Matching Items (32)

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Stakeholder Analysis for the Food-Energy-Water Nexus in Phoenix, Arizona: Implications for Nexus Governance

Description

Understanding the food-energy-water nexus is necessary to identify risks and inform strategies for nexus governance to support resilient, secure, and sustainable societies. To manage risks and realize efficiencies, we must

Understanding the food-energy-water nexus is necessary to identify risks and inform strategies for nexus governance to support resilient, secure, and sustainable societies. To manage risks and realize efficiencies, we must understand not only how these systems are physically connected but also how they are institutionally linked. It is important to understand how actors who make planning, management, and policy decisions understand the relationships among components of the systems. Our question is: How do stakeholders involved in food, energy, and water governance in Phoenix, Arizona understand the nexus and what are the implications for integrated nexus governance? We employ a case study design, generate qualitative data through focus groups and interviews, and conduct a content analysis. While stakeholders in the Phoenix area who are actively engaged in food, energy, and water systems governance appreciate the rationale for nexus thinking, they recognize practical limitations to implementing these concepts. Concept maps of nexus interactions provide one view of system interconnections that be used to complement other ways of knowing the nexus, such as physical infrastructure system diagrams or actor-networks. Stakeholders believe nexus governance could be improved through awareness and education, consensus and collaboration, transparency, economic incentives, working across scales, and incremental reforms.

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  • 2017-11-29

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Distributed hydrologic modeling of a sparsely monitored basin in Sardinia, Italy, through hydrometeorological downscaling

Description

The water resources and hydrologic extremes in Mediterranean basins are heavily influenced by climate variability. Modeling these watersheds is difficult due to the complex nature of the hydrologic response as

The water resources and hydrologic extremes in Mediterranean basins are heavily influenced by climate variability. Modeling these watersheds is difficult due to the complex nature of the hydrologic response as well as the sparseness of hydrometeorological observations. In this work, we present a strategy to calibrate a distributed hydrologic model, known as TIN-based Real-time Integrated Basin Simulator (tRIBS), in the Rio Mannu basin (RMB), a medium-sized watershed (472.5 km[superscript 2]) located in an agricultural area in Sardinia, Italy. In the RMB, precipitation, streamflow and meteorological data were collected within different historical periods and at diverse temporal resolutions. We designed two statistical tools for downscaling precipitation and potential evapotranspiration data to create the hourly, high-resolution forcing for the hydrologic model from daily records. Despite the presence of several sources of uncertainty in the observations and model parameterization, the use of the disaggregated forcing led to good calibration and validation performances for the tRIBS model, when daily discharge observations were available. The methodology proposed here can be also used to disaggregate outputs of climate models and conduct high-resolution hydrologic simulations with the goal of quantifying the impacts of climate change on water resources and the frequency of hydrologic extremes within medium-sized basins.

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Date Created
  • 2013-10-24

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Quantification of hydrologic impacts of climate change in a Mediterranean basin in Sardinia, Italy, through high-resolution simulations

Description

Future climate projections robustly indicate that the Mediterranean region will experience a significant decrease of mean annual precipitation and an increase in temperature. These changes are expected to seriously affect

Future climate projections robustly indicate that the Mediterranean region will experience a significant decrease of mean annual precipitation and an increase in temperature. These changes are expected to seriously affect the hydrologic regime, with a limitation of water availability and an intensification of hydrologic extremes, and to negatively impact local economies. In this study, we quantify the hydrologic impacts of climate change in the Rio Mannu basin (RMB), an agricultural watershed of 472.5 km[superscript 2] in Sardinia, Italy. To simulate the wide range of runoff generation mechanisms typical of Mediterranean basins, we adopted a physically based, distributed hydrologic model. The high-resolution forcings in reference and future conditions (30-year records for each period) were provided by four combinations of global and regional climate models, bias-corrected and downscaled in space and time (from ~25 km, 24 h to 5 km, 1 h) through statistical tools. The analysis of the hydrologic model outputs indicates that the RMB is expected to be severely impacted by future climate change. The range of simulations consistently predict (i) a significant diminution of mean annual runoff at the basin outlet, mainly due to a decreasing contribution of the runoff generation mechanisms depending on water available in the soil; (ii) modest variations in mean annual runoff and intensification of mean annual discharge maxima in flatter sub-basins with clay and loamy soils, likely due to a higher occurrence of infiltration excess runoff; (iii) reduction of soil water content and actual evapotranspiration in most areas of the basin; and (iv) a drop in the groundwater table. Results of this study are useful to support the adoption of adaptive strategies for management and planning of agricultural activities and water resources in the region.

