Matching Items (10)

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Drinking Water Quality and Management in Arizona

Description

Access to clean drinking water has been identified by the National Academy of Engineering as one of the Grand Challenges of the 21st century. This thesis investigated clean drinking water

Access to clean drinking water has been identified by the National Academy of Engineering as one of the Grand Challenges of the 21st century. This thesis investigated clean drinking water access in the greater Phoenix area, specifically with regards to drinking water quality standards and management strategies. This research report provides an introduction to water quality, treatment, and management; a background on the Salt River Project; and an analysis on source water mix and drinking water quality indicators for water delivered to Tempe, Arizona water treatment facilities.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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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.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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COMPARATIVE POLICY ANALYSIS: WATER MANAGEMENT IN MESA, ARIZONA USA AND HERMOSILLO, SONORA MEXICO

Description

Despite similar climate, ecosystem, and population size, the cities of Hermosillo, Mexico and Mesa, USA manage their water very differently. Mesa has a stable and resilient system organized around state

Despite similar climate, ecosystem, and population size, the cities of Hermosillo, Mexico and Mesa, USA manage their water very differently. Mesa has a stable and resilient system organized around state and federal regulations. Hermosillo, after rapidly industrializing, has not been able to cope with climate change and long-term drought conditions. Water distribution statistics, stakeholders, policy structure, and government organization were combined in an organizational framework to compare the practices of the two cities. These inputs were weighed against the outcomes and the sustainability of each system. While Mesa is part of a massive metropolitan area, Hermosillo is still developing into a metropolitan center and does not have access to the same infrastructure and resources. In Hermosillo local needs are frequently discounted in favor of broad political goals.

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Date Created
  • 2013-05

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Institutional analysis of water management for agriculture in the Chancay-Lambayeque basin, Peru

Description

This research presents an analysis of the main institutions and economic incentives that drive farmers behaviors on water use in the Chancay-Lambayeque basin, located in Lambayeque (Peru), a semi arid

This research presents an analysis of the main institutions and economic incentives that drive farmers behaviors on water use in the Chancay-Lambayeque basin, located in Lambayeque (Peru), a semi arid area of great agricultural importance. I focus my research on identifying the underlying causes of non-collaborative behaviors in regard to water appropriation and infrastructure provisioning decision that generates violent conflicts between users. Since there is not an agreed and concrete criteria to assess "sustainability" I used economic efficiency as my evaluative criteria because, even though this is not a sufficient condition to achieve sustainability it is a necessary one, and thus achieving economic efficiency is moving towards sustainable outcomes. Water management in the basin is far from being economic efficient which means that there is some room for improving social welfare. Previous studies of the region have successfully described the symptoms of this problem; however, they did not focus their study on identifying the causes of the problem. In this study, I describe and analyze how different rules and norms (institutions) define farmers behaviors related to water use. For this, I use the Institutional Analysis and Development framework and a dynamic game theory model to analyze how biophysical attributes, community attributes and rules of the system combined with other factors, can affect farmers actions in regard to water use and affect the sustainability of water resources. Results show that water rights are the factor that is fundamental to the problem. Then, I present an outline for policy recommendation, which includes a revision of water rights and related rules and policies that could increase the social benefits with the use of compensation mechanisms to reach economic efficiency. Results also show that commonly proposed solutions, as switch to less water intensive and more added value crops, improvement in the agronomic and entrepreneurial knowledge, or increases in water tariffs, can mitigate or exacerbate the loss of benefits that come from the poor incentives in the system; but they do not change the nature of the outcome.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Commons governance for robust systems: irrigation systems study under a multi-method approach

Description

Sustainability depends in part on our capacity to resolve dilemmas of the commons in Coupled Infrastructure Systems (CIS). Thus, we need to know more about how to incentivize individuals to

Sustainability depends in part on our capacity to resolve dilemmas of the commons in Coupled Infrastructure Systems (CIS). Thus, we need to know more about how to incentivize individuals to take collective action to manage shared resources. Moreover, given that we will experience new and more extreme weather events due to climate change, we need to learn how to increase the robustness of CIS to those shocks. This dissertation studies irrigation systems to contribute to the development of an empirically based theory of commons governance for robust systems. I first studied the eight institutional design principles (DPs) for long enduring systems of shared resources that the Nobel Prize winner Elinor Ostrom proposed in 1990. I performed a critical literature review of 64 studies that looked at the institutional configuration of CIS, and based on my findings I propose some modifications of their definitions and application in research and policy making. I then studied how the revisited design principles, when analyzed conjointly with biophysical and ethnographic characteristics of CISs, perform to avoid over-appropriation, poverty and critical conflicts among users of an irrigation system. After carrying out a meta-analysis of 28 cases around the world, I found that particular combinations of those variables related to population size, countries corruption, the condition of water storage, monitoring of users behavior, and involving users in the decision making process for the commons governance, were sufficient to obtain the desired outcomes. The two last studies were based on the Peruvian Piura Basin, a CIS that has been exposed to environmental shocks for decades. I used secondary and primary data to carry out a longitudinal study using as guidance the robustness framework, and different hypothesis from prominent collapse theories to draw potential explanations. I then developed a dynamic model that shows how at the current situation it is more effective to invest in rules enforcement than in the improvement of the physical infrastructure (e.g. reservoir). Finally, I explored different strategies to increase the robustness of the system, through enabling collective action in the Basin.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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From Design Principles to Principles of Design: Resolving Wicked Problems in Coupled Infrastructure Systems Involving Common-Pool Resources

