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ABOUT SAHRA
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About SAHRA


WHY SAHRA?

Water resources planners in the U.S. and abroad face a daunting list of challenges:

One-quarter of the contiguous U.S. and one-third of the earth's land surface is semi-arid or arid land.

The most rapidly growing U.S. states are in the semi-arid southwest, and most rapidly growing countries are concentrated in semi-arid regions of the planet.

Population pressures and pollution are causing urban and agricultural areas to overdraft regional aquifers, leaving them reliant on non-sustainable groundwater supplies.

Climate change and variability in climate are making a growing percentage of the earth's population vulnerable to both drought and flood.

VISION, MISSION, and LEGACY
Vision of the Center

The vision of SAHRA is to develop an integrated, multidisciplinary understanding of the hydrology of semi-arid regions, and to build partnerships with a broad spectrum of stakeholders (both public agencies and private organizations) so that this understanding is effectively applied to the management of water resources and to the rational implementation of public policy. In practice, the power to improve sustainability of water resources properly rests with elected officials, professional water managers, and legal experts at local, state, and national levels.

Mission

SAHRA's purpose is therefore to inform and support such water professionals by conducting stakeholder-relevant research, education, and knowledge transfer activities. Consequently, SAHRA has a dual mission: 1) to identify critical stakeholder-relevant knowledge gaps and conduct basin-focused multidisciplinary research to fill them; and 2) to convey what is known and what is being learned to improve water management and policy.

Legacy

SAHRA aims for a lasting legacy in the field of integrated semi-arid hydrology that will benefit future researchers, water agencies, and the private sector. The legacy that SAHRA plans to provide under NSF funding may well expand as our program develops, but at this time SAHRA's legacy products and the actions required to bring them about are envisioned as follows:

1.   Science Legacy:   New and improved understandings of semi-arid hydrology

Create new or improved understanding of the complexities in, and impacts of, the interactions between physical, biological, economic, and human factors in semi-arid hydrology, based in part on their accurate representation within an integrated modeling framework.

2.   Stakeholder Legacy: Ongoing stakeholder/scientist dialog and mechanisms to support stakeholders in their decision making

a)   Initiate, sustain, and engage dialog between stakeholders and scientists to stimulate and direct stakeholder-relevant research, by building confidence and mutual trust.

b)  Jointly (with selected stakeholders) plan, develop, and implement tools such as models, management guidelines, and policy frameworks, in support of stakeholder decision making.

3.   Knowledge Transfer Legacy: Dissemination and transfer of knowledge to water professionals, elected officials, and scientists

a)   Disseminate knowledge to the community of water professionals, elected officials, and scientists, to help them make more scientifically informed decisions on water policy and management.

b)   Widely disseminate knowledge about water and water-related issues so as to enhance general hydrologic literacy, leading to more scientifically informed choices by the public.

4.   Education Legacy:   Enhanced multidisciplinary hydrologic literacy within the educational system

Produce a new and diverse generation of professionals, students, and faculty who are adept at approaching water issues from a multidisciplinary and basin-scale perspective and are able to communicate this perspective effectively to others.

5.   Institutional Legacy:   An institution that will continue to deal objectively with the problems of water resources in semi-arid regions

Develop the factors and components (including perceived value by state and federal agencies and the private sector) that will lead to sustained stakeholder-responsive science, knowledge transfer, and education activities that have been developed by SAHRA under NSF funding.



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