August 9, 2019 / Volume 7, Issue 7
The Water Resource Research Center - a research unit of the  College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and an Extension unit in  UA Cooperative Extension  within the Division of Agriculture, Life & Veterinary Sciences & Cooperative Extension
In this issue: WEES / Stormwater / APWMongolia
Finding Answers to Arizona Water Questions
Arizonans have questions about water and the Water Resources Research Center has a lot of experience answering them. At this year's University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Conference, held on August 6-7, the WRRC staff hosted a breakout session entitled "You want to know what? Answering questions about water in Arizona." Assistant Director Susanna Eden, Research Analyst Ashley Hullinger, and Associate Director Claire Zucker highlighted a variety of questions ranging from the big-picture "Are we running out of water?", to questions about how water management works in Arizona and questions from homeowners and potential new residents requesting advice. For each, they provided perspectives on what information to offer and then identified web-based information sources to back up the answers. All of the web resources were included in a new WRRC Fact Sheet created for the event (see link below). During the presentation, live animated polling allowed audience members to provide real-time feedback about their comfort level answering each question. Over half of extension specialists participating in the polling reported getting water questions weekly or even daily. We hope the presentation and the fact sheet helps them provide even better water answers in the future and reaffirms that the WRRC is here to help.
Fall Brown Bags

The WRRC will be kicking off the Brown Bag Seminar series this fall.  This is what we have confirmed so far.  Check back as we add more interesting and relevant water topis.
  • September 10, Vanessa Buzzard, Sr. Research Specialist, UA/SNRE - "The Ecology of Water Harvesting"
  • October 8,  Dick Thompson, and Maya Teyechea, Hydrologists, Tucson Water, Santa Cruz Heritage Project

santacruz WEES Initiative Funds Water Research      
Each year, Arizonans help support education through the sales tax supported Technology and Research Initiative Fund (TRIF). The University of Arizona directs TRIF resources through the Water, Environmental, and Energy Solutions (WEES) Initiative to fund cutting-edge research at UA. WEES works in coordination with the UA offices of Research Discovery, and Innovation (RDI) and Research Development Services (RDS) to run the grant process.  WEES funded five proposals this year. Congratulations to all of the grant recipients! To learn more about WEES funding history and upcoming collaboration events, visit the new WEES website or join the Water Network listserv here.
2020 Research Advancement Awards in water, energy, and environment
  • Walter Betancourt: Viromic analysis of reverse osmosis concentrates through ozone-biofiltration for safe reuse in irrigation: A novel approach for zero liquid discharge,
  • Andrew Cohen: Preliminary subsurface investigations of the Bouse Formation, Western AZ: A unique paleoenvironmental archive of Colorado and opportunity for Native American STEM training
  • Hongyue Jin: Internet of Things-based Pipeline Structural Health Monitoring
  • Jennifer McIntosh: NSF Critical Zone Observatory Proposal: Support for Workshop and Proposal Development
  • Jean McLain: Assessing public health risk from sewage spills along the Mexico-Arizona border   
Tucson Water posted an online survey to collect public input on the proposed Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Program and fee. The proposed GSI is consistent with a "One Water" approach, in which water resources are managed in an integrated fashion. Thus, the program focuses on water management in a way that also addresses urban heat island effects within vulnerable communities and adopts programs that promote economic development. Anyone who is a citizen or business owner within the City of Tucson is encouraged to complete the survey, which will be open through the month of August.
A copy of the proposed GSI program can be downloaded here (click on Green Stormwater Infrastructure Fund proposal)
APW2An Exciting New APW STEM Unit
How does Arizona's hydrologic cycle rule your world? That is the driving question behind a new Aqua STEM unit called Waters of Our World, or WOW, which will be offered in some Maricopa County classrooms this school year. Using this guiding question as a base, students will dive deeply into understanding Arizona's water sources by asking questions, defining problems, and exploring our state's water resource challenges. The WOW unit features opportunities to develop and use models, ultimately putting students at the center of their own role in the hydrological cycle. One engaging activity offers students an understanding of how the Central Arizona Project (CAP) pumps water uphill by challenging them to create a working model of the CAP system.  Arizona's Science Standards encourage students to use science and engineering practices to figure out how things work. It will be exciting to see how students who have gained an in-depth understanding of Arizona's hydrologic cycle may be able to solve water resource problems in the future.  
swesMegadroughts in Mongolia Transform Rural and Urban Life     
Mongolia is already home to one of the world's most extreme climates with its long, cold winters and short summers. A recent series on National Public Radio, called "Losing the Eternal Blue Sky", focuses on how the country is changing in the face of more frequent natural disasters caused by shifting climate patterns. The NPR series chronicles the migration of people in three areas of Mongolia: its capital, Ulaanbaatar; the steppe; and the desert. Mongolia is becoming drier and warmer, exacerbating the difficulties of raising livestock in the steppe and driving migration to the capital. The meager resources of the desert are being depleted as well, due to a significant increase in mining in Mongolia's Gobi Desert.