Toward Sustainable & Usable Water Resources
Water resources sustain ecosystems and peoples across our region. Yet drought, flood and seasonal changes in precipitation stress water availability and quality, while warming temperatures increase evapotranspiration and population growth heightens the demand and competition for already-limited water. Stressed vegetation can increase risks for insect infestation, wildfire, soil degradation, and plant mortality, causing long-term shifts in wildlife habitat and increased potential for the advance of invasive species.
The environmental flows implementation challenge: Insights and recommendations across water-limited systems
Environmental flows in the Rio Grande – Rio Bravo basin
Established in October 2018, the Sustainable and Usable Water Resources team has 23 members:
Sean Wineland (co-lead), University of Oklahoma
Newakis Weber, Chickasaw Nation
J. Pablo Ortiz-Partida, University of California Davis
Xiangming Xiao, University of Oklahoma
Randy Peppler, University of Oklahoma
Thomas Neeson (co-lead), University of Oklahoma
Sophie Plassin, University of Oklahoma
Sam Sandoval, University of California Davis
Jennifer Koch, University of Oklahoma
Ethan Schuth, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
Adrienne Wootten, University of Oklahoma
Kevin Wagner, Oklahoma State University
Yang Hong, University of Oklahoma
Stephanie Paladino, University of Oklahoma
Hakan Basagaoglu, Edwards Aquifer
Ali Mirchi, Oklahoma State University
Jack Friedman, University of Oklahoma
Milestones & Next Steps for 2021:
Two papers are currently being revised/reviewed for publication: The environmental flows implementation challenge: Insights and recommendations across semi-arid, water-limited systems in North America by Wineland et al. was resubmitted to WIREs: Water; and Environmental Flows in the Rio Grande – Rio Bravo by Sandoval-Solis et al. is being revised by co-authors.
Coming up: Plans are being made for Sumemr 2021, which include a data synthesis research project led by Dr. Thomas Neeson. This project will involve gathering and describing data on freshwater conservation initiative programs over time to better understand patterns of adoption between mandatory and non-mandatory programs.
An additional research and stakeholder involvement project planned for this year includes the cultural value of sustainability led by Sean Wineland and Ethan Schuth. The plan is to provide actionable and relatable outcomes or products to tribal leadership or members related to climate change and water resources. The project will investigate the opportunity costs of planning vs not planning for climate change, likely using the EPA’s C.R.E.A.T. tool.