Climate Adaptation Partnerships in Semiarid North America
One is a project entitled “Assessment of Climate Impacts on the Surface Water Resources for Central Arizona: Regional Downscaling and Associated Climate Change Scenario/Planning Efforts for the Salt River Project Watershed and Colorado River Basin.” It focuses on water supplies for metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, and it directly involves partners at four water management agencies and two universities, in addition to a number of participants and consultants. Some key issues for Phoenix area water managers that are addressed in the project include characterization of uncertainties from a variety of sources – of which the most prominent is climate model projections – and the potential to use paleohydrologic reconstructions in sensitivity analyses and hydrological modeling. A second project, entitled “Moving Forward: Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change, Drought, and Water Demand in the Urbanizing Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico,” carries the torch of multi-year efforts to engage, raise awareness, build capacity, and now collaborate with water managers in the binational U.S.-Mexico border region of Arizona and Sonora. As researchers enter the collaboration phase, concerns have shifted from conveyance of hydroclimate information to identification and implementation of pilot projects to address issues of urban and agricultural water sustainability in rapidly growing cities in northern Mexico. Issues of working in a binational context, sustaining information flows and research partnerships, and institutional and political constraints will be contrasted with the Phoenix partnership case study.