Climate change adaptation in western agriculture and ecosystems requires better information and flexible institutions for our most precious resource—WATER.
This program delivers novel tools and techniques for a water-stressed region, enabling thriving agriculture, healthy ecosystems, and community resilience in an uncertain climate future from the field to regional scales.
Project Goals: To understand, to enable, and to envision water management strategies empowered through data-enabled decision-making.
By bringing together hydro-economic and life-cycle assessment with localized water accounting and regional climate projections, the project goal is to evaluate and enable water trading for climate resilience in agricultural and ecological systems in the Southwestern US.
Securing a climate-resilient water future rests on decisions informed by climate data coupled with regional and localized accurate measurements, novel management practices, well-designed markets, banking, and other water storage and transfer systems. Focused transdisciplinary activities will integrate research, extension, and education across three testbeds in each unique socio-economic and political area:
- Cache Valley, UT
- San Joaquin Valley, CA
- Mesilla Valley, NM
Throughout the process, workshops, field days, and educational tools will actively engage stakeholders in achieving sustainability in water-scarce regions.
With Extension as the primary focus, we engage USDA Southwest Climate Hub expertise and the extension-grower networks of each state’s university outreach system to ADOPT new technologies and practices, ADAPT to local situations, and AMPLIFY what works.
Our stakeholders: The transdisciplinary project team will work with land and water managers, growers, irrigation districts, and ecosystem managers to develop climate resilience strategies. With decades of experience in irrigation, climate science and each commodity, the Extension team will facilitate whole-project integration through a Day-One Needs Assessment, keep connection with innovation leaders, and share all program findings through both informal education and formal communications.