Educating Students About Water Systems and Drought

Description

Current literature on sustainability education and its core competencies (systems thinking, normative, interpersonal, strategic, and future thinking) has yet to acknowledge the K-12 level, concentrating instead on higher-level institutions. To

Current literature on sustainability education and its core competencies (systems thinking, normative, interpersonal, strategic, and future thinking) has yet to acknowledge the K-12 level, concentrating instead on higher-level institutions. To initiate study at the critical K-12 level, a curriculum module composed of four lessons to address the wicked sustainability problem of drought in the Sonoran Desert was developed, piloted, and evaluated. The framework of each lesson combined the core competencies and the 5Es pedagogy (engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate). Two lessons were successfully piloted in two seventh grade middle-school science classes in Phoenix, Arizona. Topics addressed were the water cycle, types of drought, water systems, and mitigation methods. Evaluation determined a high level of student engagement. Post-pilot teacher questionnaires revealed a high degree of support for inclusion of sustainability education and core competencies addressing drought in future opportunities. It is concluded that lessons in the future can adopt the core competences of sustainability with the support of educators in Arizona.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-12

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Sustaining Mendota: A Multi-Media Piece on a Community's Perseverance through California's Drought

Description

https://mendotadrought.wordpress.com/

Beginning in 2011, California’s most recent drought has brought four years of some of the warmest and driest seasons on record. Mendota, California in the San Joaquin Valley is

https://mendotadrought.wordpress.com/

Beginning in 2011, California’s most recent drought has brought four years of some of the warmest and driest seasons on record. Mendota, California in the San Joaquin Valley is a microcosm of the struggles many agriculture communities face when water resources are scarce. Known as the “cantaloupe capital of the world,” agriculture represents over half of Mendota’s economy, making unemployment one of the many challenges they face. However, community members are working to move forward and preserve the place they call home.

Medota has a population of about eleven thousand people with over 96 percent of them being Hispanic. The stories of elected officials, field workers, farmers, police, school leaders and local business owners give testament to a mounting fear for future water allocation. But their voices also give way to a shared belief—the community’s resilience will persevere through California’s drought. Mendota is presented through a multi-media piece that uses photos, videos and descriptive articles to showcase both their hardship and hope.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Effect of Drought Policies on Los Angeles Water Demand

Description

From 2007 to 2017, the state of California experienced two major droughts that required significant governmental action to decrease urban water demand. The purpose of this project is to isolate

From 2007 to 2017, the state of California experienced two major droughts that required significant governmental action to decrease urban water demand. The purpose of this project is to isolate and explore the effects of these policy changes on water use during and after these droughts, and to see how these policies interact with hydroclimatic variability. As explanatory variables in multiple linear regression (MLR) models, water use policies were found to be significant at both the zip code and city levels. Policies that specifically target behavioral changes were significant mathematical drivers of water use in city-level models. Policy data was aggregated into a timeline and coded based on categories including user type, whether the policy was voluntary or mandatory, the targeted water use type, and whether the change in question concerns active or passive conservation. The analyzed policies include but are not limited to state drought declarations, regulatory municipal ordinances, and incentive programs for household appliances. Spatial averages of available hydroclimatic data have been computed and validated using inverse distance weighting methods. The data was aggregated at the zip code level to be comparable to the available water use data for use in MLR models. Factors already known to affect water use, such as temperature, precipitation, income, and water stress, were brought into the MLR models as explanatory variables. After controlling for these factors, the timeline policies were brought into the model as coded variables to test their effect on water demand during the years 2000-2017. Clearly identifying which policy traits are effective will inform future policymaking in cities aiming to conserve water. The findings suggest that drought-related policies impact per capita urban water use. The results of the city level MLR models indicate that implementation of mandatory policies that target water use behaviors effectively reduce water use. Temperature, income, unemployment, and the WaSSI were also observed to be mathematical drivers of water use. Interaction effects between policies and the WaSSI were statistically significant at both model scales.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2018-12

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A simple agent-based model of farmers adapting to climate change

