A drought-induced water crisis in Cape Town, South Africa, has Arizonans wondering if a similar situation could happen here. UA water expert Sharon Megdal says it is unlikely, though not impossible.
Aaron Flesch, an ecologist at the UA's Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill, explains why regional connectivity matters for the Borderlands' unique natural history. "If you just eliminate movement across the border, then continuity is gone," Flesch says. And that means many species probably would disappear, he says.
More than 1,350 residents of Tucson's south side have filed formal claims with the U.S. Air Force in the past year, alleging contamination at its plant where the long-departed Hughes Aircraft Co. once manufactured defense-related products. Paloma Beamer, a UA public health professor who heard many of the residents' stories at a community teach-in on the subject last summer and at a recent town hall sponsored by the Environmental Justice Task Force, is quoted.
UA researchers David Meko, Connie Woodhouse, and Erica Bigio have found evidence of a historical drought in Southern California trees. The plants can tell water managers how to prepare for the future.