195 Make Every Water Drop Count: ERAU Weather Club Environmental Stewardship and Water Conservation Educational Campaign to Protect Arizona's Waters

Monday, 23 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Dorothea Ivanova, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univ., Prescott, AZ

Our water is one of Arizona’s most precious natural resources. Surface water from lakes, rivers, and streams is Arizona's major renewable water resource. Because of our desert climate, the amount of surface water available can vary dramatically from year to year, season to season, and place to place. Almost all of the natural surface water in Arizona has been developed. Environmental stewardship and water conservation isn’t just a slogan in Arizona, it should be a way of life, and investment in the future.

          The objectives of this campaign is to increase public awareness and knowledge about Arizona’s limited water resources, and how vital the water conservation efforts and proper stewardship of our water resources are. An important goal of this EPA and P&G funded project is to involve the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Weather club and its student-members in the environmental outreach effort to protect Arizona’s waters, and to be active participants in disseminating information about water conservation to the local community, high schools, middle schools, and farmers, thereby improving environmental education, and quality of life for Arizonans.

         The student-members of the Weather club use available local climate data, together with many years of Landsat satellite images to study the changes in Arizona rivers and natural surface water. The long data records allow the students to evaluate the dynamic changes in Arizona waters caused by both natural processes and human practices. The students develop enhanced skills and knowledge, using and interpreting remote sensing data and satellite images in different wavelengths of the spectrum, used by the Landsat instruments. This knowledge helps the students exercise decision making and problem solving skills to better plan for the water availability challenges that will occur as Arizona’s climate changes.

         The results are included in presentations to local community, high school and middle school students, and farmers.

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