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Date Created
  • 2014-12-15

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Closing the water balance with cosmic-ray soil moisture measurements and assessing their relation to evapotranspiration in two semiarid watersheds

Description

Soil moisture dynamics reflect the complex interactions of meteorological conditions with soil, vegetation and terrain properties. In this study, intermediate-scale soil moisture estimates from the cosmic-ray neutron sensing (CRNS) method

Soil moisture dynamics reflect the complex interactions of meteorological conditions with soil, vegetation and terrain properties. In this study, intermediate-scale soil moisture estimates from the cosmic-ray neutron sensing (CRNS) method are evaluated for two semiarid ecosystems in the southwestern United States: a mesquite savanna at the Santa Rita Experimental Range (SRER) and a mixed shrubland at the Jornada Experimental Range (JER). Evaluations of the CRNS method are performed for small watersheds instrumented with a distributed sensor network consisting of soil moisture sensor profiles, an eddy covariance tower, and runoff flumes used to close the water balance. We found a very good agreement between the CRNS method and the distributed sensor network (root mean square error (RMSE) of 0.009 and 0.013 m[superscript 3] m[superscript −3] at SRER and JER, respectively) at the hourly timescale over the 19-month study period, primarily due to the inclusion of 5 cm observations of shallow soil moisture. Good agreement was also obtained in soil moisture changes estimated from the CRNS and watershed water balance methods (RMSE of 0.001 and 0.082 m[superscript 3] m[superscript −3] at SRER and JER, respectively), with deviations due to bypassing of the CRNS measurement depth during large rainfall events. Once validated, the CRNS soil moisture estimates were used to investigate hydrological processes at the footprint scale at each site. Through the computation of the water balance, we showed that drier-than-average conditions at SRER promoted plant water uptake from deeper soil layers, while the wetter-than-average period at JER resulted in percolation towards deeper soils. The CRNS measurements were then used to quantify the link between evapotranspiration and soil moisture at a commensurate scale, finding similar predictive relations at both sites that are applicable to other semiarid ecosystems in the southwestern US.

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Date Created
  • 2016-01-19

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On the nature of rainfall intermittency as revealed by different metrics and sampling approaches

Description

A general consensus on the concept of rainfall intermittency has not yet been reached, and intermittency is often attributed to different aspects of rainfall variability, including the fragmentation of the

A general consensus on the concept of rainfall intermittency has not yet been reached, and intermittency is often attributed to different aspects of rainfall variability, including the fragmentation of the rainfall support (i.e., the alternation of wet and dry intervals) and the strength of intensity fluctuations and bursts. To explore these different aspects, a systematic analysis of rainfall intermittency properties in the time domain is presented using high-resolution (1-min) data recorded by a network of 201 tipping-bucket gauges covering the entire island of Sardinia (Italy). Four techniques, including spectral and scale invariance analysis, and computation of clustering and intermittency exponents, are applied to quantify the contribution of the alternation of dry and wet intervals (i.e., the rainfall support fragmentation), and the fluctuations of intensity amplitudes, to the overall intermittency of the rainfall process. The presence of three ranges of scaling regimes between 1 min to ~ 45 days is first demonstrated. In accordance with past studies, these regimes can be associated with a range dominated by single storms, a regime typical of frontal systems, and a transition zone. The positions of the breaking points separating these regimes change with the applied technique, suggesting that different tools explain different aspects of rainfall variability. Results indicate that the intermittency properties of rainfall support are fairly similar across the island, while metrics related to rainfall intensity fluctuations are characterized by significant spatial variability, implying that the local climate has a significant effect on the amplitude of rainfall fluctuations and minimal influence on the process of rainfall occurrence. In addition, for each analysis tool, evidence is shown of spatial patterns of the scaling exponents computed in the range of frontal systems. These patterns resemble the main pluviometric regimes observed on the island and, thus, can be associated with the corresponding synoptic circulation patterns. Last but not least, we demonstrate how the methodology adopted to sample the rainfall signal from the records of the tipping instants can significantly affect the intermittency analysis, especially at smaller scales. The multifractal scale invariance analysis is the only tool that is insensitive to the sampling approach. Results of this work may be useful to improve the calibration of stochastic algorithms used to downscale coarse rainfall predictions of climate and weather forecasting models, as well as the parameterization of intensity-duration-frequency curves, adopted for land planning and design of civil infrastructures.

