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Research Overview

Basin-scale Water Balance

River Systems

Integrated Modeling

Micrometeorological Towers

Research Data

Scenario Development

Research Overview

SAHRA constantly seeks ways to maintain a consistent effort and vision among its multi-institutional and multidisciplinary participants. To this end, in addition to having adopted a river-basin focus (as described below) and legacy goals for science and stakeholders,

Integrating Questions

SAHRA has identified three stakeholder-relevant integrating questions on which to focus its scientific research, all of which are or will soon become critical for the wise management of water resources in semi-arid regions and which can only be addressed by researchers operating in center mode through the consistent deployment of integrated, multidisciplinary science. These three questions, which are broad-based and capable of engendering and crosscutting many related topics of inquiry, touch on scenarios that are of prime interest in this region: land use changes, population growth, and climate variability:

  • RIPARIAN QUESTION: What are the costs and benefits of riparian restoration and preservation?
  • WATER MARKETS QUESTION: Under what conditions are water markets and water banking feasible?
  • VEGETATION QUESTION: What are the impacts of vegetation change on the basin-scale water balance?


Macro-Theme Areas

Research macro-theme areas have been defined as follows, with an eye toward improving the level of integration between activities in SAHRA:


River Basin Focus

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SAHRA's geographical focus. Dark blue signifies the San Pedro, Salt/Verde basins and Red signifies the Rio Grande, Rio Conchos basins.

SAHRA pursues stakeholder-relevant science at the basin scale, which helps to drive science integration. Because stakeholder issues are tied to river basins, this also helps with the application of research results. SAHRA's primary geographical focus is on two river basins: the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo and the Upper San Pedro. We also engage in supportive work in the Rio Conchos ( Mexico ) basin, and at the regional scale, in the southwestern U.S. and northwestern Mexico in general. As we move forward we envision that the tools and methods we develop by focusing our activities in these basins will become applicable to and tested elsewhere in semi-arid regions in the southwestern U.S. and beyond.

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