Widely acknowledged to be the nation's "water campus," the UA has the greatest concentration in the world of internationally recognized expertise in hydrology; water sustainability and conservation; water management, policy, law and governance; water quality; technology development; and other water-related research. Collaborating with water managers and stakeholders around the globe, faculty across campus mobilize this expertise to address the broad challenges of water sustainability: meeting human and environmental water needs, resolving the water supply problems of quantity and quality, and mitigating the impacts of drought and climate change.
Water is one of the resources most highly affected by climate variability and change. As precipitation levels and intensity undergo changes, municipal, ecological, and agricultural sectors will all be impacted. Water research at the University of Arizona related to climate change adaptation focuses strongly on improving the data and technology needed for modeling water use and developing scenarios for water management and planning purposes. The significant impacts of UA research on adaptation and water can already be seen in successful projects that have assisted water suppliers and users in the Colorado River Basin in adapting to long-term drought. UA researchers are also developing the technologies to reuse water as supplies and quality of available water resources become limited.