A group of researchers from the University of Arizona’s Institute of the Environment and the Udall Center are looking at how residents along the Arizona-Mexico border are adapting to changing water availability.
The report focuses on four areas: Tucson, Nogales, Hermosillo and Rocky Point.
UA climatologist and geographer Greg Garfin says much of the report focused on three- to six-month climate changes, although local water managers were very interested in historic data as well, especially when looking at the information about long droughts. That data is based on tree ring studies.
“We could talk about the resilience of the region for those kinds of episodes of droughts," Garfin says in an Arizona Illustrated interview. "How the droughts of the future, in some ways like the droughts of the past, will be longer and more severe. And are we really ready for those?”
The study is referred to as a “foundational” document for the National Climate Change Assessment. Researchers are particularly excited about that designation because it marks the first time the border region is included in that study.