Green Infrastructure as a Puzzle Piece for Water Resources in the Southwest

Abstract for Weekly Colloquium on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 4 pm in Harshbarger 206 ~ Refreshments at 3:45 pm

Dr. Thomas Meixner, Professor and Associate Department Head for the Department of Hydrology & Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona.

Green infrastructure (GI) is often touted as a low cost means to minimize the adverse effects of urbanization.  A research I lead is focused on pursuing developing a better understanding of how GI in the form of rainwater harvesting works at an integrated scale and how that implementation interacts with policies that encourage or discourage rainwater implementation.  Understanding the effect of rainwater harvesting on hydrology and water quality at a watershed scale represents an important element of understanding what role it can play in flood mitigation and in water resources policy across the southwest.  Similarly understanding what causes a policy response to include water harvesting and what the practical effect of implemented policies are should provide insight as to what the expected results from water harvesting policy decisions might be.  In this talk I will discuss research progress thus far on understanding how rainwater harvesting alters the hydrologic, vegetative and biogeochemical response of urban watersheds.  The intersection of natural science and social science at different scales will also be discussed.