DCDC Decadal Synthesis on climate, urbanization, and water in metropolitan Phoenix
In anticipation of its 10-year anniversary, Arizona State University’s Decision Center for a Desert City (DCDC) has released a major new report, “Advancing Science in Support of Water Policy and Urban Climate Change Adaptation at Arizona State University’s Decision Center for a Desert City: A Synthesis of Interdisciplinary Research on Climate, Water, and Decision-Making Under Uncertainty.” The report summarizes the center’s major achievements in research, education, and community and institutional outreach since its founding in 2004.
Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and organized under ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability, DCDC is focused on water sustainability, urban climate adaptation, and decision-making under uncertainty. The center pursues research, in close collaboration with stakeholders, to create a more sustainable future.
Should We Demolish Glen Canyon Dam?
Arizona Republic environmental reporter Brandon Loomis investigates the wicked problem of keeping or destroying Glen Canyon Dam, a decision that seems to have no positive outcomes. Water managers, some scientists, and activists would like to see the dam removed in order to drain Lake Powell and feed a drought-stricken Lake Mead, a water source for major cities including Las Vegas and Phoenix. Draining Lake Powell would also return Glen Canyon to its former, natural glory.
However, some suggest negative consequences if the dam is to be removed. ASU’s Decision Center for a Desert City co-director and senior sustainability scientist Dave White says removing Glen Canyon Dam would rid thirsty cities of a captured and stored water supply.
“(Dam removal) would be fairly catastrophic,” White says. “We have too much demand on an annual basis to be met by the natural in-flow of the river.”
He says if anything, Glen Canyon Dam would be re-designed, improved, and repaired.
New DCDC Publication
Assessment of De Facto Wastewater Reuse across the U.S.: Trends between 1980 and 2008
Authors: Jacelyn Rice, Amber Wutich, and Paul Westerhoff
De facto wastewater reuse is the incidental presence of treated wastewater in a water supply source.
In 1980 the EPA identified drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) impacted by upstream wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) discharges and found the top 25 most impacted DWTPs contained between 2% and 16% wastewater discharges from upstream locations (i.e., de facto reuse) under average streamflow conditions.
Case studies were performed on four cities to analyze the reasons for changes in de facto reuse over time. Three of the four sites have greater than 20% treated wastewater effluent within their drinking water source for streamflow less than the 25th percentile historic flow.