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Water Adaptation Techniques Atlas (WATA)

Sharing Water Scarcity Solutions in a Changing Climate

As the effects of climate change coupled with economic and population growth put increasing strain on water resources in the Southwest, what can be done to adapt? WATA is a resource that helps provide answers to that question. Adaptation to aridity has always been a necessity in the Southwest and the current patterns of growth and development in the region would not have been possible without monumental adaptation. As changing conditions challenge the assumptions upon which the dams and canals of the past century were constructed, new efforts are taking shape at multiple scales to cope with water scarcity. WATA seeks to document these efforts, whether they are concerned with reducing water use, increasing water supply, or changing the way water flows through the landscape.


Solutions to water scarcity, however, are rarely straightforward success stories. Securing a new water supply for one region, for example, may deprive others of that same flow. Some solutions for creating new supplies – like large-scale desalination - come with high costs, both economic and environmental. Novel crops may be able to withstand hot, dry conditions better than those currently in vogue, but farmers might be hesitant to take on a risky investment. And when a solution is successful – and its harm or impact at other scales is minimized – it may not always be appropriate for different environmental or social conditions. Each case in WATA provides information about a given solution, as well information that will help users critically evaluate these practices.

Please contact Noah Silber-Coats for more information.




Researcher, Extension, Producer, Land Manager, Other

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Tool Developers:

Jeb Williamson, Jornada Experimental Range, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Las Cruces, NM