Matching Items (7)

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Urban development and sustainable water management of southwest cities

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Water is the defining issue in determining the development and growth of human populations of the Southwest. The cities of Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque, and El Paso have experienced rapid and exponential growth over the past 50 years. The

Water is the defining issue in determining the development and growth of human populations of the Southwest. The cities of Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque, and El Paso have experienced rapid and exponential growth over the past 50 years. The outlook for having access to sustainable sources of water to support this growth is not promising due to water demand and supply deficits. Regional water projects have harnessed the Colorado and Rio Grande rivers to maximize the utility of the water for human consumption and environmental laws have been adopted to regulate the beneficial use of this water, but it still is not enough to create sustainable future for rapidly growing southwest cities. Future growth in these cities will depend on finding new sources of water and creative measures to maximize the utility of existing water resources. The challenge for southwest cities is to establish policies, procedures, and projects that maximizes the use of water and promotes conservation from all areas of municipal users. All cities are faced with the same challenges, but have different options for how they prioritize their water resources. The principal means of sustainable water management include recovery, recharge, reuse, and increasing the efficiency of water delivery. Other strategies that have been adopted include harvesting of rainwater, building codes that promote efficient water use, tiered water rates, turf removal programs, residential water auditing, and native plant promotion. Creating a sustainable future for the southwest will best be achieved by cities that adopt an integrated approach to managing their water resources including discouraging discretionary uses of water, adoption of building and construction codes for master plans, industrial plants, and residential construction. Additionally, a robust plan for education of the public is essential to create a culture of conservation from a very young age.

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2013

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Relationship between single-family residential water use and its determinants: a spatio-temporal study of Phoenix, Arizona

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The dynamics of urban water use are characterized by spatial and temporal variability that is influenced by associated factors at different scales. Thus it is important to capture the relationship between urban water use and its determinants in a spatio-temporal

The dynamics of urban water use are characterized by spatial and temporal variability that is influenced by associated factors at different scales. Thus it is important to capture the relationship between urban water use and its determinants in a spatio-temporal framework in order to enhance understanding and management of urban water demand. This dissertation aims to contribute to understanding the spatio-temporal relationships between single-family residential (SFR) water use and its determinants in a desert city. The dissertation has three distinct papers to support this goal. In the first paper, I demonstrate that aggregated scale data can be reliably used to study the relationship between SFR water use and its determinants without leading to significant ecological fallacy. The usability of aggregated scale data facilitates scientific inquiry about SFR water use with more available aggregated scale data. The second paper advances understanding of the relationship between SFR water use and its associated factors by accounting for the spatial and temporal dependence in a panel data setting. The third paper of this dissertation studies the historical contingency, spatial heterogeneity, and spatial connectivity in the relationship of SFR water use and its determinants by comparing three different regression models. This dissertation demonstrates the importance and necessity of incorporating spatio-temporal components, such as scale, dependence, and heterogeneity, into SFR water use research. Spatial statistical models should be used to understand the effects of associated factors on water use and test the effectiveness of certain management policies since spatial effects probably will significantly influence the estimates if only non-spatial statistical models are used. Urban water demand management should pay attention to the spatial heterogeneity in predicting the future water demand to achieve more accurate estimates, and spatial statistical models provide a promising method to do this job.

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2013

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Moderating power: municipal interbasin groundwater transfers in Arizona

Description

The act of moving water across basins is a recent phenomenon in Arizona water policy. This thesis creates a narrative arc for understanding the long-term issues that set precedents for interbasin water transportation and the immediate causes--namely the passage of