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Date Created
  • 2013-01-29

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Impacts of new crop portfolios on water consumption in Maricopa County

Description

Agriculture is the second largest water consumer in the Phoenix Metropolitan region, after the municipal sector. A significant portion of the cultivated land and agricultural water demand is from the

Agriculture is the second largest water consumer in the Phoenix Metropolitan region, after the municipal sector. A significant portion of the cultivated land and agricultural water demand is from the production of animal feed, including alfalfa (~69% of total cropland area), corn (~8), and sorghum (-3%), which are both exported and needed to support local dairy industry. The goal of this thesis is to evaluate the impacts on water demand and crop production of four different crop portfolios using alfalfa, corn, sorghum, and feed barley. For this aim, the Water Evaluation And Planning (WEAP) platform and the embedded MABIA agronomic module are applied to the Phoenix Active Management Area (AMA), a political/hydrological region including most of Phoenix Metro. The simulations indicate that the most efficient solution is a portfolio where all study crop production is made up by sorghum, with an increase of 153% in crop yield and a reduction of 60% of water consumption compared to current conditions. In contrast, a portfolio where all study crop production is made up by alfalfa, which is primary crop grown in current conditions, decreased crop yield by 77% and increases water demand by 105%. Solutions where all study crop production is achieved with corn or feed barley lead to a reduction of 77% and 65% of each respective water demand, with a portfolio of all corn for study crop production increasing crop yield by 245% and a portfolio of all feed barley for study crop production reducing crop yield by 29%.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Characterization of DOC in "Accidental" Urban Wetlands in Phoenix, AZ

Description

Accidental wetlands have been created on the bed of the Salt River and are fed by storm-water outfalls discharging at various sections of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Water discharges from

Accidental wetlands have been created on the bed of the Salt River and are fed by storm-water outfalls discharging at various sections of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Water discharges from these outfalls throughout the year, during both dry conditions (base flow) and during rain events (storm flow). In this study, DOC content and composition was studied during these two flow conditions, in the outfalls and along the wetland flow path. The importance of DOC lies in its role in transporting carbon via water movement, between different parts of a landscape, and therefore between pools in the ecosystem. Urbanization has influenced content and composition of DOC entering the accidental urban wetland via outfalls as they represent watersheds from different areas in Phoenix. First, DOC load exhibited higher quantities during stormflow compared to baseflow conditions. Second, DOC load and fluorescence analysis outcomes concluded the outfalls are different from each other. The inputs of water on the north side of the channel represent City of Phoenix watersheds were similar to each other and had high DOC load. The northern outfalls are both different in load and composition from the outfall pipe on the southern bank of the wetland as it represents South Mountain watershed. Fluorescence analysis results also concluded compositional changes occurred along the wetland flow path during both stormflow and baseflow conditions. In this study, it was explored how urbanization and the associated changes in hydrology and geomorphology have affected a desert wetland's carbon content.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Effect of Climate Change on Arizona Roadway Drainage Infrastructure

Description

There has been much work done predicting the effects of climate change on transportation systems, this research parallels that past work and focuses on the effect of changes in precipitation

