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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: HYDROLOGIC PROCESSES, SCALE, CLIMATE VARIABILITY, AND WATER RESOURCES FOR SEMIARID WATERSHED MANAGEMENT

Location: Southwest Watershed Research

Title: A Climate, water management, and policy in the San Pedro Basin: Results of a survey of Mexican stakeholders near the U.S.–Mexico border 1936

Authors
item Browning-Aiken, A. - UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
item Morehouse, B. - UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
item Davis, A. - UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
item Wilder, M. - UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
item Varady, R. - UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
item Goodrich, David
item Carter, R. - UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
item Moreno, D. - UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

Submitted to: Journal of Climate Change
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 10, 2007
Publication Date: November 15, 2007
Citation: Browning-Aiken, A., Morehouse, B., Davis, A., Wilder, M., Varady, R., Goodrich, D.C., Carter, R., Moreno, D. 2007. A climate, water management, and policy in the San Pedro Basin: Results of a survey of mexican stakeholders near the U.S.–Mexico border. Climate Change. 85(3-4): 323-341.

Interpretive Summary: Water resources in arid and semiarid regions of the US Southwest and northern Mexico may be particularly vulnerable to climate change, water quality, and management decisions. This paper reviews these factors in the northern Mexico San Pedro River Basin, with a focus on the Mexican side of the border. The work is based on the available literature and a survey assessing concerns about water and the quality and usability of climate and hydrologic information available. The results indicate that the central concern for urban residents is the lack of reliable potable water due to frequent service breakdowns–with climate change and variability, specifically drought and high temperatures, as contributing factors. However, water managers have limited access to hydrologic and meteorological information. Considerable disagreement exists about who should pay for previously free or low-cost water and wastewater treatment. Urban users have little incentive to conserve because of the present flat, low rate and frustration with service. In rural areas, while a majority of ranchers recognize that variable climate and water loss could increasingly jeopardize their lifestyle, they seldom use meteorological information in planning or modify their water consumption. Climate vulnerability also includes potential for serious environmental health issues due to the presence of heavy metals and organic contaminants in the San Pedro.

Technical Abstract: This paper reviews regional climate knowledge and vulnerability in the northern Mexico San Pedro River Basin, with a focus on water quality, quantity, and management issues on the Mexican side of the border. A discussion based on the available literature is supplemented by a survey assessing concerns about water and the quality and usability of climate and hydrologic information available to water managers and communities. The surveys indicate that the central concern for urban residents is the lack of reliable potable water due to frequent service breakdowns–with climate change and variability, specifically drought and high temperatures, as contributing factors. Water managers desire appropriate meteorological and hydrologic information to improve planning strategies, but access to this information remains limited. Considerable disagreement exists about who should pay for previously free or low-cost water and wastewater treatment. Urban users have little incentive to conserve because of the present flat, low rate and frustration with service. In rural areas, while a majority of ranchers recognize that variable climate and water loss could increasingly jeopardize their lifestyle, they seldom use meteorological information in planning or modify their water consumption. Climate vulnerability also includes potential for serious environmental health issues due to the presence of heavy metals and organic contaminants in the San Pedro.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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