The act of moving water across basins is a recent phenomenon in Arizona water policy. This thesis creates a narrative arc for understanding the long-term issues that set precedents for interbasin water transportation and the immediate causes--namely the passage of the seminal Groundwater Management Act (GMA) in 1980--that motivated Scottsdale, Mesa, and Phoenix to acquire rural farmlands in the mid-1980s with the intent of transporting the underlying groundwater back to their respective service areas in the immediate future. Residents of rural areas were active participants in not only the sales of these farmlands, but also in how municipalities would economically develop these properties in the years to come. Their role made these municipal "water farm" purchases function as exchanges. Fears about the impact of these properties and the water transportation they anticipated on communities-of-origin; the limited nature of economic, fiscal, and hydrologic data at the time; and the rise of private water speculators turned water farms into a major political controversy. The six years it took the legislature to wrestle with the problem at the heart this issue--the value of water to rural communities--were among its most tumultuous. The loss of key lawmakers involved in GMA negotiations, the impeachment of Governor Evan Mecham, and a bribery scandal called AZScam collectively sidetracked negotiations. Even more critical was the absence of a mutual recognition that these water farms posed a problem and the external pressure that had forced all parties involved in earlier groundwater-related negotiations to craft compromise. After cities and speculators failed to force a bill favorable to their interests in 1989, a re-alignment among blocs occurred: cities joined with rural interests to craft legislation that grandfathered in existing urban water farms and limited future water farms to several basins. In exchange, rural interests supported a bill to create a Phoenix-area groundwater replenishment district that enabled cooperative management of water supplies. These two bills, which were jointly signed into law in June 1991, tentatively resolved the water farm issue. The creation of a groundwater replenishment district that has subsidized growth in Maricopa, Pinal, and Pima Counties, the creation water bank to store unused Central Arizona Project water for times of drought, and a host of water conservation measures and water leases enabled by the passage of several tribal water rights settlements have set favorable conditions such that Scottsdale, Mesa, and Phoenix never had any reason to transport any water from their water farms. The legacy of these properties then is that they were the product of the intense urgency and uncertainty in urban planning premised on assumptions of growing populations and complementary, inelastic demand. But even as per capita water consumption has declined throughout the Phoenix-area, continued growth has increased demand, beyond the capacity of available supplies so that there will likely be a new push for rural water farms in the foreseeable future.

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2013

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Moving towards sustainable and resilient smart water grids: networked sensing and control devices in the urban water system

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Urban water systems face sustainability challenges ranging from water quality, leaks, over-use, energy consumption, and long-term supply concerns. Resiliency challenges include the capacity to respond to drought, managing pipe deterioration, responding to natural disasters, and preventing terrorism. One strategy to

Urban water systems face sustainability challenges ranging from water quality, leaks, over-use, energy consumption, and long-term supply concerns. Resiliency challenges include the capacity to respond to drought, managing pipe deterioration, responding to natural disasters, and preventing terrorism. One strategy to enhance sustainability and resiliency is the development and adoption of smart water grids. A smart water grid incorporates networked monitoring and control devices into its structure, which provides diverse, real-time information about the system, as well as enhanced control. Data provide input for modeling and analysis, which informs control decisions, allowing for improvement in sustainability and resiliency. While smart water grids hold much potential, there are also potential tradeoffs and adoption challenges. More publicly available cost-benefit analyses are needed, as well as system-level research and application, rather than the current focus on individual technologies. This thesis seeks to fill one of these gaps by analyzing the cost and environmental benefits of smart irrigation controllers. Smart irrigation controllers can save water by adapting watering schedules to climate and soil conditions. The potential benefit of smart irrigation controllers is particularly high in southwestern U.S. states, where the arid climate makes water scarcer and increases watering needs of landscapes. To inform the technology development process, a design for environment (DfE) method was developed, which overlays economic and environmental performance parameters under different operating conditions. This method is applied to characterize design goals for controller price and water savings that smart irrigation controllers must meet to yield life cycle carbon dioxide reductions and economic savings in southwestern U.S. states, accounting for regional variability in electricity and water prices and carbon overhead. Results from applying the model to smart irrigation controllers in the Southwest suggest that some areas are significantly easier to design for.

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Date Created
2012

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Coordination and power in water governance: the case of Prescott Active Management Area

Description

Studies of governance have focused on the interactions among diverse actors while implicitly recognizing the role of power within those relationships. Explicit power analyses of water governance coordination are needed to better understand the conditions for and barriers to sustainability.

Studies of governance have focused on the interactions among diverse actors while implicitly recognizing the role of power within those relationships. Explicit power analyses of water governance coordination are needed to better understand the conditions for and barriers to sustainability. I therefore utilized a novel conceptual framework to analyze vertical and horizontal governance, along with power, to address how governance interactions affect water sustainability in terms of (1) interactions among governance actors across local to state levels; (2) coordination among actors at the local level; and (3) the exercise of power among assorted actors. I adopted a qualitative case study methodology that involved triangulating interview transcripts, policy documents, and other data in the case study area of Prescott, Arizona.

Across governance scales, my analysis found that informational and contentious interactions occur around water management plans, groundwater withdrawal fees, and growth debates due to the stipulations of Arizona’s Groundwater Management Act. Locally, municipalities in different groundwater basins coordinate by pooling resources for water development due to shared growth visions. However, municipalities within the same groundwater basin are divided in their pursuit of the state-mandated goal of safe yield due to discontent arising from differing growth visions, libertarian values of water control, and unequal responsibilities among actors in conserving water or monitoring use. Finally, local and state actors exercise power through litigation, legislation, and political processes to pursue their interests, thereby limiting coordination for water sustainability.

