Water Research at the University of Arizona

Exploring Water Solutions at the University of Arizona

From deep underground to the clouds in the sky, from our rivers to our kitchen sinks, all water has a source and a destination, supporting life at every turn. Such an interconnected cycle links all living things, creating shared challenges that require shared solutions.

As increasing stress is placed on this precious resource, University of Arizona faculty, researchers, staff and students are building collaborative strategies and innovations to tackle some of the most complex problems facing Southern Arizona and society as a whole. 


Water falling into a plastic bin.

Rainwater harvesting is one solution the Tucson residents, policymakers and researchers are experimenting with to embrace green infrastructure.

Green Infrastructure for Blue Water

Until the turn of the millennium, stormwater had been seen as a nuisance to be removed as quickly as possible. Storms meant flooding, property damage and even potential contamination of the potable water supply by litter, pollution and bacteria. But, where previous decision makers had seen a waste product, a new school of experts saw opportunity.

Read more about using equitable green infrastructure for water resilience.


Students use nets to sample insects in Santa Cruz.

Michael Bogan assists students with sampling the Santa Cruz river for invertebrates.

Aquatic Oasis

Aquatic and riparian ecosystems across the Southwest support a magnificent diversity of species uniquely adapted to challenging desert conditions. However, despite their resilience, human activity has threatened these sanctuaries throughout the past century.

To help protect these extraordinary creatures, researchers and educators at the University of Arizona are raising awareness of the presence and wonder of desert aquatic ecosystems and the creative measures being taken to revitalize these areas around Tucson.

Read more about restoring desert rivers to support aquatic life.


Flowing river with rusty banks in the fall.

Confluence where Cement Creek joins the Animas River.


Centering the Source of Water Knowledge

Identifying research priorities. Building trusting relationships. Upholding self-determination.

These are the values at the heart of research being conducted by University of Arizona faculty members who are integrating community-engaged methodologies into their work, ultimately generating more accurate information to shape public health solutions and improve water quality for all.

Read more about how community knowledge can enhance water solutions.