Groundwater recharge in the Western U.S. will change as the climate warms—the dry southern regions will have less and the northern regions will have more, a University of Arizona-led research team reports. The new study covers the entire U.S. West, from the High Plains states to the Pacific coast, and provides the first detailed look at how groundwater recharge may change as the climate changes, said senior author Thomas Meixner, UA professor and associate department head of hydrology and atmospheric sciences.
October precipitation was below average to record driest in Arizona, with the driest conditions occurring in the southwestern corner of the state, and temperatures were above average to much-above average. However, the current forecast also suggests this will remain a weak La Niña event, for which correlations to below-average winter precipitation in the Southwest are not as evident.
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the UA is bringing concepts taught in the classroom to the community, applying scientific research to real-world problems.
One of the nation's most successful partnerships between farm and urban water agencies has lately run into serious turbulence, potentially threatening an important Colorado River water-sharing deal. Robert Glennon, a law professor at the UA who specializes in water issues, said the best way to preserve farms and farm communities is to improve water conservation. The saved water can be used to grow more valuable crops, sold to other farmers or to urban areas.