Description

Climate change presents the urgent need for effective sustainable water management that is capable of preserving natural resources while maintaining economical stability. States like California rely heavily on groundwater pumping

Climate change presents the urgent need for effective sustainable water management that is capable of preserving natural resources while maintaining economical stability. States like California rely heavily on groundwater pumping for agricultural use, contributing to land subsidence and insufficient returns to water resources. The recent California drought has impacted agricultural production of certain crops. In this thesis, we present an agent-based model of farmers adapting to drought conditions by making crop choice decisions, much like the decisions Californian farmers have made. We use the Netlogo platform to capture the 2D spatial view of an agricultural system with changes in annual rainfall due to drought conditions. The goal of this model is to understand some of the simple rules farmers may follow to self-govern their consumption of a water resource. Farmer agents make their crop decisions based on deficit irrigation crop production function and a net present value discount rate. The farmers choose between a thirsty crop with a high production cost and a dry crop with a low production cost. Simulations results show that farmers switch crops in accordance with limited water and land resources. Farmers can maintain profit and yield by following simple rules of crop switching based on future yields and optimal irrigation. In drought conditions, individual agents expecting lower annual rainfall were able to increase their total profits. The maintenance of crop yield and profit is evidence of successful adaptation when farmers switch to crops that require less water.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Dr. Dish: Water Conservation for a New Lifestyle

Description

Drought is one of the most pressing issues affecting the future of the standard of living here in Phoenix. With the threat of water rationing and steep price hikes looming

Drought is one of the most pressing issues affecting the future of the standard of living here in Phoenix. With the threat of water rationing and steep price hikes looming on the horizon for water customers in California, the desert southwest, and in drought-stricken communities worldwide, industrial designers are in a prime position to help improve the experience of water conservation so that consumers are willing to start taking conscious steps toward rethinking their relationship with water usage.
In a research group, several designers sought to understand the depth and complexity of this highly politicized issue by interviewing a wide variety of stakeholders, including sustainability experts, landscapers, water company executives, small business owners, reservoir forest rangers, and many more. Data synthesis led to the conclusion that residential water use is a lifestyle issue, and the only real way to conserve involves a significant shift in the collective idea of an “ideal” home—lawns, pools, and overwatered landscaping contribute to 70% of all water use by residences in the Phoenix area. The only real way to conserve involves increasing population density and creating communal green spaces.
DR. DISH is a dishwashing device that is meant to fit into the high-density living spaces that are rapidly being built in the face of the massive exodus of people into the world’s cities. To help busy apartment and condominium dwellers conserve water and time, DR. DISH converts a standard kitchen sink into a small dishwasher, which uses significantly less water than hand-washing dishes or rinsing dishes before putting them into a conventional dishwasher. Using advanced filtration technology and a powerful rinse cycle, a load dishes can be cleaned with about 2 gallons of water. Fully automating the dishwashing process also saves the user time and minimizes unpleasant contact with food residue and grease.
This device is meant to have a significant impact upon the water use of households that do not have a dishwasher, or simply do not use their dishwasher. With a low target price point and myriad convenient features, DR. DISH is a high-tech solution that promises water savings at a time when every effort toward conservation is absolutely critical. As we move toward a new era in determining water rights and imposing mandatory restrictions upon each and every person living in affected areas, creating conservation solutions that will be relevant for the lifestyles of the future is especially important, and the agility of designers in coming up with products that quickly cut consumer water consumption will be a key factor in determining whether humanity will be able to adapt to a new era in our relationship with natural resources.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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The Internet of Water

Description

I set out to better understand the issues, perceptions & solutions surrounding drought. The question that compelled my project was "What might be all the ways that we can improve

I set out to better understand the issues, perceptions & solutions surrounding drought. The question that compelled my project was "What might be all the ways that we can improve the experience of conserving, reusing & educating on the topic of water." Through the process of design research I developed a system of products that improves the user experiences surrounding water. The result is IOW, an intelligent 3-product system that aims to make your water needs & wants smarter & less wasteful.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05