Description

Design is a fundamental human activity through which we attempt to navigate and manipulate the world around us for our survival, pleasure, and benefit. As human society has evolved, so

Design is a fundamental human activity through which we attempt to navigate and manipulate the world around us for our survival, pleasure, and benefit. As human society has evolved, so too has the complexity and impact of our design activities on the environment. Now clearly intertwined as a complex social-ecological system at the global scale, we struggle in our ability to understand, design, implement, and manage solutions to complex global issues such as climate change, water scarcity, food security, and natural disasters. Some have asserted that this is because complex adaptive systems, like these, are moving targets that are only partially designed and partially emergent and self-organizing. Furthermore, these types of systems are difficult to understand and control due to the inherent dynamics of "wicked problems", such as: uncertainty, social dilemmas, inequities, and trade-offs involving multiple feedback loops that sometimes cause both the problems and their potential solutions to shift and evolve together. These problems do not, however, negate our collective need to effectively design, produce, and implement strategies that allow us to appropriate, distribute, manage and sustain the resources on which we depend. Design, however, is not well understood in the context of complex adaptive systems involving common-pool resources. In addition, the relationship between our attempts at control and performance at the system-level over time is not well understood either. This research contributes to our understanding of design in common-pool resource systems by using a multi-methods approach to investigate longitudinal data on an innovative participatory design intervention implemented in nineteen small-scale, farmer-managed irrigation systems in the Indrawati River Basin of Nepal over the last three decades. The intervention was intended as an experiment in using participatory planning, design and construction processes to increase food security and strengthen the self-sufficiency and self-governing capacity of resource user groups within the poorest district in Nepal. This work is the first time that theories of participatory design-processes have been empirically tested against longitudinal data on a number of small-scale, locally managed common-pool resource systems. It clarifies and helps to develop a theory of design in this setting for both scientific and practical purposes.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Remaking a people, restoring a watershed: Klamath tribal empowerment through natural resource activism, 1960-2014

Description

Natural resources management is a pressing issue for Native American nations and communities. More than ever before, tribal officials sit at the decision-making tables with federal and state officials

Natural resources management is a pressing issue for Native American nations and communities. More than ever before, tribal officials sit at the decision-making tables with federal and state officials as well as non-governmental natural resource stakeholders. This, however, has not always been the case. This dissertation focuses on tribal activism to demonstrate how and why tribal sovereignty, self-determination, and treaty rights protection are tied closely to contemporary environmental issues and natural resources management. With the Klamath Tribes of southern Oregon as a case study, this dissertation analyzes how a tribal nation garnered a political position in which it could both indirectly influence and directly orchestrate natural resource management within and outside of its sovereign boundaries. The Klamath Tribes experienced the devastating termination policy in the 1950s. Termination stripped them of their federal status as an Indian tribe, the government services offered to recognized tribes, and their 1.2-million-acre reservation. Despite this horrific event, the Klamaths emerged by the 2000s as leading natural resource stakeholders in the Klamath River Watershed, a region ten times larger than their former reservation. The Klamaths used tools, such as their treaty and water rights, and employed careful political, legal, and social tactics. For example, they litigated, appropriated science, participated in democratic national environmental policy processes, and developed a lexicon. They also negotiated and established alliances with non-governmental stakeholders in order to refocus watershed management toward a holistic approach that promoted ecological restoration.

This study applies spatial theory and an ethnohistorical approach to show how traditional values drove the Klamaths’ contemporary activism. From their perspective, healing the land would heal the people. The Klamaths’ history illuminates the active roles that tribes have had in the institutionalization of the federal self-determination policy as federal agencies resisted recognizing tribes and working with them in government-to-government relationships. Through their efforts to weave their interests into natural resource management with state, federal, and non-governmental stakeholders, the Klamaths took part in a much larger historical trend, the increased pluralization of American society.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Adaptive capacity of the water management systems of two medieval Khmer cities, Angkor and Koh Ker

Description

Understanding the resilience of water management systems is critical for the continued existence and growth of communities today, in urban and rural contexts alike. In recent years, many studies have

Understanding the resilience of water management systems is critical for the continued existence and growth of communities today, in urban and rural contexts alike. In recent years, many studies have evaluated long-term human-environmental interactions related to water management across the world, highlighting both resilient systems and those that eventually succumb to their vulnerabilities. To understand the multitude of factors impacting resilience, scholars often use the concept of adaptive capacity. Adaptive capacity is the ability of actors in a system to make adaptations in anticipation of and in response to change to minimize potential negative impacts.

