Decision Making under Uncertainty: Ranking of Multiple Stressors on Central Arizona Water Resources

Chhetri, N.B. (2008). Decision Making under Uncertainty: Ranking of Multiple Stressors on Central Arizona Water Resources. IIASA Interim Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: IR-08-029

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This paper explores the value of multiple stressor analysis as a support for decision making under uncertainty associated with water management policy in the Central Arizona region of the southwestern United States. More specifically, this paper assesses the significance of each stressor in its relation with the vulnerability of water supply systems and generates a ranking of the stressors through a weight-of-evidence approach. Based on the causal links between stressors and their effects on water resources, the multiple stressors of Phoenix AMA are broadly placed in three categories: municipal, agricultural, and biophysical. My analysis shows that outdoor irrigation uses within the municipal category is the largest stressor on water resources. Ranked second is the loss of water due to rise in temperature and simultaneous reduction in precipitation due to global warming in the Colorado and Salt/Verde River basin, the largest supplier of surface water to the Phoenix AMA. This is closely followed by the stress on water resources resulting from inefficient agricultural practices. Indoor water use is ranked fourth among the stressors. The relatively low ranking of indoor water use is not surprising given the implementation of efficiency standards and innovation of technologies in plumbing fixtures. Higher residential water demand due to increased night time temperature in the urban area is a distant fifth. Analysis and ranking of multiple stressors in the water resources of Phoenix AMA reveals that outdoor water use and agriculture practices are comparably fertile targets for efficiency gains from technical and management perspectives.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Interim Report)
Uncontrolled Keywords: multiple stressors, water management, sensitivity analysis, Arizona, decision making, uncertainty, vulnerability
Research Programs: Modeling Land-Use and Land-Cover Changes (LUC)
Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:41
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:20

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