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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA center for semi-arid areas earns ‘Man-made’ award

    The UA’s center for Sustainability of Semi-arid Hydrology and Riparian Areas (SAHRA) will accept the 2007 International Great Man-made River Prize tomorrow in Hungary.

    UNESCO awards the prize every other year to organizations that have “”made fundamental and substantial contributions to the assessment, development, management and/or use of water resources in arid and semi-arid regions,”” said SAHRA director Jim Shuttleworth.

    The awards

    I think the outreach to the international community caught the attention of the people giving the award.

    -Jim Shuttleworth
    SAHRA director

    ceremony is being held at the World Science Forum at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest through tomorrow. Shuttleworth will accept the prize on behalf of the center, amid heads of national science foundations and those from surrounding countries, as well as some royalty, he said.

    Shuttleworth was modest about the honor but said he thinks SAHRA’s outreach efforts may have helped snag the prize.

    “”We just did what we do – which is science related to semi-arid regions,”” he said. “”I think the outreach to the international community caught the attention of the people giving the award.””

    The prize is named for the Great Man-made River, an engineering development in northern Africa where a network of pipes supplies water to the Sahara Desert from the Libyan coastal belt, Shuttleworth said.

    SAHRA is funded by the the National Science Foundation and is working on a 10-year research project that began in 2000. The center works with more than 300 people from 12 universities, research institutions and national laboratories – including the United States Geological Survey, the University of New Mexico, USDA-Agricultural Research Services and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Shuttleworth said.

    “”Most of our research is water concerns, in general,”” he said. “”We are trying to look ahead and address problems that will be critical in the future.””

    SAHRA is currently working on multiple projects, one being an attempt to understand potential climate changes and the effects it will have on the Colorado River.

    “”We are projecting (water levels) will fall over the next few decades by 10 to 40 percent,”” Shuttleworth said.

    All project funding comes through the SAHRA headquarters, located on the fifth floor of the Marshall building in the department of hydrology and water resources, and is sent out to the partnering institutions as necessary, said Rannie Fox,
    Shuttleworth’s assistant.

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