Decision Center for a Desert City

Conducting climate, water, and decision research and developing innovative tools to bridge the boundary between scientists and decision makers and put our work into the hands of those whose concern is for the sustainable future of Greater Phoenix.

Spotlight

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City of Phoenix Cool Urban Spaces Project

Urban forestry and cool roofs: Assessment of heat mitigation strategies in Phoenix

Prepared by the Center for Integrated Solutions to Climate Challenges at Arizona State University in collaboration with the Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) at the University of Arizona and Decision Center for a Desert City (DCDC).

The City of Phoenix’s Cool Urban Spaces Report (2014) investigated the impact of the Phoenix Cool Roofs and Tree and Shade Master Plan initiatives on the city. The study evaluated how these heat mitigation efforts affect microclimates and human thermal comfort in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

These findings are especially relevant as rapid and extensive urbanization has led to an urban heat island (UHI) effect that has increased steadily at approximately 0.9°F per decade.

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News

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Lake Mead Levels to Drop to Historic Lows

via Bureau of Reclamation

Update: July 9, 2014
Listen to DCDC director, Dave White, discuss the regional impact of the drop in Lake Mead’s water level in his interview with KJZZ’s Here and Now.

July 8, 2014
Lake Mead, the reservoir created by Hoover Dam, is anticipated this week to reach its lowest water level since the lake’s initial filling in the 1930s. The Bureau of Reclamation’s Boulder Canyon Operations Office is projecting the elevation to drop to 1,081.75 feet above sea level during the week of July 7 and to continue to drop, reaching approximately 1,080 feet in November of this year.

Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region annually delivers about 9 million acre-feet (MAF) to homes, businesses, farms, Native American tribes and communities, and Mexico.

“We will meet our water orders this year and we are not projecting a shortage condition in 2015,” said Lower Colorado Regional Director Terry Fulp.

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Research

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New DCDC Publication

Assessing the sustainability of water governance systems: the sustainability wheel

Authors: DCDC Visiting Scholar, Flurina Schneider, et al.

In Switzerland, as in many other parts of the world, there is increasing concern that water shortage problems might become more frequent. Consequently, many research and policy efforts focus on issues of more sustainable water governance.

However, there are few holistic approaches, which evaluate the sustainability of water governance systems based on comprehensive, interdisciplinary assessments.

We present and test a conceptual and methodological approach for interdisciplinary sustainability assessments of water governance systems based on what we call the sustainability wheel.

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