The University of Arizona is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in the science of adaptation to climate change, and associated research and outreach to understand climate change, its observed and potential impacts, and possible responses.
Department of Hydrology and Water Resources
In the desert, water is everything. That is why the University of Arizona established a separate program in Hydrology and Water Resources in 1961. In fact, we are the only university in the nation with a department dedicated solely to hydrology and water resources. A 2008 article in Science declared, “Stationarity is dead.” Our water management systems are predicated on the assumption that natural systems vary within a relatively fixed range defined by historic records. But, as the article’s authors argue, the range is no longer stationary: climate change is breaking records and moving boundaries. Rising temperatures and new precipitation patterns will impact water supplies in the future, but the timing and amount of these impacts remain uncertain. How can we manage our water beyond stationarity? Questions like this are an important focus for researchers in this department.
The Hydrology and Water Resources Department works closely with other organizations on campus that work on climate change adaptation issues related to water, such as SAHRA (Sustainability of semi-Arid Hydrology and Riparian Areas) and the Water Resources Research Center.