In this three-paper dissertation, I evaluate the adaptive capacity of the water management systems of two medieval Khmer cities, located in present-day Cambodia, over the course of centuries. Angkor was the capital of the Khmer Empire for over 600 years (9 th -15 th centuries CE), except for one brief period when the capital was relocated to Koh Ker (921 – 944 CE). These cities both have massive water management systems that provide a comparative context for studying resilience; while Angkor thrived for hundreds of years, Koh Ker was occupied as the capital of the empire for a relatively short period. In the first paper, I trace the chronological and spatial development of two types of settlement patterns (epicenters and lower-density temple-reservoir settlement units) at Angkor in relation to state-sponsored hydraulic infrastructure. In the second and third papers, I conduct a diachronic analysis using empirical data for the adaptive capacity of the water management systems at both cities. The results suggest that adaptive capacity is useful for identifying causal factors in the resilience and failures of systems over the long term. The case studies also demonstrate the importance and warn of the danger of large centralized water management features.

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Date Created
  • 2018

Ecological, environmental and hydrological integrity in sustainable water resource management for river basins

Description

This dissertation presents a new methodology for the sustainable and optimal allocation of water for a river basin management area that maximizes sustainable net economic benefit over the long-term planning

This dissertation presents a new methodology for the sustainable and optimal allocation of water for a river basin management area that maximizes sustainable net economic benefit over the long-term planning horizon. The model distinguishes between short and long-term planning horizons and goals using a short-term modeling component (STM) and a long term modeling component (LTM) respectively. An STM optimizes a monthly allocation schedule on an annual basis in terms of maximum net economic benefit. A cost of depletion based upon Hotelling’s exhaustible resource theory is included in the STM net benefit calculation to address the non-use value of groundwater. An LTM consists of an STM for every year of the long-term planning horizon. Net economic benefits for both use and non-use values are generated by the series of STMs. In addition output from the STMs is measured in terms of sustainability which is quantified using a sustainability index (SI) with two groups of performance criteria. The first group measures risk to supply and is based on demand-supply deficits. The second group measures deviations from a target flow regime and uses a modified Hydrologic Alteration (HA) factor in the Range of Variability Approach (RVA). The STM is a linear programming (LP) model formulated in the General Algebraic Modeling System (GAMS) and the LTM is a nonlinear programming problem (NLP) solved using a genetic algorithm. The model is applied to the Prescott Active Management Area in north-central Arizona. Results suggest that the maximum sustainable net benefit is realized with a residential population and consumption rate increase in some areas, and a reduction in others.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Quantifying the trade-off between landscape vegetation height, surface temperature, and water consumption in single-family residential houses for a desert city.

Description

In light of climate change and urban sustainability concerns, researchers have been studying how residential landscape vegetation affect household water consumption and heat mitigation. Previous studies have analyzed the correlations

In light of climate change and urban sustainability concerns, researchers have been studying how residential landscape vegetation affect household water consumption and heat mitigation. Previous studies have analyzed the correlations among residential landscape practices, household water consumption, and urban heating at aggregate spatial scales to understand complex landscape decision tradeoffs in an urban environment. This research builds upon those studies by using parcel-level variables to explore the implications of vegetation quantity and height on water consumption and summertime surface temperatures in a set of single-family residential homes in Tempe, Arizona. QuickBird and LiDAR vegetation imagery (0.600646m/pixel), MASTER temperature data (approximately 7m/pixel), and household water billing data were analyzed. Findings provide new insights into the distinct variable, vegetation height, thereby contributing to past landscape studies at the parcel-level. We hypothesized that vegetation of different heights significantly impact water demand and summer daytime and nighttime surface temperatures among residential homes. More specifically, we investigated two hypotheses: 1) vegetation greater than 1.5 m in height will decrease daytime surface temperature more than grass coverage, and 2) grass cover will increase household water consumption more than other vegetation classes, particularly vegetation height. Bivariate and stepwise linear regressions were run to determine the predictive capacity of vegetation on surface temperature and on water consumption. Trees of 1.5m-10m height and trees of 5m-10m height lowered daytime surface temperatures. Nighttime surface temperatures were increased by trees of 5m-10m height and decreased by grass. Houses that experienced higher daytime surface temperatures consumed less water than houses with lower daytime surface temperatures, but water consumption was not directly related to vegetation cover or height. Implications of this study support the practical application of tree canopy (vegetation of 5m-10m height) to mitigate extreme surface temperatures. The trade-offs between water and vegetation classes are not yet clear because vegetation classes cannot singularly predict household water consumption.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05