Seven Western states have agreed on a plan to manage the Colorado River amid a 19-year drought, voluntarily cutting their water use to prevent the federal government from imposing a mandatory squeeze on the supply. "It's a hard-to-put-together puzzle, all about sharing some burdens," said Sharon Megdal, director of the Water Resources Research Center at the UA. The plan builds on water conservation efforts that have, for example, kept Southern California water use relatively flat for decades despite a population boom.
The UA is an international leader in climate science, impacts and policy. We use paleoenvironmental techniques to reconstruct past climates and computer models to understand future conditions. We look at how patterns of drought and heatwaves change and cause water shortages, increase wildfire risks, reduce crop production and food security, threaten defense installations, and affect human health and ecosystems. We work with partners to deliver usable climate science and to create effective responses that help people focus on adaptation, resilience, and risk reduction in the face of climate change.