TUCSON, ARIZONA – The formal launch of AQUASEC  (Center of Excellence for Water Security) in the United States took place on May 29th 2012 at Adaptation Futures: International Conference on Climate Adaptation hosted by the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona USA. University of Arizona faculty and other members of AQUASEC’s partner organizations identified key challenges to water security in the Americas. Namely: water scarcity and uncertain or variable supplies, governance issues, conflicts over allocation especially between types of users (such as agriculture, municipal or mining), the water-energy nexus (the energy needed for pumping irrigation water and the water needed for hydropower generation), lack of long-term climate information, insufficient meteorological monitoring throughout the Americas, and difficulties in communicating climate risk and forecast uncertainties to stakeholders.

“We want to engage water resources stakeholders, especially in the American Southwest, northern Mexico, north-central Chile and Argentina, and northeastern Brazil, in our research and in a series of science-policy dialogues aiming to strengthen adaptation initiatives,” said co-director Christopher Scott.

AQUASEC will convene, together with IAI, a hemisphere-wide training program on adaptive management for water security for scientists and agency personnel, to be held Oct. 8-17 in La Serena, Chile. A ‘science-policy’ dialogue between researchers, managers, policy makers and the public is planned for Mendoza, Argentina in 2013.

AQUASEC panel participants: Christopher Scott, co-director (University of Arizona); Francisco Meza, co-director (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile); Carl Bauer  (University of Arizona); Gregg Garfin  (University of Arizona); Ralph Marra (SouthWest Water Resource Consulting); Lucas Oroz (Comision Nacional del Agua – Mexico); Nicolas Piñeda (Colegio de Sonora – Mexico); Sebastían Vicuña (Centro de Cambio Global UC); Margaret Wilder  (University of Arizona).

Press Release – University of Arizona: “UA, Partners Launch Water Security Center for the Americas”

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