Managing Demand and Rethinking Supply

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Managing Demand and Rethinking Supply
Managing Demand and Rethinking Supply:
Adaptation, Conservation, and Planning in the
Drought-prone Southwestern United States and
Northwest Mexico
Introduction & Summary:
We are pleased to present this summary of the Managing Demand and Rethinking Supply: Adaptation,
Conservation, and Planning in the Drought-Prone Southwestern United States and Northwest Mexico project launch workshop held on October 14, 2011. The workshop was held at the University of Arizona’s (UA) Institute for the Environment and was attended by a m ultidisciplinary team of UA and affiliated researchers in addition to other members of the university and public. The aim of this workshop was to inform the public about the goals and focus of the project and invite feedback and dialogue. The public workshop was followed by a research team meeting to develop a workplan for the year. Approximately 35 people attended the workshop. The workshop forms part of a Climate and Societal Interactions (CSI) research project funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The CSI project focuses on building adaptive capacity for water management in the transboundary region; understanding the role of climate information within governance networks; developing innovations in communicating climate science; and pilot development of a set of metrics for assessing adaptive capacity in arid and border regions. The study sites include: Tucson, AZ.; Ambos Nogales (Nogales, AZ and Nogales, Sonora); Hermosillo, Sonora; and the Delta/Upper Gulf of California (including Puerto Peñasco). The k ey research questions driving this project include what is the role of networks in governance and the implications for using climate knowledge; what are the most effective climate services to support efforts to adapt; and how can adaptive capacity b est be assessed and what m etrics are important for understanding adaptive capacity in water management in this region. This workshop was the first in a series of interactive stakeholder workshops, online surveys, semi-­‐structured interviews, webinars, and annual scientist-­‐stake-­‐holder symposia that we will conduct to examine these questions. Five researchers from the UA gave a series of presentations in the first half of the workshop, covering topics that included an overview of the previous water and climate research conducted in the region upon which this project builds; an overview of the NOAA-­‐CSI project goals and objectives; suggestions for developing innovations in communicating climate science; and efforts to develop a drought early warning system for Sonora Mexico. After the presentations there was a question and answer period between workshop attendees and presenters. See Appendices A and B for the full workshop program. The second half of the workshop was closed to the public and used to host an extended discussion and brainstorming session with participating researchers from different U.S. and Mexican institutions regarding project planning and coordination. See Appendix C for a list of the project collaborators. a
Project Launch Presentation Summary
Dr. Margaret Wilder (Principal Investigator).
Margaret Wilder gave an overview of the CSI project in the talk “Goals
and Objectives.” The CSI project will address issues of adaptive
capacity to climate change-induced drought in Tucson, Ambos
Nogales, Hermosillo, and in the Delta/Upper Gulf Region. She
explained that the project seeks to: identify, develop and refine best
practices for adaptive capacity; determine to what degree the integration of climate science is used in
decision making and governance; innovate methods to more effectively communicate climate science to
decision makers; and to develop a pilot social science tool to assess adaptive capacity in the study region.
Wilder also stated that the research will assess the implications of the findings and processes developed
through the project.
Dr. Robert Varady (Co-PI) presented the talk “Building on Climate Research in the Border Region.” The
presentation focused on the history of climate research projects that the Udall Center for Studies in Public
Policy and affiliated researchers have carried out in the U.S.-Mexico border region. Dr. Varady highlighted
the recently completed, IAI-funded project, Information Flows and Policy: Use of Climate Diagnosis and
Cyclone Predictions for Water Research and the NOAA-SARP Moving Forward: Adaptation and
Resilience to Climate Change, Drought, and Water Demand project (2008-2011) projects that defined key
vulnerabilities in urban water management in this region and identified critical gaps in climate information
flows in management agencies. These recent projects serve as a platform upon which the new NOAA CSI
project seeks to build. A common characteristic that unites these projects is their focus on multidisciplinary
integrated assessment with a binational team,
Dr. Gregg Garfin, (Co-PI) presented on Developing Innovations in Communicating Climate Science. He
began by detailing a history of work in the region on climate-related issues. Garfin is addressing challenges
in communicating useful climate information to stakeholders. In this project, he and the research team will
innovate and evaluate new means of communicating climate science (incl. webinars, social media) to
diverse kinds of stakeholders (e.g., water managers, irrigators) in the four study sites. The Border Climate
Summary, published quarterly in English and Spanish, from 2008 to 2010, will become a streamlined, transborder climate newsletter. He and his team are currently working on identifying new priority needs for
climate information and the most effect forms of media to disseminate that information.
The team leader of the Delta/Upper Gulf of California Region research group, Dr. Marcela Vásquez-León,
gave the presentation Collaborative Governance and Building Adaptive Capacity in the Colorado River
Delta and the Upper Gulf of California. She gave an overview of problems in the Upper Gulf of California
that are attributed to a lack of water “environmental flows” in the Colorado River. The lack of water is due
to upstream water diversions and inefficiencies in the delivery of water. In the Delta Region, she and her
team will be investigating the perceptions of climate change and the adaptation processes of stakeholders on
both sides of the border.
Visiting scholar and Ph.D. candidate from Mexico’s National Autonomous University (UNAM) Carolina
Neri presented Developing A Drought Early Warning System for Sonora. Her system is based on scientific
and technical knowledge/risk assessment, that forecast and monitoring leads to warning, warning
dissemination, and the response capability of communities and institutions. Caro noted that the utility of
climate information in decision-making processes must be demonstrated. One of the biggest challenges is
communication. It is necessary to build ‘communication bridges’ or ‘boundary organizations’ and develop a
drought warning system appropriate for northern Mexico.
Appendix A: Principal Investigators, Researchers, and Collaborators
Lead institution: University of Arizona
Principal Investigator: Margaret Wilder: School of Geography and Development / Center
for Latin American Studies / Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy
[email protected]
Co-PI Robert Varady: Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy [email protected]
Co-PI Gregg Garfin, Institute of the Environment / School of Natural Resources and the
Environment [email protected]
Marcela Vásquez-León, Center for Latin American Studies & Bureau of Applied Research in
Anthropology, UA
Karl Flessa: Geosciences, UA
Laura López Hoffman, School of Natural Resources and the Environment & Udall Center
for Studies in Public Policy, UA
Christopher Scott, School of Geography and Development & Udall Center for Studies in
Public Policy, UA
Gigi Owen, Climate Assessment for the Southwest, UA
George Frisvold, Agriculture and Resource Economics, UA
Diane Austin, Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology, UA
Collaborators:
Luís Brito-Castillo, Northwest Center for Biological Research, Guaymas, Sonora (Mexico)
Francisco Lara Valencia, Arizona State University
Maria Carmen Lemos, University of Michigan
Bradfield Lyon, International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Columbia
University, New York
Laura Norman, United States Geological Survey, Tucson
Nicolás Pineda Pablos, El Colegio de Sonora, Hermosillo, Sonora (Mexico)
Patricia Romero-Lankao, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO
Graduate Research Assistants:
Heide Bruckner, Geography
Joel Correia: Latin American Studies
Sarah Kelly: Geography
Sasha Marley: Anthropology