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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Students learn to live with less water

Tanner Clinch

A dead fish lays in the dried up High School Wash on Warren Avenue on Tuesday. The Institute on Science for Global Policy partners with Tucson Working Group to discuss climate change, awareness and how people in the Southwest can live with less water.

Living in a desert means living with limited water.

The Institute on Science for Global Policy, in partner with the Tucson Working Group of concerned local volunteers, will host a series of conferences throughout the country to bring the issue of climate change to light. 

Tucson will host the first of ISGP’s 15 national conferences, each of which revolves around specific, regional topics of environmental concern. The first is titled “Living with Less Water,” which will discuss how individuals can diminish or adapt themselves to the effects of drought this Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Each conference begins with a formal debate among policy makers, scientists, aspiring students and members of the public. After the event, the conference breaks into caucuses that encourage participation from all members in order to reach agreements on feasible next steps regarding everyday environmental impacts of Tucson and Southern Arizona community members.

“Our goal is to get people thinking about our priorities and assumptions concerning water,” said John Pedicone, chair of the Tucson Working Group, in a press release, “and working together toward a consensus on possible next steps in adapting to living with less water.”

Three featured speakers include former UA president Henry Koffler, who is in the local forming group, George Atkinson, founder and executive director of ISGP, and Sharon Megdal, director of the UA Water Resources Research Center.

Megdal emphasized the importance of education regarding water resource management. Much of her work relates to helping people understand how water resources are managed and keeping them aware of options for meeting future demands to help ensure a water-secure future.

The conference will not aim to form solutions or take certain sides on the issue. ISGP and the Tucson Working Group said it wants people who have different views concerning climate change to attend and wants all of them to be represented.

Having been a scientist for a number of years, Atkinson said his past experiences have made him realize that it is important that people articulate their ideas and then debate them. Atkinson noted that this belief is the fundamental principle of the conferences.

Atkinson and Megdal encourage students to attend the two-day conference this weekend. They said they both strongly believe students in their daily lives should think about the little things, such as how long of a shower they should take. As the future generation, students will feel the impact of these changes, and they said they hold the power to make a difference if they become aware.

“Students are eventually going to become professionals, if they’re not already,” Megdal said. “They’re going to become homeowners, renters; they’re going to live in society, and I think throughout their lives — all of our lives — we have to think about being good stewards of our natural resources, including water.”

Ariella Valencia, a film and television senior, said she believes climate change is a hyped-up, heated topic.

“I have taken a class on climate, and the professor had some controversial opinions,” she said. “To me, these weather changes are part of a cycle of heat fluxes.”

For those interested, registration for an event invitation is available on the ISGP website.


Follow Zayro Jimenez on Twitter.

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