There has been much work done predicting the effects of climate change on transportation systems, this research parallels that past work and focuses on the effect of changes in precipitation on roadway drainage systems. On a macro level, this work addresses the process that should be taken to make predictions about the vulnerability of this system due to changes in precipitation. This work also addresses the mechanisms of failure of these drainage systems and how they may be affected by changes in precipitation due to climate change. These changes may entail more frequent failure by certain mechanisms, or a shift in the mechanisms for particular infrastructure. A sample water basin in the urban environment of Phoenix, Arizona is given as a case study. This study looks at the mechanisms of failure of the infrastructure therein, as well as provides a process of analyzing the effects of increases in precipitation to the vulnerability of this infrastructure. It was found that drainage structures at roadways being currently designed will see increases from 20-30% in peak discharge, which will lead to increased frequency of failure.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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A climate change projection for summer hydrologic conditions in a semiarid watershed of central Arizona

Description

Potential climate change impacts on summer precipitation and subsequent hydrologic responses in the southwestern U.S. are poorly constrained at present due to a lack of studies accounting for high resolution

Potential climate change impacts on summer precipitation and subsequent hydrologic responses in the southwestern U.S. are poorly constrained at present due to a lack of studies accounting for high resolution processes. In this investigation, we apply a distributed hydrologic model to the Beaver Creek watershed of central Arizona to explore its utility for climate change assessments. Manual model calibration and model validation were performed using radar-based precipitation data during three summers and compared to two alternative meteorological products to illustrate the sensitivity of the streamflow response. Using the calibrated and validated model, we investigated the watershed response during historical (1990–2000) and future (2031–2040) summer projections derived from a single realization of a mesoscale model forced with boundary conditions from a general circulation model under a high emissions scenario. Results indicate spatially-averaged changes across the two projections: an increase in air temperature of 1.2 °C, a 2.4-fold increase in precipitation amount and a 3-fold increase in variability, and a 3.1-fold increase in streamflow amount and a 5.1-fold increase in variability. Nevertheless, relatively minor changes were obtained in spatially-averaged evapotranspiration. To explain this, we used the simulated hydroclimatological mechanisms to identify that higher precipitation limits radiation through cloud cover leading to lower evapotranspiration in regions with orographic effects. This challenges conventional wisdom on evapotranspiration trends and suggest that a more nuanced approach is needed to communicate hydrologic vulnerability to stakeholders and decision-makers in this semiarid region.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-07-01

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Meta-analysis of error sources in the determination of micro- and nanoplastics

Description

The occurrence of micro-and nanoplastic (MNP) debris in the environment is a research area of considerable public health concern. Various combinations of methods for extraction, isolation, and quantification of MNP

The occurrence of micro-and nanoplastic (MNP) debris in the environment is a research area of considerable public health concern. Various combinations of methods for extraction, isolation, and quantification of MNP have been applied but literature studies evaluating the appropriateness and efficacy of these protocols are lacking. A meta-analysis of the literature (n=134; years 2010-2017) was conducted to inventory and assess the appropriateness of methodologies employed. Some 30.6% of studies employed visual identification only, which carried a calculated misidentification error of 25.8-74.2%. An additional 6.7% of studies reported counts for particles smaller than the cutoff value of the selected collection pore size, and 9.7% of studies utilized extraction solution densities which exclude some of the polymers commonly occurring in the environments investigated. A composite value of data vulnerability of 43.3% was determined for the sample, indicating considerable weaknesses in the robustness of information available on MNP occurrence and type. Additionally, the oxidizing solutions documented in the literature frequently were deemed unsuccessful in removing interfering organic matter. Whereas nanoplastics measuring <1 µm in diameter are likely principal drivers of health risk, polymer fragments reported on in the literature are much larger, measuring 10+ µm in diameter due to lack of standardized methods. Thus, current inventories of MNP in the environmental MNP feature data quality concerns that should be addressed moving forward by using more robust and standardized techniques for sampling, processing and polymer identification to improve data quality and avoid the risk of misclassification.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018