Through research and education, the College of Public Health recognizes that water quality and availability are critical components of human health. Within the college’s Environmental Health Sciences program, the Community, Environment and Policy Division incorporates water-related research in promoting the health of individuals and communities. Specific research includes the behavior and removal of waterborne pathogens and contaminants.
Agricultural and Resource Economics
The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (AREC) offers a wealth of resources related to the economics of water. AREC faculty members have researched the cost of using, cleaning, and allocating water, water demand, and the impacts of industry on water quality, among other issues. Also, the department’s extension program specializes in natural resource policy, risk management, crop and livestock budgets, and more.
Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture
The College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture (CAPLA) develops students with diverse backgrounds into leading practicing professionals who are prepared for the challenges that face society and the environment. CAPLA’s water research degree track emphasizes green building design for water efficiency, as well as sustainable watershed design, planning, and management. The bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Built Environment prepares students with skills to make communities, buildings, and landscapes more sustainable. The college also operates the Underwood Sonoran Landscape Laboratory and partners with Raytheon, Biosphere 2, and the country of Oman on water research.
Geography and Development
The School of Geography and Development includes water in much of its research on natural and human systems. The school also houses the Graduate Certificate in Water Policy and offers a Water Resources, Politics and Policy research track, which focuses on topics such as comparative and international water law and policy, water and urban growth, water reuse, the energy-water nexus, climate and water variability, paleohydrology, climate change, drought, water resources and sustainability and dryland environments.
The School of Anthropology houses the Ecological Anthropology and the Southwest Land, Culture and Society programs, which study humans’ traditional and modern uses for water and how cultural trends have been shaped by the availability of water. The school is also an integral component of the UA Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology (BARA). BARA has carried out community-based participatory research on rehabilitating the ecology on the U.S.-Mexico border while investigating the relationships between humans, water and bi-national issues.
Latin American Studies
The Center for Latin American Studies hosts faculty with particular expertise regionally in Mexico, Brazil and Central America. Thematic strengths include environmental studies, border studies, power and inequality and history and culture. The center offers a research track in the Mexico-United States border, including a focus on trans-boundary water and environment and development issues.
Arizona Project WET
Arizona Project WET develops water stewardship and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) literacy by providing teacher professional development focused on 21st century skills, direct student outreach that delivers or extends classroom learning and community engagement.
Environment, Exposure Science and Risk Assessment Center
Located in the College of Public Health, the Environment, Exposure Science and Risk Assessment Center provides expertise to industry, the community and researchers in the areas of human exposure science and risk assessment of chemical, biological and physical hazards to workers and communities. The center has a focus area in water quality assessment of biological and chemical contaminants. Collaborators have experience in water quality research such as drinking water risk perception, well water quality analysis, biological contaminant sampling and waterborne exposure assessment.
The Southwest Center
The Southwest Center, a research unit within the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, documents and interprets the region’s natural and human cultures through a vigorous program of scholarly investigation. Water-related research includes studies of culture and rural development in native environments, as well as the ecology of the region.
Superfund Research Program
The Superfund Research Program uses an interdisciplinary approach to study hazardous waste issues in the U.S. Southwest and the Mexico border. Biomedical and environmental scientists collaborate to investigate risks, develop remediation strategies and translate research findings to government stakeholders and the affected community. Research focuses on arsenic, chlorinated solvents and mine tailings.
Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy
The Udall Center sponsors policy-relevant, interdisciplinary research and forums that link scholarship and education with decision making. The center’s environmental and policy programs include: Climate and Societal Interactions; Global Water Initiatives; Transboundary Aquifer Assessment; the Water-Energy Nexus; Water Reuse; and the Center of Excellence for Water Security.
Arizona Cooperative Extension
The Cooperative Extension, an outreach arm of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, serves as a statewide network of knowledgeable faculty and staff that provides lifelong educational programs for all Arizonans. It is part of a nationwide network that helps people solve problems and puts knowledge to use. Water-related programs include aquaculture, watershed stewardship, irrigation water management, onsite wastewater, safe drinking water, smartscaping and turfgrass.
Biosphere 2 serves as a center for research, outreach, teaching and lifelong learning. The facility is the world’s largest controlled environment for studying how ecosystems, water and biogeochemistry interact. The Biosphere 2 Science Program addresses societal grand challenges related to water, environmental and energy management through design of large-scale experimentation such as the Landscape Evolution Observatory (LEO) http://b2science.org/leo/about.
Climate Assessment for the Southwest
Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) assesses the impacts of climate variability and longer-term climate change on human and natural systems in the Southwest. CLIMAS is designed to improve the ability of the region to respond sufficiently and appropriately to climatic events and climate changes.
Institute of the Environment
The Institute of the Environment (IE) fosters and facilitates cross-campus, community, state, national and worldwide collaborations that help explain and resolve environmental challenges and seize solution-driven opportunities created by such challenges. IE also provides a portal to the internationally-recognized expertise of more than 300 faculty and research staff across campus and to programs, events and projects. Interdisciplinary IE initiatives include the Climate Assessment for the Southwest, Southwest Climate Science Center and Renewable Energy Network.
Water Resources Research Center
The Water Resources Research Center promotes understanding of critical state and regional water management and policy issues through research, community outreach and public education. Faculty and staff partner across campus and with public and private entities in the region and around the world on a range of water management and policy issues, including water governance and planning, competition for water resources and international comparative analysis.