My explicit analysis of power reveals that coordination occurs not just because of water policies but due to interest-based water narratives (growth and libertarian). The emphasis of growth proponents on supply augmentation and libertarian opposition to regulations pose significant barriers to water sustainability. Successful policy-based pursuits of water sustainability will, thus, require an acknowledgment of these management asymmetries and commitments to addressing them.

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2017

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Historical and future needs for geospatial iodide occurrence and sources in surface and ground waters of the United States of America

Description

Iodide (I-) in surface and groundwaters is a potential precursor for the formation of iodinated disinfection by-products (I-DBPs) during drinking water treatment. The aim of this thesis is to provide a perspective on the sources and occurrence of I- in

Iodide (I-) in surface and groundwaters is a potential precursor for the formation of iodinated disinfection by-products (I-DBPs) during drinking water treatment. The aim of this thesis is to provide a perspective on the sources and occurrence of I- in United States (US) source waters based on ~9200 surface water (SW) and groundwater (GW) sampling locations. The median I- concentrations observed was 16 μg/l and 14 μg/l, respectively in SW and GW. However, these samples were rarely collected at water treatment plant (WTP) intakes, where such iodide occurrence data is needed to understand impacts on DBPs. Most samples were collected in association with geochemical studies. We conclude that I- occurrence appears to be influenced by geological features, including halite rock/river basin formations, saline aquifers and organic rich shale/oil formations. Halide ratios (Cl-/I-, Br-/I- and Cl-/Br-) were analyzed to determine the I- origin in source waters. SW and GW had median Cl-/I- ratios of ~3600 μg/μg and median Br-/I- ratios of ~15 μg/μg. For states with I- concentration >50 μg/l (e.g., Montana and North Dakota), a single source (i.e., organic rich formations) can be identified. However, for states like California and Texas that have wide-ranging I- concentration of below detection limit to >250 μg/l, I- occurrence can be attributed to a mixture of marine and organic signatures. The lack of information of organic iodine, inorganic I- and IO3- in source waters limits our ability to predict I-DBPs formed during drinking water treatment, and new occurrence studies are needed to fill these data gaps. This is first of its kind study to understand the I- occurrence through historical data, however we also identify the shortcomings of existing databases used to carry out this study.

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2018

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Tracking chemical indicators of public health in the urban water environment

Description

This dissertation focuses on the application of urban metabolism metrology (UMM) to process streams of the natural and built water environment to gauge public health concerning exposure to carcinogenic N-nitrosamines and abuse of narcotics. A survey of sources of exposure

This dissertation focuses on the application of urban metabolism metrology (UMM) to process streams of the natural and built water environment to gauge public health concerning exposure to carcinogenic N-nitrosamines and abuse of narcotics. A survey of sources of exposure to N-nitrosamines in the U.S. population identified contaminated food products (1,900 ± 380 ng/day) as important drivers of attributable cancer risk (Chapter 2). Freshwater sediments in the proximity of U.S. municipal wastewater treatment plants were shown for the first time to harbor carcinogenic N-nitrosamine congeners, including N-nitrosodibutylamine (0.2-3.3 ng/g dw), N-nitrosodiphenylamine (0.2-4.7 ng/g dw), and N-nitrosopyrrolidine (3.4-19.6 ng/g dw) were, with treated wastewater discharge representing one potential factor contributing to the observed contamination (p=0.42) (Chapter 3). Opioid abuse rates in two small midwestern communities were estimated through the application of wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE). Average concentrations of opioids (City 1; City 2) were highest for morphine (713 ± 38, 306 ± 29 ng/L) and varied by for the remainder of the screened analytes. Furthermore, concentrations of the powerful opioid fentanyl (1.7 ± 0.2, 1.0 ± 0.5 ng/L) in wastewater were reported for the first time in the literature for the U.S. (Chapter 4). To gauge narcotic consumption within college-aged adults the WBE process used in Chapter 4 was applied to wastewater collected from a large university in the Southwestern U.S. Estimated narcotics consumption, in units of mg/day/1,000 persons showed the following rank order: cocaine (470 ± 42), heroin (474 ± 32), amphetamine (302 ± 14) and methylphenidate (236 ± 28). Most parental drugs and their respective metabolites showed detection frequencies in campus wastewater of 80% or more, with the notable exception of fentanyl, norfentanyl, buprenorphine, and norbuprenorphine. Estimated consumption of all narcotics, aside from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder medication, were higher than values reported in previous U.S. WBE studies for U.S. campuses (Chapter 5). The analyses presented here have identified variation in narcotic consumption habits across different U.S. communities, which can be gauged through UMM. Application of these techniques should be implemented throughout U.S. communities to provide insight into ongoing substance abuse and health issues within a community.

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2018